Plenary 3: James F. and Sara T. Fries Foundation and CDC Foundation Award and Lecture

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0.75 Advanced

A 1999 report issued by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences indicated that, in the prior year, of the 30,000+ research grants and contracts awarded by the NIH only 9 were led by American Indian or Alaska Native investigators. This presentation describes remarkable advances in increasing the representation of such scientists among those whose work is sponsored by the world’s leading biomedical research agency. It includes lessons learned and their extension to preparing an even wider array of underrepresented, disadvantaged researchers to successfully compete for support of their work and to become leaders in their respective fields. 

1. Identify an effective mix of didactic and experiential methods by which to engage, retain, and equip early-stage investigators to pursue scientifically rigorous, cultural responsive public health research;
2. Recognize the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and skills that increase the likelihood of receiving support to undertake sponsored research, and
3. Broaden approaches to evaluating the processes and outcomes of successful research career development programs.

Dr. Deborah Fortune, Ph.D., CHES, FAAHE


North Carolina Central University

Deborah A. Fortune, Ph.D., CHES, is an associate professor in the Department of Health Education at North Carolina Central University and is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist. Prior to her current position, Dr. Fortune was the director of the National HIV & CSHE Project with the American Association for Health Education. She has been a faculty member at the following institutions: East Tennessee State University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Marymount University. Dr. Fortune received her B.S. degree in Biology from Mississippi University for Women, M.S. degree in Community Health Education from the University of Southern Mississippi, and her Ph.D. in Public Health Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Fortune has provided instructor training in comprehensive school health education (Growing Healthy curriculum and Teenage Health Teaching Modules), HIV/AIDS for African Americans, youth violence prevention, and cultural diversity in health education. Her research interests include HIV and sexual health among African American college women, youth violence prevention, professional preparation in health education, and faculty and youth mentoring. She has published and made numerous presentations on those topics.

Viktor Bovbjerg


Viktor is on the Board of Directors of the James F and Sarah T Fries Foundation and is Professor of Epidemiology in the Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan


Dr. Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan is an Indigenous (Choctaw) community-based participatory researcher, trained in intervention science, combining research with action for social change. Dr. Jernigan received her doctorate in public health from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular disease prevention at Stanford University, where she also completed a degree in documentary filmmaking. She has been the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on 10 National Institutes of Health-funded trials to improve Indigenous community health including the THRIVE study, the first randomized trial of healthy makeovers in tribally-owned convenience stores, and the FRESH study, a farm-to-school intervention to support food sovereignty in Osage Nation. Dr. Jernigan directs the Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences where she is a Professor in the Department of Rural Health. In all of her work she has fostered long-term mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous communities that promote tribal sovereignty and build the capacity of Indigenous communities to improve health.

Spero Manson


Spero Manson, PhD, presents the effective mix of didactic and experiential methods to engage, retain and equip early-stage investigators to pursue scientifically rigorous, culturally responsive public health research.Manson has published 280 articles and book chapters on the assessment, epidemiology, treatment, and prevention of physical, alcohol, drug, and mental health problems over the developmental life span of Native people. Dr. Manson is widely acknowledged as one of the nation’s leading authorities regarding Indian and Native health.Manson is a distinguished professor at the Colorado School of Public Health and Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado in Aurora, Colorado.


Plenary 3: Fries Lecture
04/08/2021 at 11:15 AM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 04/12/2021
04/08/2021 at 11:15 AM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 04/12/2021
20 Questions
0.75 Advanced CECH credits  |  No certificate available
0.75 Advanced CECH credits  |  No certificate available