In Tahlequah, Oklahoma, capital of the Cherokee Nation, students are taking classes at Oklahoma State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, the first school in the country to be affiliated with a Native American tribe. With the new medical school in the heart of tribal lands, tribal and health leaders hope this is another step towards closing the access to care gap for the tribes and rural communities in northeastern Oklahoma.

From the story, written by Matt Pearl for 2News Oklahoma: “The Cherokee Nation has built the largest tribal health care system in the country. They use federal funds and their own funds to provide free health care for their citizens. They’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars on new facilities.

But a medical school offers not just care but a chance for careers.

“In some counties in Oklahoma, they may have one primary care physician or no primary care physicians,” said Dr. Kayse Shrum, president of Oklahoma State University. “For us, it was serving and educating rural and underserved Oklahoma. And for the tribes, it was about improving access and quality of care.”

To read the rest of the story on 2News, click here.