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Cherokee health advocate and activist featured in Walgreens-sponsored lecture

BY Michael Johnsen

BANGOR, Maine – The Husson University School of Pharmacy announced Friday that it will be hosting Walgreens 4th Annual “Diversity in Health Care Lecture” in the Gracie Theatre here on Oct. 22. The lecture is free and open to the public.
 
“This lecture series is designed to help our student pharmacists better understand their professional responsibilities,” stated Eric Jarvi, associate dean and professor Husson University School of Pharmacy. “As future health care professionals, we want to make sure our students get the information they need to help cultivate a diverse, supportive and inclusive health care culture that respects individuals of different backgrounds, traditions and ethnicities.”
 
This year’s lecture, “Diversity is Knowledge,” will be delivered by Pamela Kingfisher, the director of the Indigenous Women’s Network and Shining Waters Consulting in Moodys, Okla. Kingfisher is a Cherokee woman born to the bird clan. She lives and works on her grandmother’s allotment land in Northeast Oklahoma where she grows organic food and works to preserve and utilize medicinal plants. Her presentation will focus on access and delivery of health care in chronically underserved patient populations.
 
Kingfisher worked for the Indian Health Service for 14 years where she developed medical libraries and tumor registries.
 
Her awards include the 1990 U.S. Surgeon General’s Award for Outstanding Performance, Indian Health Service, Public Health Service, Washington DC.; and the 2003 Tides Center’s Ingrid Washinawatok El-Issa Award for Community Activism for her work in cultural revitalization projects, women’s health, and environmental issues. 
 
As the director for the Indigenous Women’s Network, she led two delegations of eight indigenous women to United Nations’ meetings in Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa, where she trained them in organizing and speaking to government officials. She also ran a retreat center and published a magazine.
 
Kingfisher currently serves as the South lead for the National Farm to School Network and provides leadership to its native communities cohort.  She is also the reproductive rights program director for the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center.
 
Funding for this lecture series, as well as Husson University’s High School Pharmacy Summer Camp, is provided through a grant from Walgreens.
 
 
 
 

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