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2015 Annual Report Selected Highlights

Initiative Addresses Shortage of Native American Scientists and Clinicians

Program participants
A Clinical Center initiative supports Native Americans who pursue research careers. Program participants (from left to right) Kristen B-M Regini, BS, Tule River Yokuts Nation; Teresa Brockie RN, PhD, White Clay Nation; and, Deana Around Him, DrPH, ScM, Cherokee Nation,conducted NIH-supported research in 2014.

Native Americans, defined as American Indians and Alaska natives, make up 1.2% of the U.S. population but are underrepresented in clinical trials and face acute shortages as nurse scientists and clinicians. The Clinical Center has developed an initiative to recruit Native American students into trainee positions. The goal is to create a long-term, sustainable plan for community and tribal-based research and research career development.

In 2014, four Native American scholars participated in this initiative, including a high school student, two recipients of NIH Intramural Research Training Awards and a Nurse Specialist for Research.

Members of the team studied depression and mental health-related outcomes in pregnant women who are on reservations and historical trauma and suicide risk in reservation-based youth. The Nursing Department provided research topic presentations via video conference, research training and yearly community visits with a rural reservation community located in Montana.

Bobby Pourier, the high school participant, was trained and mentored by postdoctoral and graduate students to better understand research. Pourier said the Clinical Center Nursing Department staff gave him a new perspective.

"I came through the gates of the NIH so nervous and unsure and I'm leaving with a plan, a new set of goals and a whole new outlook about my future."

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This page last updated on 07/27/2017

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