Project milestone: New NACHP website centers Indigenous representation

On July 31, 2023, the new website for the Native American Center for Health Professions (NACHP) launched. This is the first of four site launch events associated with this project.

Previously, NACHP content existed within the /education/ section of NACHP is one of three programs that, after discussion and careful consideration of pros and cons, is moving content to subdomain websites.

The site has been designed to meet the needs of the center’s key audiences: Native American health professions students, pre-health students, and pre-college students.

Web strategy focuses on advancing the mission of NACHP

The mission of NACHP is to enhance the recruitment, retention and graduation rates of Native American health professional students and to promote health education, research and community-academic partnerships with Native communities.

Digital infrastructure that aligns with this work is key to success, explains Danielle Yancey, MS, director of NACHP. “Our websites are like a front door and way of saying ‘hello’ to our visitors, so it is important to have an inviting way to let students know we see them and that we are here for them,” she says.

The center was founded in 2012 and has been wildly successful during its first decade, resulting in the School of Medicine and Public Health becoming one of the leading schools in the United States to enroll Native American medical students. Alumni of NACHP programs and services include 91 Native American health professionals who have earned their graduate degree at UW–Madison. The center currently serves 60 students enrolled in UW–Madison health professions degree programs.

Features of

The new website was designed and developed to improve user experience and reinforce brand strategy for NACHP. While the site shares the same theme and components that will be used for the other two subdomain sites and the main school site, the color palette for reinforces a logo that the center recently commissioned in honor of its tenth anniversary.

Institutional logos are under the purview of University Marketing and require approval of UW–Madison to move forward. The SMPH Office of Strategic Communications collaborated with NACHP to develop brand rationale and co-branding guidance, which University Marketing reviewed and approved. Importantly, the NACHP brand identity is presented in proximity and in alignment with the UW–Madison brand to reinforce connections between the university and the center. NACHP logo design elements, which have symbolic significance, were used reiteratively throughout the site.

NACHP logo with text on right and design elements in background


Photograph of NACHP director Danielle Yancey (Menominee and Santee Sioux Nations) with quote to the right stating "Our staff bring their whole hearts to this work" and NACHP logo design elements in background

Centering the voice of learners is a priority. Toward this end, quotes from past and current students are incorporated throughout the site to provide the perspective of learners.

Testimonial quote from Dr. Megan Murphy-Belcaster (Choctaw and Lakota Nations) to left of a photo of Dr. Murphy-Belcaster. Quote reads, "When I was still choosing schools, I came to visit, and UW and NACHP stood out as this truly authentic family. They were a welcoming and warm group of people who wanted to meet me and my family. I felt so welcomed so fast."

Information architecture that supports content strategy

The website also enables elevated attention to important programmatic activities of NACHP, such as a Distinguished Lecture Series focusing on issues affecting Native health, the Medicine Talkers podcast, and educational opportunities for health professions students. As programmatic offerings evolve or expand, best practices in content strategy will support changes.

The information architecture and site navigation structure are designed with the user in mind. This allows users to find commonly sought information as quickly as possible based on their interests.

Dedication to cultural responsiveness

Throughout the project, the NACHP team provided critical thought leadership and expertise that enabled a strong outcome based on shared values.

“This new website helps us [welcome web users] in a much more culturally responsive, comprehensive and welcoming way,” Yancey says.

“We are so grateful for the tremendous hard work and thoughtfulness from the digital strategy team to help bring our new NACHP website to life. They helped us improve our navigation, add in new content and do so in a way that centers Indigenous representation and our mission on every page. They have been wonderful to work with!”