Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Rural and American Indian Health Disparities

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Rural and American Indian Health Disparities
Trip Location: 
Lakota Nation, SD
Air Travel Trip: 
This trip will travel by air.
Number of Participants: 
Trip Description: 

Native Americans have universal health care, yet they are among the worst performing demographic in almost every metric of health. The Rosebud Reservation is in the second poorest county and has one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the nation. But these statistics can not capture the resilient people behind them. This service-learning trip seeks to connect students  to this community in order to understand the upstream factors that lead to health disparities faced by rural and Native American communities.

During winter quarter, students will read articles, attend lectures, and hear talks presented by expert speakers about Native American health and culture. Throughout the course and trip, we will be working with our companion ASB, Rural and American Indian Education, to better understand the interconnected roles of education and health care on these rural communities.

During the week-long trip to South Dakota, we will have opportunities to work with the IHS as well as community partners focusing on housing, education, and mental health. Students will have the opportunity to work with clinicians, public health nurses, and community leaders to address the social determinants of health through direct service projects. 

Trip Leaders
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Preet Kaur

Preet Kaur is a sophomore considering Human Biology, including concentrations ranging from social determinants of health, community health, and sports medicine (after tearing her ACL twice) to neuroscience. She was born in Nottingham, England, but raised in Turlock, California. At Stanford, Preet is involved in the Sikh Student Organization, SPOON, SCOPE, and the Health Advocacy Program. She has participated in programs such as Sophomore College: Stanford Safari, an overseas seminar focusing on migrant/community health in Oaxaca, and this ASB, last year. Last year’s ASB trip introduced her to native culture and health disparities and ultimately inspired her to want to revisit the reservation as a practicing physician. She hopes to give students a similar opportunity by engaging in experiential learning that will allow them to see the richness in native culture, change their view on healthcare, and/or encourage their career pursuits in another direction.  

Layton Lamsam

Layton Lamsam is a senior majoring in biology. He is Osage (Grayhorse village) from Pawhuska, Oklahoma on the Osage Indian Reservation. At Stanford, Layton is involved in the Native American student community through Stanford Powwow and Natives in Medicine. Layton has been a part of this ASB to Rosebud twice as a student, and he is excited to teach the ASB this winter (while eagerly awaiting the replies of medical school admissions). His broad goal in teaching this class is to help students answer two questions from both the mainstream and Native American perspectives. (1) What is the state of health in Indian Country today, and (2) how did the state of health get where it is now?