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Urgent Call Out to AAIP Membership by President Mary Owen MD

Posted by Tecumseh Cline on 07/01/2022
Dear AAIP members,
We need your help. The number of attendees to our annual meeting is lower than expected or planned. Long in advance of the meeting, AAIP commits to using a given number of rooms and meals at the hotel we plan to use for the conference. We are far from meeting the minimum numbers of rooms that we promised in our contract with the hotel. If you planned on attending but haven't registered yet, please do so as soon as possible. If you're not planning to attend or are on the fence about attending, I strongly encourage you to join us. 
This year we celebrate a momentous milestone---50 years since our founders came together to improve the health outcomes of our communities. These past two years have exemplified the persistent disparities in Native health and our need for culturally informed healthcare providers and spokespeople. The COVID 19 pandemic has ravaged Indian Country, but would have done even more damage had we not had Native doctors on the frontlines guiding and providing the care of Native people. Many of us serving Native communities in one way or another, were helped by AAIP in our journeys to becoming physicians---because that's the point of AAIP. AAIP was created to "improve the health of American Indian and Alaska Natives." Our mission today remains, “to pursue excellence in Native American health care by promoting education in the medical disciplines, honoring traditional healing principles and restoring the balance of mind, body, and spirit”.
AAIP and Native communities need you more than ever. Over the past several years, traditional Indigenous ways have been recognized to be effective in caring for and sustaining the land we live on, as with the California forests and preventing massive fires with controlled burns. This is only one example of Indigenous knowledge and the power to heal and sustain land and populations. Our traditional knowledge and ways are a critical tool, especially now when all populations are challenged by the health impacts of global warming and social unrest. For the next 50 years AAIP will continue to support the education of Native medical students and honor and encourage much more recognition and use of our traditional practices, but only if we are able to sustain and grow our organization. 
Let me repeat, AAIP needs your help. Please continue to support AAIP and join us for the 50th anniversary celebration in DC on July 28-31st. 
Mary Owen MD
President
Association of American Indian Physicians