Tom Brokaw Contributes To OLC Endowment Fund

May 15th, 2004 | By | Category: 15-4: Ancient Cultures Modern Technology, Tribal College News

Tom Brokaw has donated $25,000 to the Nursing Faculty Endowment Fund at Oglala Lakota College (OLC, Kyle, SD). The tribal college needs $675,000 to endow one faculty position.

OLC’s goal is to raise $225,000 from South Dakota donors for the Nursing Faculty Endowment Fund and then challenge its donors nationwide to match 2 to 1 the amount raised in South Dakota.

With the Tom Brokaw donation, OLC has raised $203,000 from South Dakota donors for the Nursing Faculty Endowment Fund. College administrators hope to raise the remaining $23,000 within the next year.

The OLC Nursing Faculty Endowment Fund is very important due to the critical shortage of nurses in the nation, South Dakota, and especially on American Indian reservations. The life expectancy of Lakota men and women on the Pine Ridge Reservation is the lowest in the United States and lowest in the Western Hemisphere except for Haitians. The life expectancy of an Oglala Lakota man is 61 and 70 for a woman, far behind the 77.5 and 83 years in the rest of the country.

The Pine Ridge Reservation has a higher rate of diabetes, alcoholism, heart disease, infant mortality, and tuberculosis than all other races.

On the Pine Ridge Reservation, 36 of the 71 nurses working at the Pine Ridge Hospital and Kyle Health Clinics are graduates of OLC’s Nursing Program. There are few, if any, nursing programs in the United States that can match the number of nurses OLC has produced for the Indian Health Service.

“Funding support for the Nursing Program is critically important to sustaining this program, and that is the reason why we are so pleased with receiving a donation from Tom Brokaw,” says OLC President Thomas Shortbull.

For more information on OLC’s Nursing Faculty Endowment Fund, call Marilyn Pourier, development director, (605) 455-6045 or write to Box 490, Kyle, SD 57752.

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