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From left, Dr. Natasha Bray, interim dean OSU-COM at Cherokee Nation; Sonja Settle, medical librarian OSU-COM at CN; Chuck Smith, Cherokee Nation Outpatient Health Clinic administrator; Ashton Glover-Gatewood, Caitlin Cosby, and Mackenzee Hester, OSU-COM at CN students; Kent Smith, associate dean Office of American Indians in Medicine and Science; and Dr. Doug Nolan, associate dean of Tribal Affairs OSU-COM at CN, with the new Dr. Pete's Book Nook at the Cherokee Nation Outpatient Health Clinic in Tahlequah.

Dr. Pete Book Nook inspired by med student's daughter

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Media Contact: Sara Plummer | Communications Coordinator | 918-561-1282 | sara.plummer@okstate.edu

To celebrate Native American Heritage month in November, the students, faculty, and staff at OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation recently launched an exciting new outreach program — Dr. Pete’s Book Nook.

The book nook is a community book-sharing initiative that will serve all patients visiting the Cherokee Nation Outpatient Health Center on the same campus as the medical school in Tahlequah.

Dr. Pete’s Book Nook will make it convenient for CNOHC patients to read to their children, or for the children to read to themselves, while they wait to see their health care providers. Patients can keep a book and take it home with them, as well as be encouraged to share books with others by donating them to the Cherokee Nation community through the book nook.

Ashton Glover-Gatewood, a second-year student at OSU-COM at Cherokee Nation, was inspired to establish the book nook after her 4-year-old daughter, Joanna, noticed a book depository sitting empty between the Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Hospital and the medical school. 

“Before attending OSU-COM at the Cherokee Nation, I served as an Indian Health Services public health nurse. There I learned the importance of literacy to the overall health and well-being of a tribal community,” said Glover-Gatewood, American Indians in Medicine and Science (AIMS) ambassador and Native American Students of Osteopathic Medicine President. “I am honored to be part of a project inspired by my own daughter, a descendent of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, and to foster collaborative community-building through a creative literary approach.” 

Working with Dr. Natasha Bray, OSU-COM at the Cherokee Nation interim dean, and Ashlei Ashmore, director of operations, the decision was made to refresh the book depository with a coat of orange and black paint.

Rebranded as Dr. Pete’s Book Nook, with its new home inside the CNOHC building, it will be highly visible and accessible to all Cherokee Nation citizens who walk through the clinic doors. 

Students, faculty, and staff will serve as the project’s stewards, ensuring that Dr. Pete’s Book Nook is always filled with books for children and adults to read and enjoy.

“Health and wellness are intricately tied to all the individual choices we make each day. Dr. Pete’s Book Nook is an opportunity to engage with patients and families outside the clinical exam room,” Bray said. “By ensuring access to free books at CNOHC, we not only promote literacy, which is linked to improved health outcomes, but we also have an opportunity to inspire future healthcare providers who will care for us.” 

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