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Speaking with Dr. Mary Owen, Center of American Indian and Minority Health

Mary Owen, MD, director of the Center of American Indian and Minority Health - Photo courtesy of UMD Medical School
Mary Owen, MD, director of the Center of American Indian and Minority Health - Photo courtesy of UMD Medical School

The University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth first began offering American Indian student programs in the early 1970s.

Following that, the Center of American Indian and Minority Health was established at the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1987.

The Minnesota Legislature approved a plan developed by co-founders Ruth A. Myers, a member of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and a leader in American Indian education, and Robert Pozos, a medical school faculty member.

In 2019, the Center of American Indian and Minority Health continues to provide support and encouragement for American Indian students pursuing careers in health and medicine.

Dr. Mary Owen is the Executive Director of the Center of American Indian and Minority Health. WTIP’s Rhonda Silence caught up with Dr. Owen in her office at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Dr. Owen has some good news—there has been an increase in Native American students enrolled at the University of Minnesota. This year the university has 12 first-year medical students, a record for the school.

They talked about Dr. Owen’s role at the Center of American Indian and Minority Health; about the importance of increasing the number of Native American and minority health providers; and about weaving cultural traditions in the college’s curriculum and more.

To learn more about the Center of American Indian and Minority Health, call (218) 726-7235 or visit the Center’s website.