| The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and South College Asheville
(SCA) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the afternoon
of Tuesday, May 4 that tribal officials hope will encourage more tribal
members to enter the health care field. Principal Chief Richard G.
Sneed and Dr. Lisa Satterfield, SCA campus president, signed the MOU
in the Office of the Principal Chief with SCA officials and officials
from the Tribe's Higher Education Program.
Principal Chief Richard
G. Sneed, right, and Dr. Lisa Satterfield, South College Asheville
campus president, sign a Memorandum of Understanding between
the College and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI)
in the Office of the Principal Chief on the afternoon of Tuesday,
May 4. Part of the Memorandum states, "SCA will develop and
deliver programs to introduce and guide EBCI students to careers
in the health care field
" (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather
Chief Sneed thanked SCA officials and commented during the event,
"As you are probably well aware, if you look at our hospital and
our health care system, we have a very robust health care system.
We are very proud of Phase II of our hospital where we place a very
strong emphasis on mental health. We believe that, west of Hickory,
we probably have the most robust mental health care system in the
He went on to say, "Unfortunately, looking at our work force, we
only have a very small percentage of tribal citizens that actually
work in our health care system. And, we would certainly like to
see that number increase. The MOU that we are entering into today,
I think supports that and makes a cornerstone for the opportunities
for our people to be able to go to school and then come back and
work in our own health care system."
The MOU states, "SCA will develop and deliver programs to introduce
and guide EBCI students to careers in the health care field to include
elementary, middle school, high school, and young adult age groups."
The agreement also states that the EBCI will assign an education
specialist who will "guide students with one-on-one service through
SCA programs, financial aid, scholarships, student services, and
"Responding to the urgent need for greater equity effectiveness
in health care services for Native Americans, South College Asheville
and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribe have established
a Memorandum of Understanding," Judith James, South College director
of clinical education, said during Tuesday's event. "This agreement,
leveraging the strength of South College Master of Health Science
School of Physician Assistant Studies in Asheville, will prepare
Tsalagi tribal members through professional, career-focused curricula
designed to encourage the application of Native American knowledge,
critical thinking, effective communication, and lifelong learning."
She added, "Together, we will develop a Native American health
care infrastructure that will maintain and sustain the health and
welfare of the Tsalagi people. The mission of the agreement embraces
the EBCI cultural knowledge, skills, and resilience to create hope
and healing, arming the Tsalagi patient population with tools needed
to promote health."
For more information on South College, visit: https://www.south.edu/locations/asheville.