Polly Olsen has been named director of the Native American Center of Excellence (NACOE), part of the Office of Multicultural Affairs in the School of Medicine.
Olsen will replace Walt Hollow, who helped found the center in 1993. Olsen has been with the Office of Multicultural Affairs for three years. She started as a program coordinator and then became interim director of NACOE from 2002 to 2003. She has overseen the Indian Health Pathway, assisted in recruiting and retraining Native American students, and established relationships with tribal communities throughout the region.
The UW center encourages Native American students to pursue careers in medicine, promotes interest in research on Native American health issues, and enhances the educational experience of students by integrating Western medicine and Native American culture.
The center offers instruction in traditional medicine, and provides clinical opportunities for students to work with American Indian/Alaska Native populations in rural, urban, and reservation clinics throughout the WWAMI region.