South College held a signing ceremony on its Asheville campus with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians that formalized an agreement translated into the tribe’s native language to encourage tribal students to enter health care fields of higher education.
Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and Dr. Lisa Satterfield, President of the Asheville campus, signed the translated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on July 29 in a special ceremony. The original MOU was signed in May of this year.
“This signing represents both a tangible and symbolically meaningful partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians that will prepare Tsalagi tribal members for professional health care careers and address the urgent need for greater equity in health care services for Native Americans,” Satterfield said. “I am especially honored to sign this translated document and look forward to advancing this partnership.”
During the May event, Sneed noted the effectiveness of robust health care systems within the tribal medical facilities, especially the emphasis on mental health. However, Sneed also pointed out the small percentage of tribal citizens who make up the medical workforce.
“This MOU will be a cornerstone agreement and create opportunities for tribal citizens to pursue higher education programs and degrees and then enter the workforce within our health care system,” Sneed said.
The agreement states that South College will “develop and deliver programs to introduce and guide EBCI students to careers in the health care field to include elementary, middle school, high school, and young adult age groups.”
The agreement states that an education specialist will provide one-on-one service for students seeking to enroll in South College with information about programs, financial aid, scholarships, student services, and admission requirements. The agreement also will fully leverage the strength of the South College Master of Health Science School of Physician Assistant Studies in Asheville to provide degree options for career advancement.
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