Native-CHART team members
Native-CHART

Biographies

NATIVE-CHART PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Dedra Buchwald

Dedra Buchwald, MD

Dedra Buchwald, MD, is a Professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University, where she directs the Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH). She is also the Founding Director of Partnerships for Native Health, one of the largest research organizations in the nation devoted to the health and healthcare of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Dr. Buchwald has a clinical and research background in public health and primary care, with special emphasis on the health of Native peoples. Most of her work involves behavioral interventions that aim to reduce or eliminate population health disparities. Her scientific approach is rooted in the social determinants of health and guided by the principles of community-based participatory research. As the Contact Principal Investigator of Native-CHART, she leads the Administrative Core, which supports all logistical, fiscal, and field operations. She also co-chairs the program’s Executive Committee, which monitors the progress and outcomes of Native-CHART intervention projects and governs all study activities.
Spero Manson

Spero Manson, PhD

Spero M. Manson, PhD (Pembina Chippewa), is a Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry and the Director of the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health at the Colorado School of Public Health on the University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus. At the same institution, he also holds the Colorado Trust Chair in American Indian Health and serves as the Associate Dean of Research. Dr. Manson’s programs include 10 national centers whose portfolio of sponsored research totals $63 million. His research activities involve program development and training in collaboration with 250 Native communities that span rural, urban, reservation, and village settings across the U.S. Dr. Manson is widely acknowledged as one of the nation’s leading authorities on American Indian and Alaska Native health, having published more than 230 peer-reviewed articles on physical, mental, and behavioral health in Native people of all ages. He has received numerous awards, including election to the National Academy of Medicine (2002), the Herbert W. Nickens Award of the Association of American Medical Colleges (2006), and the Excellence Award of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (2008). As the Co-Principal Investigator of Native-CHART, Dr. Manson leads the Consortium Core, which supports participation in locally implemented intervention projects and enhances outreach to diverse stakeholders through seven regional Satellite Centers. He also co-chairs the program’s Executive Committee, which monitors the progress and outcomes of Native-CHART intervention projects and governs all study activities.

RESEARCH PROJECT 1: CHEERS

Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan

Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan, DrPH, MPH

Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan, DrPH, MPH (Choctaw), is an Associate Professor of Health Promotion Sciences, the George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair in Community Medicine, and the Assistant Dean of Community Research at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her research interests include community-based participatory research, chronic disease prevention, dissemination and implementation studies, and Native health. In particular, her work aims to create healthy food environments in tribal nations. For Native-CHART, Dr. Jernigan leads “Chickasaw Healthy Eating Environments in Retail Stores” (CHEERS) and the Plains Satellite Center.
Joy Standridge

Joy Standridge, MPH, RDN/LD

Joy Standridge, MPH, RDN/LD (Seminole/Mvskoke), is the Deputy Director of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and of Child Nutrition for the Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services. She has spent her career administering public health nutrition programs, such as WIC, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, SNAP Nutrition Education, Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs, and the Summer Food Service Program. In addition, she has led several USDA demonstration projects targeting food insecurity among children in the Chickasaw Nation, including the Summer EBT for Children Demonstration and the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Demonstration to End Childhood Hunger. For Native-CHART, Ms. Standridge is the Site Principal Investigator for the “Chickasaw Healthy Eating Environments Research Study” (CHEERS). Her work for CHEERS builds on her 20 years of experience leading nutrition interventions for American Indian communities in clinical and community settings, as well as her community-engaged research on disparities in food access, eating behaviors, and health outcomes for families in the Chickasaw Nation. Ms. Standridge and her husband Chet reside in Ada, Oklahoma, and are the proud parents of Lyla and Lawson.
Charlotte Love

Charlotte Love, MPH

Charlotte Love, MPH, is the Research Director for the Indigenous Research Group at the College of Public Health at the University of Oklahoma. Her primary role is to oversee funded studies that use a community-based participatory approach to develop interventions with several Oklahoma tribal nations. For Native-CHART, Ms. Love serves on the Executive Committee for the “Chickasaw Healthy Eating Environments Research Study” (CHEERS). She also supports the CHEERS Research Coordinator.
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Tori Taniguchi

RESEARCH PROJECT 2: BP-ICAN

Denise Dillard

Denise Dillard, PhD

Denise A. Dillard, PhD (Inupiaq Eskimo), is a Professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and a Co-Director of the Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health at Washington State University. She also serves on the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board of the Indian Health Service. She also serves on the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board of the Indian Health Service. For Native-CHART, Dr. Dillard is a Co-Leader of the Alaska Satellite Center, “Blood Pressure: Improving Control among Alaska Native People” (BP-ICAN), a multilevel prevention trial for Alaska Native people diagnosed with hypertension, and the Engaging NHPIs and Activating Communities to Take Steps (ENACTS) / Healthy Hearts Among Pacific Islanders (HHAPI) project.
Michael Ryan-Todd

Michael Ryan-Todd, MBA

Michael Ryan-Todd, MBA, is a Researcher at Southcentral Foundation, a tribally owned and operated healthcare organization in Anchorage, Alaska. He works on a wide variety of studies engaged in community-based participatory research on the health and well-being of Alaska Native and American Indian people. For Native-CHART, he provides day-to-day operational and logistical support to the Alaska Satellite Center and the Co-Leaders of “Blood Pressure: Improving Control among Alaska Native People” (BP-ICAN). He also manages the progress of all study-related activities at Southcentral Foundation.
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Krista Schaeffer

RESEARCH PROJECT 3: ENACTS / HHAPI

Dedra Buchwald

Dedra Buchwald, MD

Dedra Buchwald, MD, is a Professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University, where she directs the Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH). She is also the Founding Director of Partnerships for Native Health, one of the largest research organizations in the nation devoted to the health and healthcare of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Dr. Buchwald has a clinical and research background in public health and primary care, with special emphasis on the health of Native peoples. Most of her work involves behavioral interventions that aim to reduce or eliminate population health disparities. Her scientific approach is rooted in the social determinants of health and guided by the principles of community-based participatory research. Dr. Buchwald is a Co-Leader of the Engaging NHPIs and Activating Communities to Take Steps (ENACTS) / Healthy Hearts Among Pacific Islanders (HHAPI) project.
Denise Dillard

Denise Dillard, PhD

Denise A. Dillard, PhD (Inupiaq Eskimo), is a Professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and a Co-Director of the Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health at Washington State University. She also serves on the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board of the Indian Health Service. She also serves on the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board of the Indian Health Service. For Native-CHART, Dr. Dillard is a Co-Leader of the Alaska Satellite Center, “Blood Pressure: Improving Control among Alaska Native People” (BP-ICAN), a multilevel prevention trial for Alaska Native people diagnosed with hypertension, and the Engaging NHPIs and Activating Communities to Take Steps (ENACTS) / Healthy Hearts Among Pacific Islanders (HHAPI) project.
Joseph Keawe'aimoku Kaholokula

Keawe Kaholokula, PhD

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Edmund Seto

Nicole lee Kamakahiolani Ellison

Nicole Ellison, MPH

Nicole lee Kamakahiolani Ellison is a Research Project Manager at IREACH. She is Native Hawaiian, originally from Wai’anae, O’ahu, and grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nicole has a Master in Public Health with a specialization in Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Health from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Along with serving community and local civic clubs, Nicole is passionate about Native Hawaiian health and our access to Indigenous food, or lack of access. Nicole is a Research Coordinator for  the Engaging NHPIs and Activating Communities to Take Steps (ENACTS) / Healthy Hearts Among Pacific Islanders (HHAPI) project.

COMMUNITY ACTION BOARD

Bobby Saunkeah

Bobby Saunkeah, RN, MSHCE, CIP

Bobby Saunkeah, RN, MSHCE, CIP (Kiowa), is the manager for Research and Population Health for the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health. He is also the Human Research Protections Administrator, the Chair of the Chickasaw Nation Institutional Review Board, and a tribal representative on the Indian Health Service’s National Institutional Review Board. In addition, Mr. Saunkeah is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Health Promotion at the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health, and he is serving a two-year appointment as the Oklahoma Area delegate to the Tribal Advisory Committee of the National Institutes of Health. For Native-CHART, Mr. Saunkeah serves on the Community Action Board and provides guidance on institutional review and research ethics for the “Chickasaw Healthy Eating Environments Research Study” (CHEERS). His primary interests are promoting tribal public health, creating tribal research infrastructure, strengthening research protections in tribal communities, and exploring the application of research and public health ethics principles in the context of tribal culture and sovereignty.
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Agnes Baptiste

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David Harrison

Mele Look

Mele Look, MBA

Mele Look, MBA, is the Director of Community Engagement in the Department of Native Hawaiian Health at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii. For Native-CHART, she serves on the Community Action Board. Ms. Look founded and facilitates the Ulu Network, a community coalition for cardiometabolic health that has grown to include 30 community-based organizations with more than 70 sites that serve Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in Hawaii and the continental US. Ms. Look has been involved in Native Hawaiian health research for nearly 40 years, conducting pioneering studies on Hawaiian mortality and more recently engaging in initiatives that merge cultural practices and health objectives. She resides in Waimānalo, O‘ahu, with her husband Scott and their son Kaimalieomanana.
Lahaina Tusi

Lahaina M. Tusi, MPH

Lahaina M. Tusi, MPH, is a Behavioral Health Counselor at the Asian Counseling and Referral Service in Seattle, Washington. She serves Samoans and other Pacific Islanders residing in King County by helping her clients meet such needs as behavioral counseling, housing, food bank services, interpreting, and citizenship issues. She also collaborates with other community groups to prevent diabetes and high blood pressure among Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. For Native-CHART, she serves on the Community Action Board.

ADMINISTRATIVE CORE

Dedra Buchwald

Dedra Buchwald, MD

Dedra Buchwald, MD, is a Professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University, where she directs the Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH). She is also the Founding Director of Partnerships for Native Health, one of the largest research organizations in the nation devoted to the health and healthcare of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Dr. Buchwald has a clinical and research background in public health and primary care, with special emphasis on the health of Native peoples. Most of her work involves behavioral interventions that aim to reduce or eliminate population health disparities. Her scientific approach is rooted in the social determinants of health and guided by the principles of community-based participatory research. As the Contact Principal Investigator of Native-CHART, she leads the Administrative Core, which supports all logistical, fiscal, and field operations. She also co-chairs the program’s Executive Committee, which monitors the progress and outcomes of Native-CHART intervention projects and governs all study activities.
Spero Manson

Spero Manson, PhD

Spero M. Manson, PhD (Pembina Chippewa), is a Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry and the Director of the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health at the Colorado School of Public Health on the University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus. At the same institution, he also holds the Colorado Trust Chair in American Indian Health and serves as the Associate Dean of Research. Dr. Manson’s programs include 10 national centers whose portfolio of sponsored research totals $63 million. His research activities involve program development and training in collaboration with 250 Native communities that span rural, urban, reservation, and village settings across the U.S. Dr. Manson is widely acknowledged as one of the nation’s leading authorities on American Indian and Alaska Native health, having published more than 230 peer-reviewed articles on physical, mental, and behavioral health in Native people of all ages. He has received numerous awards, including election to the National Academy of Medicine (2002), the Herbert W. Nickens Award of the Association of American Medical Colleges (2006), and the Excellence Award of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (2008). As the Co-Principal Investigator of Native-CHART, Dr. Manson leads the Consortium Core, which supports participation in locally implemented intervention projects and enhances outreach to diverse stakeholders through seven regional Satellite Centers. He also co-chairs the program’s Executive Committee, which monitors the progress and outcomes of Native-CHART intervention projects and governs all study activities.
Nicole Shearer

Nicole Shearer

My name is Nicole Shearer, and I’m a Research Coordinator with Partnerships for Native Health. I currently coordinate two center grants: Native-Controlling Hypertension and Risks through Technology (Native-CHART), which aims to reduce hypertension in American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders; and the Native Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center in Minority Aging Research (NAD-RCMAR), which provides training to junior-level investigators in ADRD research. Recently, I completed an MPH in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice at the University of Washington, with a focus on community-based participatory research and evaluation. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, camping, cooking, pottery, and spending time with my family and friends.
Kory Hardcastle

Kory Hardcastle

Kory Hardcastle is a Research Assistant for the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Outreach, Recruitment, and Education (ADRC ORE) team and the Native-Controlling Hypertension and Risk through Technology (Native-CHART) project. After graduating from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology, Kory served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at the Child Abuse Prevention Center in North Highlands, CA. Kory moved back to Washington after completing his service term to be closer to family and because his partner was accepted into the MPA program at the University of Washington (UW). He aspires to attend graduate school at the UW and obtain a PhD in Developmental Psychology after gaining more experience at Partnerships for Native Health. His research interests include the Theory of Mind and how caregiver attachment styles influence psychosocial development.

METHODOLOGY CORE

Stephen Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz, PhD

Stephen Schwartz holds a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Washington School of Public Health, where he is a full professor. For most of his career he has studied the causes of various types of cancers, principally as a faculty member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. In early 2013, Stephen joined Partnerships for Native Health part-time as director of the Methods Core. In that role he leads a group of highly talented epidemiologists and biostatisticians who support program faculty in developing grant applications, designing and implementing study protocols, analyzing data, and writing manuscripts. When he is not working he plays the French horn in the Northwest Symphony Orchestra, attend plays and lectures with his lovely wife of 31 years, and hangs out with various combinations of his three young adult daughters.
Clemma Muller

Clemma Muller, PhD, MS

Clemma Muller, PhD, MS, is an Associate Professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University. She has more than 15 years of experience as an epidemiologist and biostatistician engaged in study design, quantitative methods, and causal inference in health disparities research involving American Indian and Alaska Native populations. Her expertise includes the design and execution of analytic methods for community- and clinic-based behavioral interventions. For Native-CHART, Dr. Muller co-directs the Methods Core and serves as the Methods Lead for two intervention projects: “Chickasaw Healthy Eating Environments in Retail Stores” (CHEERS) and “Engaging NHPIs and Activating Communities to Take Steps” (ENACTS).
Amber Fyfe-Johnson

Amber Fyfe-Johnson, ND, PhD

Amber Fyfe-Johnson, ND, PhD, is an Assistant Research Professor at the Initiative for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH) at Washington State University. Her research focuses on obesity prevention in childhood and adolescence, pediatric health disparities, and quantitative methods. As a member of the Native-CHART Methods Core, she uses her clinical and research experience to contextualize research designs and generate robust quantitative approaches to scientific questions. She conducts and interprets the results of statistical models and assesses their applicability to culturally relevant research and clinical practice.
Robert Rosenman

Robby Rosenman, PhD

Robby Rosenman, PhD, is a Professor of Economics at Washington State University. Although his primary research area is health economics, during his 35 years at the university he has also worked in such diverse subspecialties as financial, environmental, and educational economics; econometric modeling; and industrial organization. Dr. Rosenman’s research approach is to formulate a comprehensive empirical analysis based on formal economic models grounded in rigorous theory. For Native-CHART he leads the economic analysis for all three Research Projects (CHEERS, BP-ICAN, and ENACTS).
Jason Gari Umans

Jason Gari Umans, MD, PhD

Jason Gari Umans, MD, PhD, is a hypertension specialist, nephrologist, clinical pharmacologist, and translational scientist. His work spans multiple domains, from basic laboratory work to bedside care delivery to community- and population-based research. Over the past 12 years, his primary research focus has been the staggering disparities in cardiovascular disease and related disorders that affect American Indian and Alaska Native populations nationwide. For Native-CHART, Dr. Umans participates in the Methods Core. In this capacity he collaborates with investigators on all three Native-CHART research projects to ensure that their work is both methodologically rigorous and clinically relevant to the provision of cutting-edge hypertension care.
Ashley Railey

Ashley Railey, PhD

Ashley Railey, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in health economics for the Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH) at Washington State University. Her research areas include health economics, development economics, and behavioral economics, with a focus in rural and Indigenous populations. As part of the Methods Core for Native-CHART and NCARE, she engages in study design, quantitative analyses based in economic theory, and econometric modeling of costs and health outcomes.

DISSEMINATION CORE

Amanda Boyd

Amanda Boyd, PhD

Amanda Boyd, PhD (Dane-zaa, Metis), is an Associate Professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and a Co-Director of the Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health at Washington State University. Her research focuses on building the tools and theory necessary for successful communication of health risks among rural and Indigenous populations. For Native-CHART, she assesses the most effective and culturally appropriate methods to communicate information on CVD and stroke to American Indians and Alaska Natives. She also works with team members to disseminate information on study results.

CONSORTIUM CORE

Consortium Core Lead

Spero Manson

Spero M. Manson, PhD

Spero M. Manson, PhD (Pembina Chippewa), is a Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry and the Director of the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health at the Colorado School of Public Health on the University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus. At the same institution, he also holds the Colorado Trust Chair in American Indian Health and serves as the Associate Dean of Research. Dr. Manson’s programs include 10 national centers whose portfolio of sponsored research totals $63 million. His research activities involve program development and training in collaboration with 250 Native communities that span rural, urban, reservation, and village settings across the U.S. Dr. Manson is widely acknowledged as one of the nation’s leading authorities on American Indian and Alaska Native health, having published more than 230 peer-reviewed articles on physical, mental, and behavioral health in Native people of all ages. He has received numerous awards, including election to the National Academy of Medicine (2002), the Herbert W. Nickens Award of the Association of American Medical Colleges (2006), and the Excellence Award of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (2008). As the Co-Principal Investigator of Native-CHART, Dr. Manson leads the Consortium Core, which supports participation in locally implemented intervention projects and enhances outreach to diverse stakeholders through seven regional Satellite Centers. He also co-chairs the program’s Executive Committee, which monitors the progress and outcomes of Native-CHART intervention projects and governs all study activities.

Alaska Satellite Center

Dillard

Denise A. Dillard, PhD

Denise A. Dillard, PhD (Inupiaq Eskimo), is a Professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and a Co-Director of the Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health at Washington State University. She also serves on the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board of the Indian Health Service. She also serves on the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board of the Indian Health Service. For Native-CHART, Dr. Dillard is a Co-Leader of the Alaska Satellite Center, “Blood Pressure: Improving Control among Alaska Native People” (BP-ICAN), a multilevel prevention trial for Alaska Native people diagnosed with hypertension, and the Engaging NHPIs and Activating Communities to Take Steps (ENACTS) / Healthy Hearts Among Pacific Islanders (HHAPI) project.
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Charlene Apok

Pacific Northwest Satellite Center

Gary Ferguson

Gary Ferguson, ND

Dr. Gary Ferguson is an Associate Professor at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and the Director of Outreach and Engagement at the Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health at Washington State University. Originally from the Shumagin Islands community of Sand Point, Alaska, he is Unangax̂ (Aleut) and an enrolled member of the Qagan Tayagunin Tribe. Formally trained as a Naturopathic Physician, Dr. Ferguson has a passion for healthy communities and a population health approach. He is the co-producer of the Store Outside Your Door – Alaska Native cultural food traditions around how to hunt, fish, gather, and grow. He also currently has several volunteer and professional organization positions, including with the Alaska Traditional Foods Community Advisory Board, Alaska Growth Capital CDFI Advisory Board, the Arctic Council Working Group/Sustainable Development Working Group/Arctic Human Health Expert Group, Alaska Association of Naturopathic Physicians (Member/Past President), American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (Member), American Indian Cancer Foundation (Board Director, Chair), State of Alaska Pain & Opioid Management ECHO (Team Member), The Aleut Corporation (Board Director, Treasurer/Past President), University of Alaska Master of Publich Health Advisory Committee, and Washington State University Center for Native American Health Sciences Indigenous Healer Cohort.

Rocky Mountain Satellite Center

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Jennifer Williams

Northern Range Satellite Center

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Tiffany Beckman, MD, MPH

Tiffany Beckman, MD, MPH (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe), is the first American Indian endocrinologist in the U.S. and an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches graduate courses in nutrition. For Native-CHART, Dr. Beckman leads the Northern Range Satellite Center and investigates vascular risk reduction.
Juanita Espinosa

Juanita Espinosa

Juanita Espinosa, BA (Spirit Lake Nation), is a Community Program Specialist for the Northern Range Satellite Center. She assists Native-CHART researchers with community outreach. Ms. Espinosa has decades of experience as a community organizer working with health centers and tribes in Minnesota. She currently works with Dr. Tiffany Beckman at the University of Minnesota on study of obesity entitled “Neural Correlates of Food Reward in American Indian Women.” She has also worked to educate the public about Native art and to build a support system for Native artists in Minnesota. She has served on the boards of numerous community and arts-related organizations.

Southwest Satellite Center

Tassy Parker

Tassy Parker, PhD, RN

Tassy Parker, PhD, RN (Seneca, Beaver Clan), is a Professor of Family and Community Medicine and of Nursing at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, as well as the Director of the University’s Center for Native American Health in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She conducts community-based participatory research on health issues important to her Native partners, primarily in mental and behavioral health. For Native-CHART, she co-leads theSouthwest Satellite Center, which is housed in the Center for Native American Health. This Satellite Center supports the work of the Consortium and Dissemination Cores by engaging local tribal leaders and allied stakeholders in creating a culturally relevant agenda for education and research. In keeping with the aims of Native-CHART, this agenda will focus on hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and related conditions.
Steve Tenure

Steven P. Verney, PhD

Steven P. Verney, PhD (Tsimshian), is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico. His conducts research on mental health disparities in collaboration with American Indian and Alaska Native communities. He is interested in the role of culture in cognition and assessment. including quality of education, language, bilingualism, and processes of acculturation and cultural adaptation. For Native-CHART, Dr. Verney co-leads the Southwest Satellite Center with Dr. Tassy Parker. In this role he collaborates with local American Indian communities on conducting needs assessments relevant to hypertension and disseminating information on hypertension interventions for community members.
Norman Cooeyate

Norman J. Cooeyate

Norman J. Cooeyate, BA (Shiwi), is a Cultural Engagement Liaison at the Center for Native American Health, a division of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Born and raised on the Zuni Indian Reservation, Mr. Cooeyate has made a full circle by returning to his native community. He contributes his experience, training, and education to improve the health and welfare of his beloved community, focusing on basic living conditions in his Pueblo and in surrounding Indigenous communities through community engagement and partnerships. For Native-CHART, Mr. Cooeyate provides logistical support for Dr. Tassy Parker and Dr. Steve Verney, Co-Leaders of the Southwest Satellite Center.

Plains Satellite Center

Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan

Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan, DrPH, MPH

Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan, DrPH, MPH (Choctaw), is an Associate Professor of Health Promotion Sciences, the George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair in Community Medicine, and the Assistant Dean of Community Research at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her research interests include community-based participatory research, chronic disease prevention, dissemination and implementation studies, and Native health. In particular, her work aims to create healthy food environments in tribal nations. For Native-CHART, Dr. Jernigan leads “Chickasaw Healthy Eating Environments in Retail Stores” (CHEERS) and the Plains Satellite Center.

Southeast Satellite Center

Goins Turner

R. Turner Goins, PhD, MS

R. Turner Goins is the Ambassador Jeanette Hyde Distinguished Professor in the College of Health and Human Sciences at Western Carolina University. She received her MS and PhD in gerontology from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and she completed a post doctoral research fellowship funded by the National Institute on Aging at Duke University Medical School. Her training has been complemented by intensive mentoring by leaders in the field of American Indian and Alaska Native health. For the last 17 years, her research has addressed aging and health-related issues among American Indians and Alaska Natives. Dr. Goins has more than 70 peer-reviewed publications, of which 43 focus on Native health. Her research has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and local and regional foundations. To date, she has mentored 26 junior faculty and graduate students. She recently received a Fulbright Award to examine aging issues among the Māori of New Zealand, where she will be in residence at the University of Auckland from February through June 2018.
Pam Myers

Pam Myers, MS

Pam Myers, BS, MS, is the Administrative Program Coordinator for the Southeast Satellite Center at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. She received graduate fellowship honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She currently works under the direction of Dr. Turner Goins, Director of the Southeast Satellite Center.  Ms. Myers began her position in 2017 and assists in coordinating the research objectives of Native-CHART for the Southeast region.  Her husband Charlie is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and they have one teenage son, Camden.  Ms. Myers enjoys reading, traveling, family gatherings, and enjoying her vast backyard: the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains.