The Cherokee Native American Research Center for Health continues the productive research training and
capacity-building partnership between the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) and the
Cherokee Nation. This specific proposal is a product of intense consultation between the Cherokee Nation and
OUHSC, which has resulted in the final structure of Cherokee NARCH and the final roster of projects. Initial
conversations, including conferences and in-person meetings, between the key troibal and university
stakeholders focused on the identification of priorities for the Cherokee Nation. The group agreed to use its
Community-Campus Advisory Counsel to establish the selection criteria for the highest priority projects. These
were required to have the following elements, in order of priority: acceptable to the Cherokee Nation and
focused on the priority area for tribal leadership, relevant to health disparities in the American Indian population
in our setting, and consistent with tribal research agendas and priorities. Selected projects had to be judged as
being scientifically sound and potentially NIH-fundable and equally importantly, have the potential to build trust.
This strategy allowed Cherokee Nation to exercise its sovereign right to participate in capacity development,
faculty development and research projects deemed most relevant by the tribe. The plan set forth in this
application will advance these priorities through four interconnected aims: 1) To develop a collaborative and
productive partnership, grounded in a foundation of mutual trust and respect, for prioritizing and advancing
research involving the Cherokee Nation, OUHSC and other tribal partners in our state; 2)To establish robust
research-oriented, capacity building and faculty enhancement programs that will establish a cadre of American
Indian/Alaska Native scientists and health professionals who are meaningfully engaged in reducing tribal
health disparities; 3) To conduct collaborative tribal-academic studies aimed at elucidating and remedying
American Indian/Alaska Native health disparities; and 4) To coordinate Cherokee NARCH activities with those
of our other collaborative NIH awards to identify synergies between projects.
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