Plenary 5: Enhancing Health Equity in Indigenous Populations

4.67 (3 votes)

1.5 Advanced

Indigenous populations including American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Canadian First Nations populations in the U.S. and worldwide have experienced demographic, cultural, and psychosocial changes that profoundly impact their health. Irrespective of their geographical location or sociopolitical affiliation, indigenous people experience poorer health outcomes compared to their non-indigenous counterparts. Indigenous populations disproportionately suffer from low life expectancy, high infant mortality, high maternal morbidity, malnutrition, elevated infectious disease burden, high prevalence of cardiovascular and other chronic illnesses, substance use, and depression. The detrimental impacts of colonization, the loss of ancestral land, and language and cultural barriers to accessing health care and education are among the critical determinants for the poor health outcomes of this population. To address health equity in indigenous people, health education researchers and practitioners must not only understand how they are marginalized by society but also their needs, priorities, and emerging challenges. This panel discussion will explore the impact of climate change, telehealth, digital technology, big data, social media, COVID-19 and other issues on health education research and practice of First-Born nations.

Learning objective(s):

•Explore at least three challenges and opportunities of contemporary issues as it relates to the research, practice, and policy concerning the health behaviors and outcomes among indigenous populations in the U.S. and worldwide.
•Provide at least three research, program, and policy recommendations that build on protective factors of indigenous peoples.

Spero Manson (Moderator)


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.

Stephanie Russo Carroll, DrPH, MPH

Tribal Health Program

Stephanie Russo Carroll (Ahtna-Native Village of Kluti Kaah) is Assistant Research Professor, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy (UC); Associate Director and Manager – Tribal Health Program, the Native Nations Institute (NNI) in the UC; Assistant Professor in the Public Health Policy and Management Program at the Community, Environment and Policy Department, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH); Assistant Professor, American Indian Studies Graduate Interdisciplinary Program; and Affiliate Faculty, College of Law at the University of Arizona (UA).Stephanie's research explores the links between Indigenous governance, data, the environment, and community wellness. Her interdisciplinary research group, the Collaboratory for Indigenous Data Governance, develops research, policy, and practice innovations for Indigenous data sovereignty. Indigenous data sovereignty draws on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that reaffirms the rights of Indigenous nations to control data about their peoples, lands, and resources. The Collaboratory’s research, teaching, and engagement seek to transform institutional governance and ethics for Indigenous control of Indigenous data, particularly within open science, open data, and big data contexts. The Collaboratory primarily collaborates with Indigenous Peoples and nations in the US Southwest and the Arctic, as well an international network of Indigenous data sovereignty and governance experts. Collaboratory members also often partner with communities to which they belong, including Indigenous communities. Stephanie offers Indigenous women-led mentoring of undergraduate through junior faculty and research staff with the goal of producing policy-relevant research through skill and knowledge acquisition. The Collaboratory’s disciplinary breadth includes public health, law, business, geography, sociology, social work, public policy, and environmental and climate sciences.Stephanie co-founded the US Indigenous Data Sovereignty Network and the International Indigenous Data Sovereignty Group at the Research Data Alliance, and is a founding member and current chair of the Global Indigenous Data Alliance (GIDA). Stephanie was also a founding member of the UAs American Indian and Indigenous Health Alliance Club at MEZCOPH and is a founding member and current president for the UA Native Faculty, working to support the recruitment and retention of Indigenous students and faculty at the UA. Stephanie is a founding board member for the Copper River Tribal College in Chitina, Alaska. Stephanie received her AB from Cornell University and MPH and DrPH from MEZCOPH.

Bonnie Duran

Indigenous Wellness Research Institute

Bonnie Duran Dr.PH (mixed race Opelousas/Coushatta descendent) is a professor in the schools of social work and public health at the University of Washington. She is also on the leadership team at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute. She received her Dr.PH from UC Berkeley School of Public Health in 1997. Bonnie teaches graduate courses in Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and mindfulness. She has worked in public health research, evaluation and education among Tribes, Native Organizations and other communities of color for more than 35 years.

Dr. Duran is currently the Principal Investigator of 2 NIH funded research projects in “Indian Country”. Working with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, 22 Tribal Colleges, and UW collaborators, she is conducting 2 studies; (a) a psychiatric epidemiology prevalence and correlates study (N=3,202, and (b) a TCU-cultural adaptation of Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS). Dr. Duran is also Co-PI of an NIMH funded R25 HIV and Mental Health research training program, and a Co-Investigator on an NINR CBPR methods and measures study: Engage for Equity. 

Bonnie’s past work includes partnering with the Navajo Nation, Indian Health Service, the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center, and other Tribes and Indigenous Community Based Organizations on projects aimed at health equity, improving health services, and developing culture-centered health promotion.

David Gahn, MD, MPH

Public Health Medical Director

Cherokee Nation

Dr. David Gahn, MD, MPH is a 1988 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.  After serving 6 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as a line officer, Dr. Gahn joined the U.S. Public Health Service and attended medical school at the Uniformed Services University from 1994-8.  He completed his residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2002 at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and received his Master of Public Health from Emory University in 2012.

Dr. Gahn is currently a physician at Cherokee Nation Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah and also the Medical Director for Cherokee Nation Public Health.


Plenary 5: Enhancing Health Equity in Indigenous Populations
03/24/2022 at 2:30 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 03/25/2022
03/24/2022 at 2:30 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 03/25/2022
16 Questions
1.50 Advanced CECH credits  |  No certificate available
1.50 Advanced CECH credits  |  No certificate available