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Partnerships for Native Health Washington State University

Community Outreach Summer 2018

This summer, we expanded our community outreach efforts by attending national as well as regional pow wows. We were honored to participate in the Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; the Seafair Powwow in Seattle, Washington; and the Gathering at the Falls Powwow in Spokane, Washington.

Across these events, we administered more than 400 needs assessments to find out which health topics matter most to our communities.

We look forward to further broadening our reach and learning more about American Indian and Alaska Native communities across the country.

Savannah Smith Nominated for Local Impact Award

We want to send a hearty congratulations to Savannah Smith at the University of Colorado Denver’s Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health! Savannah’ was nominated for a Local Impact Award at the Annual Heroes in Health Awards Gala sponsored by the National Indian Health Board on September 19 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Savannah was nominated for her exceptional work in coordinating the 2018 run for the Stronghold Fun Run and Hypertension Symposium held this past June in Denver, Colorado. Savannah’s work supported several wonderful speakers, encouraged fitness and fun for over 150 community members, gathered 70 assessments, and raised over $2500 for the event’s nonprofit partner, the Stronghold Society.

Savannah is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and has always been interested in working with Native communities. Her commitment to public health was inspired by an introductory course in this field during her undergraduate studies at Mills College in California. After finishing her studies, she moved back home to Colorado and began volunteering with the Diabetes and Wellness program at Denver Indian Health and Family Services. She then accepted a job with the University of Colorado’s Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, where she has worked for the past two years. So far in her career, Savannah has encountered a critical need for Native researchers, clinicians, and health promoters. As she says,

“We need more researchers to really connect with and have experience working with Native communities so that the relationships, the research, and the health outcomes are better aligned with those communities.”

We are very proud of Savannah, and we look forward to seeing more of her amazing work with our Native communities!

Reimagining Graduate Study in the Humanities

April 24, 2018 – Washington State University (WSU), which houses Partnerships for Native Health, was recently awarded a small grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support an initiative entitled “Reimagining the 21st Century Land Grant PhD.” This interdisciplinary project will convene a group of faculty, staff, and graduate students at WSU, who will consider how graduate education in the humanities can better support the university’s mission of improving access to resources, inclusion of population groups, and democratic engagement. Members of Partnership for Native Health will be part of the group.

Other participants include Ryan Booth, a graduate student in history and an enrolled member of the Upper Skagit Tribe. “Innovation is the key to human experience,” Mr. Booth said, “and I’m excited to participate in this creative process.” For more information on the new initiative, see this article in the WSU Insider.

Summer Research Training Institute

Members of our staff recently enjoyed three rewarding and productive weeks at the Summer Research Training Institute in Portland, Oregon. Housed at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, funded by the National Institutes of Health, and co-sponsored by the Center for Healthy Communities at the Oregon Health & Science University, the Summer Institute features an intensive three-week curriculum designed for professionals working in American Indian and Alaska Native health. This year it ran from June 13 to July 1. » More …

Preparing Our Future Native American Health Leaders

In this work, you are dealing with people’s spirits. You will make other people sick if you aren’t well when you try to do healing work with others.

— Angela Fernandez, UW School of Social Work

American Indians and Alaska Natives are under-represented among professionals in science and healthcare. One approach to increasing the number of Native people in these fields was showcased at a March 2014 conference at the University of Washington (UW): Preparing Our Future Native American Health Leaders. The goal was to encourage and equip Native students for careers in healthcare. Native undergraduate and graduate students from UW, Washington State University, Northwest Indian College, and other local community colleges participated in this three-day event.

The Preparing Our Future Native American Health Leaders conference focused on helping students build practical skills in areas such as time management, preparation for the GRE and MCAT tests, and use of library services. The keynote speaker was Ada Deer, MSW, a Menominee tribal member and activist who oversaw the Bureau of Indian Affairs from 1993 to 1997 as Assistant Secretary of the Interior. Before this appointment, she worked tirelessly and successfully on behalf of the Menominee Tribe to win back federal recognition, a status achieved in 1973. Ms. Deer encouraged Native students to “barrel through any barriers” they find themselves up against, including limitations based on gender and cultural heritage.

» More …

Announcing Community Grant Funding Available from Native People For Cancer Control

Community Grant Funding Available from Native People For Cancer Control

Applications Due 5 PM PST on Monday, March 16, 2015

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Native People for Cancer Control is a project of Partnerships for Native Health at the University of Washington. Funded by the National Cancer Institute, its mission is to enhance existing relationships and build new bridges for community-based participatory research, training, and education to improve the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives. » More …

LifeCenter Northwest

Local outreach efforts just achieved a big success in raising awareness of organ donation in Native communities. Although most people waiting for organ transplants belong to racial and ethnic minorities, relatively few organ donors are minorities themselves. This mismatch between supply and demand is particularly acute for Native Americans – because the best organ donor for a Native person is often another Native. LifeCenter Northwest, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation, partners with more than 200 hospitals to serve families and communities across Washington, Montana, northern Idaho, and Alaska. Their staff works with families to help them decide whether to choose organ donation. Members of Partnerships for Native Health developed a training for the organization’s family support staff to help them understand Native beliefs and concerns about organ donation and transplantation. This cultural sensitivity training has just been recognized in the organization’s annual report. Thanks to robust outreach efforts by LifeCenter Northwest, the number of Native Americans who donated organs and tissue increased by 32% in 2014! We’re proud of this achievement, and we congratulate Dedra Buchwald, Meghan Jernigan, Abigail Echo-Hawk, Cindy Gamble, and Ka’imi Sinclair for their contribution to addressing Native health disparities.

New Project at P4NH

Partnerships for Native Health is excited to kick off the new year by implementing a new alcohol treatment project. We are partnering with three communities across the West on one of the largest substance abuse intervention studies ever conducted with Native people. Our study sample consists of 400 American Indian and Alaska Native adults. Our goal is to determine whether a culturally tailored version of a treatment called motivational incentives (where people receive rewards for not using alcohol) can reduce alcohol abuse and lead to other important outcomes.

Conference Update

We are happy to announce that we are hosting a small conference for Native teens this February 15th (Seattle Public Schools Winter Break).  This will also be our final comic book site and we are hoping to have around 20 teens.

NPCC Grant Announcement

Native People for Cancer Control:

Due date: February 1, 2013
To date, Native People for Cancer Control has funded 46 community grants totaling $121,499. We’re pleased to announce our funding opportunity for 2013.
Grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded to tribes, tribal organizations, and community-based organizations to address issues in cancer education, prevention, screening, treatment, and survivorship among American Indians and Alaska Natives living in the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, North Dakota, and South Dakota. » More …