WCU to offer course in Native American healthcare

Western Carolina University, in cooperation with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Wake Forest University, will offer Anthropology 493/593 (“Tobacco and Substance Use Among American Indian Populations”) this fall.

The course is one of several options for the upcoming Culturally Based Native Health Programs, a series of online courses, developed with Native American expertise, on the topic of Native American healthcare.

“Culture, history and tradition play an important role in Native American views on health and wellness,” said Pat Brown, dean of educational outreach at WCU. “An understanding of these positions is essential for health care workers in the care and treatment of Native Americans.”

Instructors include Lisa J. Lefler who is program director, Cherokee language coordinator Tom Belt and other WCU faculty, and Cherokee health professionals and community members. They will develop future courses such as “Conflict Resolution: Culture and Management,” “Personnel Management in Native Health Settings,” “Ethnobiology,” “Counseling Approaches and Theory with American Indian Clients,” “Issues in Indian Health,” “Co-occurring Disorders and American” and “Culturally Congruent Primary Care of Native Patients and Indian Adolescents.”

Representatives of the program recently made a series of presentations to the United South and Eastern Tribes Inc., a coalition of 24 federally recognized Native American tribes. They will discuss the courses in November at the American Public Health Association in Boston, and are planning to promote the program to Native Americans and to medical schools throughout the United States.

For more information about the program, contact Lefler at llefler@email.wcu.edu or WCU’s Office of Cherokee Studies at (828) 227-3841.