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Center for Clinical and Epidemiological Research (CCER)

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Current Projects, Partnership for Native Health

Alaska Workplace Wellness tests the efficacy of Workplace Solutions, a package of workplace disease prevention and health promotion strategies, policies, programs, and benefits. Researchers are partnering with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to adapt and implement this evidence-based Workplace Solutions disease prevention and health promotion intervention package.

Black Hills Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Project provides American Indian participants with a web-based chronic disease management program that is culturally tailored and based in their homes. Participants receive computer hardware, software, and training to help them to adhere to therapies prescribed to manage their diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol, improve their diet and exercise, and stop smoking. The program is managed remotely by a nurse trained in diabetes self-care.

Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Health Disparities (EXPORT) is a partnership between the University of Washington and the University of Colorado Denver. Six research projects at the University of Washington are investigating:

Collaborative to Improve Native Cancer Outcomes (CINCO) Traditionally, studies of vulnerable populations have focused on specific disease disparities targeted at the individual level. The Collaborative to Improve Native Cancer Outcomes seeks to implement a different approach to cancer outcomes, in that it considers diverse cancer disparities as systemic disorders of society. The key factors targeted in this method range from the micro level to the macro level, from genetic vulnerabilities to health policies.

Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS) is a collaboration between the University of Washington, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, and diverse local and regional research and community partners. The Community Outreach and Research Translation Core is one of the Institute's 11 cores. It is a partnership of American Indian and Alaska Native communities, healthcare providers in rural communities, and the Group Health Center for Health Studies.

ITHS: About the Program
ITHS: Tribal Regulation of Research
ITHS: Tribal Research Consultation
ITHS: Current Projects

Native People for Cancer Control (NPCC) works with Tribal community members, leaders, researchers, clinicians, educators, and outreach workers to address cancer education, training, research and planning.

Native Art for Cancer
Native People for Cancer Control and Native artists are working together on the Native Art for Cancer project. This project features art on brochures, posters, and printed materials to raise cancer awareness and increase cancer prevention activities. Visual art is a positive and powerful way to deliver cancer education in Native communities. It connects researchers and the community, making people more receptive to information about cancer. By sharing their creativity and stories, these Native artists and Native People for Cancer Control are helping fight cancer in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Native People for Cancer Control: Community Grants
Native People for Cancer Control invites applications addressing issues in cancer education, prevention, screening, and treatment among American Indians and Alaska Natives living in the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Applications from community organizations, groups, or individuals may propose projects involving cancer education, advocacy, prevention, screening, and treatment. Grants may also be used to support conference agendas that examine key issues relating to cancer and Native populations. Examples of such projects include the following:

Community Grant Contact Info: Carrie Nass:

Native People for Cancer Control: Native Comic Book Project harnesses the accessibility of this art form to give youth a way to improve the health of their generation. In the Native Comic Book Project, young people write and draw about their personal experiences and interests. Trained instructors introduce topics and basic principles of comic book art, help youth write their manuscripts, then create and celebrate the comic books. The comic book team also evaluates the success of the project. Youth can create comic books on diverse health topics such as healthy living, food and physical fitness, disease prevention, tobacco use, cancer risk, and sun safety.

Native Elder Research Center is one of six Resource Centers on Minority Aging Research. A collaboration between the University of Washington and the University of Colorado Denver, the Center's mission is to improve the health status and healthcare of older American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Native Investigator Development Core of the Native Elder Research Center focuses on enhancing the research capabilities and skills of American Indian and Alaska Native junior faculty members to conduct research pertinent to Native elders.

Native Women's Wellness
American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people experience striking disparities in mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to the general U.S. population. Among women of childbearing age, early detection of chronic diseases can be missed because the type of medical care they seek is typically focused on their reproductive health care needs. Yet, chronic disease risk factors, such as smoking and obesity, are common in this age group and can be treated when evidence-based interventions are offered.

Strong Heart Stroke Study
The Strong Heart Stroke Study (SHSS), funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is a multi-center study of individuals who have previously participated in the Strong Heart Study - a cohort being examined for cardiovascular health outcomes. The SHSS is examining 1000 participants. People who are in the study have a brain MRI, fill out questionnaires, have a physical exam and blood draw, have their physical performance measured, and have an evaluation of their thinking abilities (cognition).
The field sites for the SHSS are the same as the Strong Heart Study field sites - located in Phoenix, Arizona at MedStar Research Institute, in Lawton, Oklahoma at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and in Timber Lake, South Dakota at Missouri Breaks Industries Research Inc. The SHSS field teams are very experienced and have been working with these regional American Indian communities for more than 20 years!
As we have traveled and met with the communities that are part of the Strong Heart Study, we have been greeted with great hospitality and enthusiasm for this new Strong Heart Stroke Study, which will document for the first time the prevalence of brain disease in American Indian populations. The main scientific outcomes of the SHSS will be an estimate of the prevalence of cerebrovascular disease, an assessment of how risk factors are related to cerebrovascular disease and documentation of how closely cerebrovascular disease is related to cognitive impairment.
Dedra Buchwald (PI), Steve Verney (Project Lead) and Andrea Krinke (Project Coordinator) have been working diligently over the past two years and are happy to report that study recruitment and data collection is going very well!
To learn more about the Strong Heart Study, please visit their website:
For more information, please contact Andrea Krinke (

Tribal Colleges and Universities Organ Donation Awareness The goals of this project are to increase awareness of the need for organ donation and transplantation among American Indians and to increase the number of American Indians who register to donate organs. To accomplish these goals, we are partnering with Tribal Colleges and Universities in Washington, Montana, North Dakota, and Alaska to create educational materials and organ donation awareness programs on campuses and in the surrounding communities.