News & Updates

Preparing Our Future Native American Health Leaders


In this work, you are dealing with people’s spirits. You will make other people sick if you aren’t well when you try to do healing work with others.

— Angela Fernandez, UW School of Social Work


American Indians and Alaska Natives are under-represented among professionals in science and healthcare. One approach to increasing the number of Native people in these fields was showcased at a recent gathering at the University of Washington (UW). On March 26-28, 2014, a conference called Preparing Our Future Native American Health Leaders took place at the UW Waterfront Activity Center. Its goal was to encourage and equip Native students for careers in healthcare. Native undergraduate and graduate students from UW, Washington State University, Northwest Indian College, and other local community colleges participated in this three-day event. Read More »

May 5th 2015,
News & Updates

Our Food is Our Medicine

For the past three years, the Institute of Indigenous Foods & Traditions at the Northwest Indian College has been holding an annual conference called “Our Food is Our Medicine.” This year, the Suquamish Tribe hosted the conference from September 24th to 26th at the beautiful Kiana Lodge on the shores of the Salish Sea. The event draws people from around Indian Country to discuss and learn more about how American Indians and Alaska Natives are revitalizing traditional food systems in their communities. Read More »

October 28th 2014,
Our Mission

We conduct community-centered research, training, education, and outreach to improve the health and quality of life of American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

Program Overview

Partnerships for Native Health (P4NH) is a program located at the Center for Clinical and Epidemiological Research (CCER) at the University of Washington. Formalized in 2009, it emerged from two decades of work with Native communities. Over time, the program has developed a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to achieve our mission of improving the health and well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native people of all ages. We have done so by incorporating these core principles: engagement and participation with our community partners; education, training, and capacity-building for Native people and communities; infrastructure development; technical assistance; research on healthcare and other community needs; and widespread sharing of our results in ways that recognize and respect the unique cultural contexts of American Indian and Alaska Native people.

Local outreach efforts just achieved a big success in raising awareness of organ donation in Native communities. Although most people waiting for organ transplants belong to racial and ethnic minorities, relatively few organ donors are minorities themselves. This mismatch between supply and demand is particularly acute for Native Americans – because the best organ donor for a Native person is often another Native. LifeCenter Northwest, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation, partners with more than 200 hospitals to serve families and communities across Washington, Montana, northern Idaho, and Alaska.

If you happened to stop by our offices this summer, chances are you would find staff from Native People for Cancer Control filling bags with our very special bean soup mix. Each bag is stuffed with five different kinds of beans and a small card with a soup recipe. Also on the card is information explaining how eating beans can reduce your risk of cancer. Our bean soup mix is intended to launch conversations at community events, where we often set up tables for health education.