Northwestern to offer Spring Quarter course in Native American health

Olivia Exstrum, Campus Editor

Northwestern will offer a new global health course this spring on Native American health.

The seminar-style class will focus on “Indian health services and policy and the picture of Native American health in our country and over time,” said Kim Rapp, associate director of International Program Development. The course will be offered by the Global Health Studies department through IPD.

Rapp said the course was inspired by a talk the department hosted Jan. 29, “Challenges and Importance of Native American Health Research.”

“There’s a lot of overlap between indigenous health worldwide and Native American health,” Rapp said. “We wanted to do something positive with Native American health research. When we saw the great turnout, we decided to offer it.”

The Native American Outreach and Inclusion Task Force submitted recommendations to Provost Daniel Linzer and University President Morton Schapiro in November on how Northwestern can better engage with Native American communities. The task force recommended increased academic programming, among other steps. Rapp said although the recommendations definitely were involved in the decision to offer the course, it isn’t specifically because of the report.

“I’m sure that the report highlighting people’s interest in Native American subjects and our responsibility to have a broad curriculum definitely played into it,” she said.

The course will be capped at 20 students, and Rapp said some students have already expressed interest in taking it. She said although there are no immediate plans to expand the class beyond Spring Quarter, they will add a second section if there is enough demand.

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