NorthLakes Community Clinic awarded its first Indigenous health care scholarship Nov. 16 to Native health care scholar Lacey Martin.

Martin is in her third semester of the two-year nursing program at the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College. She’ll graduate in May and already is a certified licensed practical nurse, working at Marshfield Clinic in Rice Lake as an emergency room technician as she studies. She plans to be an emergency room nurse at Marshfield Clinic.

NorthLakes Community Clinic’s community engagement went beyond raising funds for its own health care programs and equipment. It raised funds for an endowed scholarship managed by the American Indian College Fund that will award an annual health care scholarship to Wisconsin Native American scholars. It raised over $110,000 and will award between $4,000 and $5,000 in perpetuity.

The effort will help recruit, retain and diversify the health care workforce in this region for both tribal and nontribal health care organizations. The lack of diversity in health care in Northern Wisconsin further exacerbates health inequities experienced by native people.

“This scholarship is one step in the right direction. Making education more accessible to tribal members is one small way to support a better future for all of us. We so often use the expression, ‘We all do better when we all do better.’ This is what the scholarship is all about.” Reba Rice, CEO of NorthLakes, said in a release.

Information provided by NorthLakes Community Clinic.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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