Abstract: OVERALL - Strengthening Indigenous Health and Science Research: NW NARCH Program
In response to the national NARCH programmatic objectives, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
has established the NW NARCH to form a tribal-academic partnership for health research focused on
eliminating racial health disparities and will continue this partnership with this application. The NW tribal
communities represented by the Board have a long track record of coordinated efforts to improve their health
status. Our tribal-academic partnership will build a wide-reaching and multi-layered infrastructure to increase
the skills of AI/AN researchers, and address health problems of critical importance to the tribes regionally, as
well as those priority health issues of AI/ANs nationwide.
In this application, we have defined multiple aims in two training projects that are consistent with the
national NARCH programmatic emphasis. For our graduate and undergraduate support fellowship grant
(Project 1), our key aim is to support research training that is conducted in a scientifically rigorous training
program, in partnership with accredited programs locally and regionally, so that trainees will develop skills to
conduct population health sciences research and address health-related issues of major importance to tribal
people. For Project 2, we aim to reach further up ‘the pipeline’ and provide population sciences training and
hands-on research experiences for tribal high school seniors and juniors in an enrichment program that
includes hands-on, mentored research - and will continue to nurture them as they progress in academia. This
is a new area for our NARCH, but the Board, OHSU, and PSU faculty and consultants on this grant have vast
experience with this demographic group. The specific aims for each project are presented in detail in their
individual grant sections. These proposals are in exact alignment with the NIH Strategic Plan for Tribal Health
Research FY 2019-2023.
Impact: We have planned an exciting set of projects in collaboration with university partners at OHSU and
PSU, with Advisory Board members, and with highly qualified and experienced (mostly tribal) consultants. Our
plans build on strengths we developed in the first ten cycles of NARCH funding. We have made some
innovative changes for this round of applications and are pleased that our projects will include involvement of
AI/AN personnel in key roles—including former NARCH-funded students and fellows in key roles. Our
program leadership is experienced in AI/AN health research, our advisory committee is enthusiastic about
assisting our efforts, and our tribal communities are fully supportive of our plans. We predict that our program
will address some of the health disparities experienced by AI/AN communities, and that we will help bridge the
gap between academia and the tribal communities through our diverse activities.
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