Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Prof. Knudsen talks to students in Della Keats program about impact of the law on health care in Alaska

Prof. Knudsen stresses a point during her presentation.
Prof. Kristin Knudsen, J.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, was invited to speak to high school students in the Della Keats Health Sciences Summer Program at UAA on July 14. She discussed "Law Is Not Just For Lawyers," which focused on the historical impact of U.S. legislation on the establishment, development, and regulation of hospitals and the practice of medicine in Alaska.

 Della Puyuk Keats
Inupiaq traditional healer
(1907 - 1986)
This UAA campus residential summer program, established over 30 years ago, is named after Della Keats, an Inupiaq traditional healer, and seeks to foster, affirm, and encourage the interest of talented high school and pre-college students from under-represented backgrounds in the medical, nursing and allied health professions.

Acccording to Dr. Ian van Tets, Program Director, between 2002 and 2014, over 250 high school and pre-college students, including close to 100 Alaska Native students, have attended the program which includes complete college preparation and relevant laboratory classes, job-shadowing preceptorships, and a health-related tour and speaker program.   To date, every single student has gone on to attend college and many have gone on to enter the medical, the medical research and the nursing professions.

This year’s program includes students from all over Alaska - Anchorage, Bethel, Kasigluk, Tok, Tuluksak, Unalaska and Unalakleet – and all over the world – students who immigrated with their families from Israel, Korea, Thailand and Sudan.  The program is open to students who have just completed either their junior or their senior year of High School with a 3.0 or better GPA.  To be considered for the program they must also be able to demonstrate that they have a genuine interest in a health-related career and that they are from an underserved or underrepresented background.

There is no cost to participants.  The program is run by the Alaska WWAMI School of Medical Education (Alaska’s Medical School) in collaboration with the UAA School of Nursing and the Department of Health Sciences.