Sacred Life

Center of Excellence

The Exploratory Center of Excellence in Minority Health and Health Disparities' "Center for Health Research with Aberdeen Area Tribes" is a partnership between the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine (SSOM), Sanford Research/USD, Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board (GPTCHB) and Sinte Gleska University (SGU) that is addressing health disparities among Native American people in the Aberdeen Area and facilitating health disparity research through training and education. This partnership received funding from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) for a collaborative grant submitted to establish a joint National Institute for Minority Health Disparities Exploratory Center of Excellence (COE).

Through these partnerships, the grant has the following specific aims:

  1. Advance the science directed towards impacting health disparities through the conduct of a significant study on a treatment for urinary incontinence in American Indian Woman and the prevention of teen pregnancy among Northern Plains American Indian teens.
  2. Unite resources available within the partnering institutions to conduct five interrelated activities supportive of Native American students wishing to pursue careers in health professions and/or research. These include: a) support and coordination of an undergraduate Native American retention program, b) establishment of summer undergraduate research experiences (SURE) for Native Americans, c) development of a health disparities educational seminar series, d) distribution of cultural awareness materials developed for the research community, and e) support of Native American cultural committee activities.
  3. Increase the dissemination and utilization of scientific and health information relevant to health diversity populations. Feedback loops have been designed into each component of the submission to assure the results of research conducted are shared and applied within the reservation environment and that there is a broader public awareness of both health disparities and the work of the Center. The Community Outreach Core will also provide technical assistance, training and support to Tribal health and physical activities programs to conduct Community Child Health Needs Assessments and to develop Tribally-tailored programs to prevent and reduce childhood obesity.

Cores

There are four cores that make up the COE: Administration, Research Education and Training, Research, and Community Partnership and Outreach. These cores work together to address health disparities among tribes from the Aberdeen area. Through the development of useful research projects, programs that promote and retain Native American undergraduates at USD pursuing health professional degrees, undergraduate summer research programs, holding annual healthcare careers days for middle and high school students on the Rosebud reservation, and developing truly collaborative relationships with tribes, the grantees strive to decrease the high rates of health disparities impacting Aberdeen Area tribes.