Asniya’s mission is to inspire and empower underserved Native American children with medical knowledge and opportunities.
Asniya is a non-profit outreach program that recruits medical students to teach health and medicine to indigenous children. "Asniya interns" deliver dynamic hands-on classroom presentations to captivate children’s interest in medical science, disease prevention, and careers in health care. For more than 25 years Asniya has inspired Native youth while expanding the cultural awareness of future physicians.

Health problems amongst American Indians are disproportionately higher than the rest of the general population. This disparity contributes to inhibiting economic, educational, and social development. The statistics are shocking. Many American Indians suffer and ultimately die from preventable diseases at alarmingly higher rates. Mental health is no different, with many American Indians disproportionately burdened by substance abuse and mental health issues.

The statistics illustrate the extent of the problem.

American Indians are:

  • 640% more likely to die from tuberculosis;
  • 650% more likely to die from cirrhosis;
  • 420% more likely to die from diabetes;
  • 770% more likely to die from alcoholism;
  • 52% more likely to die from pneumonia or influenza; and
  • 70% more likely to commit suicide

Access to quality health care remains one of America’s greatest challenges. Access to even basic health care is particularly acute amongst American Indian communities who face the complex health problems described above. Contributing to and exacerbating this pathology is the fact that many American Indians lack basic transportation and economic resources and can be subject to racial and ethnic bias in the health care system. As a result, the health care that they receive can be insufficient and at times culturally insensitive.

"The path to one’s strength, pride, integrity, and wisdom often starts with a vision as a child. Our children may be granted visions in many ways. Often, it is through a teacher with a pure heart."
    PO Box 9746
    Rapid City, SD, 57709