June 12, 2006

Contact: Lauren Cruse (505) 272-3690

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(UNM, Albuquerque) - Third-year University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy student and Kirtland, N.M. native, Thaddus Wilkerson has been selected by the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) to serve as a program counselor for the ninth annual National Native American Youth Initiative (NNAYI) program, held June 15-25 in Washington D.C.

As a program counselor, Wilkerson will mentor high school students who are interested in health careers. All Native American college students in health programs across the nation were encouraged to apply for a counselor position. Wilkerson was the only pharmacy student who was selected to be a counselor this year.

"I am proud to represent our College of Pharmacy as a counselor," said Wilkerson. "This is a wonderful opportunity to share my enthusiasm for the health sciences while promoting higher education to fellow Native students. I know our College is well represented in cultural diversity and I feel this meets the objective of outreach services to further recruit Native Americans to the profession of pharmacy."

Through its cooperative agreement with the Office of Minority Health, the NNAYI program is an intense academic enrichment and reinforcement program designed to better prepare students to remain in the academic pipeline and pursue a career in the health professions and/or biomedical research.

The AAIP is dedicated to pursuing excellence in Native American health care by promoting education in the medical disciplines, honoring traditional healing practices and restoring the balance of mind, body and spirit. For more information on AAIP and the NNAYI program, visitwww.aaip.com