Poster session documents cultural immersion experience for 48 USD Sanford School of Medicine Students

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine will host "Beyond Borders: A Cultural Immersion Experience," March 10-11, at the Health Science Center, located at 1400 W. 22nd St., in Sioux Falls, S.D.

"Beyond Borders: A Cultural Immersion Experience" is a poster session of USD students’ detailed perspectives of their community service projects during last fall’s three-day Cultural Colloquium. Last November, 48 third-year students from the Sanford School of Medicine studied cultural diversity and offered a variety of medical services to dozens of South Dakota communities and organizations.  Students volunteered at the Pine Ridge Retreat Center on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the St. Joseph Indian School in Chamberlain, Hutterite Colonies in the communities of Alexandria, Kimball and Bridgewater, the School for the Blind in Aberdeen, and Hospice of the Hills in Rapid City.

Because communities have emerged as critical educational settings, the cultural immersion week was created to provide medical students with training and awareness, and to expose students to different cultures and customs that exist within their own communities and state. Students and faculty spent the first day listening to various speakers, who discussed South Dakota’s dynamic cultural aspects, while they visited the Oak Lane Hutterite Colony near Bridgewater, S.D., on the second day. The remainder of the week was devoted to self-selected cultural immersion and service projects across the state – activities that have been documented for the poster session. Some of the poster titles include "Autism: Weighing Me Down," "Seeing Without Sight: Orientation and Mobility," "Healthcare on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation," and "Opening Doors: Enabling Mentally Challenged Individuals to Live Fulfilling Lives." In all, 32 cultural immersion sites and posters will be on display.

"It is my hope that the cultural immersion experience and this poster session will serve as a platform for appreciation of individuals of race and heritage," explained Dr. Rodney Parry, dean of the Sanford School of Medicine.

"Beyond Borders: A Cultural Immersion Experience," which is open to the public, will be on display at the Health Science Center from 11 a.m., Monday, March 10, until noon on Tuesday, March 11. For more information about the poster session or the cultural immersion program, please contact Marilyn Moor, R.N., education coordinator, Sanford School of Medicine, at (605) 357-1308 or e-mail mmoor@usd.edu. Members of the media are invited to attend the poster display session. Please contact Moor if you have questions or would like to schedule a time to attend the event.