Rooted in the Mountains: Valuing our Common Ground emphasizes the connection between local and traditional knowledge with health and environmental issues. This is an interdisciplinary forum where enthnography, literature, art, music, Native and Western science converge.
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Stroke and cardiovascular disease are leading causes of death among Alaska Native and American Indian people. High blood pressure is the main cause of these two serious health issues. Southcentral Foundation wants to find ways to help manage blood pressure (BP). One way to help manage high BP is home monitoring.
Southcentral Foundation Research led an accuracy study on two types of home BP monitors. One type was a wrist cuff and the other was an upper arm cuff. One hundred Alaska Native and American Indian people with high BP volunteered for this study. Research measured accuracy of the devices by comparing them to a clinic BP monitor. Participants also used each of the BP monitors at home for a week. Participants reported which BP monitor they preferred, and what they liked and didn’t like about each one. The results will be used to help select a device for a larger study.
“I’m sure there’s a research study out there where they supplied cuffs for blood pressure monitoring to a certain number of people and how that affected their blood pressure over time. That would be really interesting for us to look into and apply.”- Study Participant
The goal of the larger study is to learn if using a home BP monitor helps manage high BP. We expect to enroll 500 volunteer participants with high BP and place them into two groups. One group will receive care as it is currently delivered. The other group will use a home BP monitor, and receive text message reminders and additional educational materials. The groups will be compared to learn if monitoring BP at home has an impact on maintaining healthy BP levels. This study is currently being reviewed by the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board.
The overall goal of ENACTS is to offer hypertension management education to Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Western Washington to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
(Left to Right) Katie Nelson, Ka’Imi Sinclair, Dan Pritchard, and Nicole Ellison Lee
Ka`imi Sinclair, PhD, MPH (left center) is an Assistant Professor at WSU and project lead of the “Engaging NHPIs and Activating Communities to Take Steps” (ENACTS) study. Dr. Sinclair’s research focuses on the development and evaluation of culturally tailored chronic disease management programs for priority populations. She works with Native Americans across the U.S., Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Hawai`i and on the mainland, and with Latinos in Western Washington.
Katie Nelson, BS (left) is the ENACTS Research Coordinator and oversees the daily management of the study and training of study staff. Her primary research interest is in nutrition and promoting healthy eating among health disparity populations. Outside of the office, she likes to cook, spend time with friends, and travel.
Nicole Ellison Lee, MPH (right) is the ENACTS recruiter and assessor. Nicole is a graduate of the Master’s in Public Health program at University of Hawaii and lives in Olympia with her husband and baby Carlisle.
Dan Pritchard, MEd (right center) is the ENACTS Peer Educator and will deliver the educational classes. Dan is a retired teacher and taught in American Samoa and Washington. He has also worked on several health-related projects.
One in three Americans has high blood pressure, a “silent killer” that often has no obvious symptoms. Nevertheless, physical factors and lifestyle choices can aggravate the risk of this condition. Left untreated, high blood pressure is a significant contributor to heart attack, stroke, and other health problems. Fortunately, proper management of blood pressure can increase the likelihood of a long and healthy life.
Dr. Charles Magruder will discuss the use of a team-based approach to achieving better blood pressure outcomes at the community level. He will review the latest blood pressure guidelines and share resources that can help patients and medical professionals collaboratively manage blood pressure. He will also focus on the MAP framework of the American Heart Association and discuss ways to implement self-monitoring of blood pressure in community settings.
NATIVE-Chart has three active research projects that are a part of Native-CHART’s effort to help mange the risk factors for heart disease in American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders with hypertension.
Blood Pressure-Improving Control among Alaska Native People (BP-ICAN) is a 12-month multi-level prevention trial that uses culturally tailored text messages targeting hypertension to reduce the risk of CVD and stroke in urban and rural Alaska Native communities.
Engaging Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders and Activating Communities to Take Steps (ENACTS) tests a multi-level, culturally tailored intervention to manage hypertension. The intervention uses an educational curriculum supported by text messaging to promote healthy diets, traditional foods, medication adherence, physical activity, and smoking cessation among Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders in western Washington State.