(Press Release) -- On November 16th at the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College, one of the two tribal colleges in Wisconsin, NorthLakes Community Clinic awarded its first Indigenous Health Care Scholarship to a native health care scholar Lacey Martin.
Lacey is in her third semester of the two year Nursing Program. She’ll be graduating in May 2022. She is currently a certified Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and working at Marshfield Clinic in Rice Lake as an Emergency Room Technician, as well as attending college. She plans to be an Emergency Room Nurse at Marshfield Clinic.
This year NorthLakes Community Clinic’s community engagement went beyond raising funds for its own health care programs and equipment. They 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. They raised over $110,000 and the annual amount awarded will be between four to five thousand dollars in perpetuity.
The effort’s intention is to 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.” said Reba Rice, CEO of NorthLakes.
NorthLakes raised over $110,000 for its endowment which will begin awarding scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year. Associated Bank generously supported the momentum by donating $5000 for an inaugural scholarship which was awarded by American Indian College Fund to Lacey Martin.
NorthLakes Community Health Clinic operates in rural northern Wisconsin, the territory of eight of the eleven Wisconsin’s Native American Tribes; Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac Du Flambeau Band of Chippewa, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and Forest County Potawatomi. Each of the tribes also has clinics that operate as Community Health Centers. NorthLakes is honored to work alongside these clinics.