Hi, my name is Dedra Buchwald. I grew up near Detroit, Michigan. Both my parents came from Germany, and I was raised bilingual and bicultural. I received my medical degree from the University of California San Diego, and I am the Director of the Initiative for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH), at Washington State University. I have a broad background in public health and primary care, with special emphases on culturally competent care and the health of American Indians. I was introduced to the field of Indian Health about 25 years ago by my husband, Spero Manson (Pembina Chippewa). I have dedicated much of my life’s work to improving the health of underserved populations, including refugees, immigrants, and racial and ethnic minorities. I lead the Partnerships for Native Health, which is one of the world’s largest research programs on American Indian and Alaska Native health. I also founded and direct the Native Investigator Training Program, which is the nation’s most successful career-training program for American Indian and Alaska Native junior faculty. My work considers health at the level of the individual, the community, and the health system. I conduct research and interventions that target population health disparities and the social determinants of health, particularly among American Indians and Alaska Natives. In my spare time I love to travel, especially in Europe, where I cycle and eat well. I also love being with my family and friends here in Seattle.
Hello, my name is Cindy Gamble. I am Tlingit of the Eagle Moiety, and a member of the Kaax’oos.hittaan (Man’s Foot) Clan. My husband Jerry and I moved from Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, to Washington State six years ago. We have three adult children and other family members here, and we enjoy spending time with them now that we live in Washington. For the past 30 years I have worked on the front line of health care in rural tribal communities. I’ve been a health director and community health educator in Alaska and Washington. I love engaging with community members and leaders, and with health center staff and partners, to discover how we can improve the health of Native people. However, in doing this work, I’ve realized very clearly that we have serious gaps in our knowledge. We need a much fuller understanding of what keeps us healthy and what brings poor health. Mainstream medicine is very “one size fits all.” Most studies on effective treatments and medicines have been done with non-Native people. We are over 500 distinct sovereign nations with our own languages, cultures, and practices. We need to know what works for us. This is why I am thrilled to be a new member of Partnerships for Native Health. My co-workers are dynamic, dedicated, and intelligent. I have a lot of hope that the work we do here will help us find our path to healthy Native Nations.
My name is Lonnie Nelson. I am Eastern-Band Cherokee. I’m a clinical psychologist who is interested in health promotion and prevention of chronic disease in urban Indian populations. Primarily, I would like to investigate patient-centered ways to help people with behavior and lifestyle changes in order to eliminate health disparities. As a junior-level investigator, I am currently funded by a career development award through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. I consult on and assist with projects focused on smoking cessation and weight loss. I was raised as an urban American Indian, but even though we lived off-reservation for most of my life, I have still observed the effects of lifestyle and behavior, particularly smoking, alcohol misuse, and low levels of physical activity, on my own family members. I believe that education and dedication to better ways of living could have prevented a lot of suffering, and I’d like to facilitate those choices in others. In my (admittedly little) spare time, I like to train in mixed martial-arts, practice fire performance, and enjoy good conversations with friends and family.
Hello! My name is Meghan Jernigan. I’m a Research Manager with Partnerships for Native Health. I manage the research core of Native People for Cancer Control, a community-driven research and intervention project funded through the National Cancer Institute. I am a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma where I was born and raised. I received my BA in Theater from Oklahoma State University and MPH in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University. I am an elected member of the American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian Caucus of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and a Sacred Root Fellow (2009-2011) with the National Library of Medicine.
Hi, I’m Anna Zamora-Kapoor. I’m a Sociologist from Barcelona, Spain, with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Barcelona, and a Master’s and PhD from Columbia University, New York. I decided to study Sociology to be able to explain the processes that produce and reproduce inequality, and generate social exclusion. This analytical approach is especially useful to examine the social determinants of health disparities. I am currently a Postdoctoral Senior Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington – Harborview Medical Center, but I am conducting my research at Partnerships for Native Health, with my mentors Dedra Buchwald and Lonnie Nelson. My work seeks to challenge prevailing assumptions about the social determinants of obesity among youth, the extent to which they vary by race/ethnicity, and their relative significance at different developmental stages. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, traveling, hiking, and going to new restaurants with my husband, family, and friends.