The “Operation Orange” camp celebrates its 10th year and kicks off on the OSU-CN Tahlequah campus | Education


TAHLEQUAH – On May 31 and June 1, students from all over Oklahoma and some as far away as Texas and Arkansas visited the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah to participate in camp “Operation Orange”.

The camp, now in its 10th year, was offered to middle and high school students and gave them the opportunity to get a taste of life as a medical student, as well as learn CPR techniques such than chest compressions.

Dylan Tucker, high school outreach coordinator for the OSU Health Sciences Center and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, said this is the second time the camp has been held on the Tahlequah campus.

“So we’re very excited about that,” she said. “This will be the first time they (students) have the opportunity to do a simulation case study on one of our state-of-the-art manikins. We are very excited about this, and the introducing on the 10th anniversary seemed right, but it’s also a chance for them to see this beautiful campus that we have in partnership with Cherokee Nation.

In addition to working with the “high-fidelity manikins,” Dr. Natasha Bray, acting dean of OSU-COM, said students also had the opportunity to learn about intubation and see what it was like to real human organs.

“It’s an opportunity to engage in a way that they don’t have the opportunity to engage when they’re in school,” she said. “They can use these things that they’ve learned in their health classes, in their science classes and they can see how we can use cutting-edge technology to help them turn that knowledge into practical, applicable things that they’re really excited about. .”

The camp, which was helped run by 25 medical students from the Tahlequah and Tulsa OSU campuses, was set up at stations on the Tahlequah campus. Bray said having medical students to help teach provides a “close to peer” experience.

“That close age range really allows students to bond and ask questions and see people who are like themselves,” she said, “who are able to be in medical school and capable of succeeding, which inspires these high schoolers to really think about how they can succeed in their careers.

One of the students present was Zoey Kelly, a junior from Kansas High School in Kansas, Oklahoma. Kelly, who is a CN citizen, said this was her first year at camp and it was something she wanted to explore before taking medical vo-tech classes in the fall.

“I learned a lot about organs, and a lot of things I really didn’t know — things I wish I knew before I went in so I wouldn’t just dive in head first,” she said. declared.

Another student present was Anna Fletcher, a junior from Inola High School. Fletcher, who is considering a career in mental health or as an OB-GYN, said the camp provides a “hands-on” experience and she would recommend it to others looking to explore the medical field.

“(I) would probably tell them that if they want hands-on medical experience, that would probably be the best place to go because you can ask all those questions and you don’t feel judged,” Fletcher, a CN citizen, said. said.

Bray said it was important to have the camp at OSU’s Tahlequah campus because Native Americans are often “underrepresented in medicine.”

“We know that Native Americans, Cherokee citizens, are underrepresented in medicine. So being able to have this campus on tribal land adjacent to WW Hastings in the Cherokee Nation Ambulatory Health Center really allows us to bring traditional culture into medical education,” she said.

Each year, “Operation Orange” camp is held during the first two weeks of June at locations across Oklahoma. For more information, visit


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