Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


July 27, 2002 - Issue 66


pictograph divider


Indian Students Test Medicine

by Judy Nichols The Arizona Republic
Latoya Betsuie, 14, can hear the difference between a healthy lung and one with asthma.

"The healthy one you just hear the sound of air going in and out," she said. "The one with asthma sounds like they're having trouble. You hear a kind of mushy sound."

Betsuie, who will be a sophomore at Phoenix's Alhambra High School, is one of four students who graduated last week from the summer Hoop of Learning program at Phoenix Indian Medical Center. The 2-year-old program is designed to interest Native Americans in health careers.

Native Americans account for only 1 percent of the registered nurses in Arizona, according to July statistics from the Arizona State Board of Nursing.

The students took classes in the morning at Gateway Community College and spent afternoons at the hospital.

Nineteen students have completed the program and 17 are in medical education, said Dr. Anthony Dekker, associate director at the medical center.

"I did this in Chicago from 1978 to 1994," Dekker said. "In that time, 102 Hispanic and Black students went into medical school. . . .

"I saw a 14-year-old watch her first delivery and say, 'I want to be an obstetrician.' Now she's delivering babies in Chicago."

Betsuie, who wants to be a surgical technician, completed a project on pneumonia, learning about treatments and recovery rates.

"For children, it's about two to three weeks," she said. "For people older than 65 or infants, it can be six to eight weeks."

For Sharlene Shirley, 18, a Navajo who graduated from Central High School in June and is planning to attend Gateway Community College this fall, the program had a personal connection.

Shirley, who aspires to be a nurse, completed a project on epilepsy and seizures, a condition her older brother has.

Shirley found the hospital exciting.

"I spent time in radiology, where they did ultrasounds to see babies, the insides of bodies, how the blood vessels are working and whether there are any clots," she said.

For more information about this program, contact the Phoenix Union High School District Native American Education Program at (602) 271-3532, or call our office at (602)285-7415.

Phoenix, AZ Map
Maps by Travel

pictograph divider


Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Thank You