WORKSHOP: ADVANCING HEALTH EQUITY FOR
NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH
MAY 6, 2014
SPEAKER AND MODERATOR BIOGRAPHIES
Lia Abeita-Sanchez is from Isleta Pueblo, New Mexico. As a political science major at UNM, she is committed to strengthening and maintaining the vitality of traditional Pueblo knowledge and cultural resources as a means of policy and political decision making. Most recently, Ms. Abeita-Sanchez was awarded a Udall Scholarship in the area of tribal public policy. She is a Fellow of the Leadership Institute at Santa Fe Indian School-Summer Policy Academy and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a recent youth delegate to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Previously, she served as a research associate for a Pueblo youth language study researching Pueblo youth attitudes toward native languages and language preservation. Currently, she is a research assistant at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Native American Health Policy at the University of New Mexico and consultant to the Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School.
Jacquelyn Bolman, Ph.D. (Lakota), is a native of the Great Plains and Black Hills of South Dakota. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees with a focus on Geosciences and Tribal Science at the University of South Dakota. Her university experiences changed the way in which she participated in the world, especially the natural world, strengthening her commitment to ensuring all people have access to and equity in higher education. Since earning her doctorate in 1997, she has served as dean at Presentation College, providing leadership for undergraduates earning Allied
Health Sciences degrees. She served as director of Scientific Knowledge for Indian Learning and Leadership (SKILL) and Multicultural Affairs at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. She was chosen as the first female to serve the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium as manager of special projects. She provided leadership to “NativeConnections,” a multistate effort funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to assist tribes and communities in the Northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain Region in developing expertise in geospatial sciences with an emphasis on remote sensing of tribal lands. She also served as director of the Indian Natural Resource Science and Engineering Program (INRSEP) at Humboldt State University (HSU). INRSEP, the only program of its kind in California, is an academic and research program designed specifically to ensure that American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students are successful in securing degrees in natural resources and STEM disciplines. In 2013 she was chosen to serve HSU as the director of the newly created Center of STEM Excellence. In each capacity, she has worked with K-12 and university students to develop and integrate programming that promotes original research dedicated to the ideals of culture and returning to others the gift she received of astute mentoring.
Gayle Diné Chacon, M.D. (Navajo), is originally from Chinle, Arizona. She is the Surgeon General for the Navajo Nation, Board Certified in Family Medicine, an associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UNM School of Medicine, director of the Center for Native American Health (CNAH), and associate vice president for Native American Health at the UNM Health Sciences Center. She is the director of CNAH and continues to develop the center to meet the health priority needs of New Mexico’s 22 tribes and urban Indian populations. Her interests include providing services, whether clinical, education, research, or policy focused, to American Indians and specifically the Navajo Nation (NN). Currently, her role as NN Surgeon General is to provide medical oversight and direction as the NN creates a public health system. Other interests include the recruitment and retention of American Indian students into health professions and providing medical direction and clinical services to the incarcerated youth population.
Philip S. (Sam) Deloria (Standing Rock Sioux) is director of the American Indian Graduate Center, Inc. (AIGC), where he is responsible for management, operations, development, the Scholars programs, fundraising, and educational policy. AIGC is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, providing educational assistance to American Indian and Alaska Native graduate and undergraduate students throughout the country. Mr. Deloria attended both undergradu-
ate and law school at Yale University and previously served, for more than 35 years, as director of the American Indian Law Center, Inc. Under Mr. Deloria’s leadership, the American Indian Law Center performed groundbreaking work in the analysis of federal Indian policy, including helping to define the role of tribes in the federal system. The Law Center has also taken the lead in strengthening tribal government institutions. Mr. Deloria remains active as one of the premier analysts of Indian policy in the nation. He was also a founder of the Commission on State–Tribal Relations in 1976, and founder and first Secretary-General of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples.
Susie John, M.D., M.P.H. (Navajo), is a pediatrician with the Northern Navajo Medical Center Teen Life Program in Shiprock, New Mexico. She received her M.D. from the UNM School of Medicine, completed her pediatric residency training with the Phoenix Children’s Hospitals Affiliated Pediatric Program, and received her M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley. Immediately after postgraduate training, she was in private practice for a number of years in Gallup, New Mexico. In the past 27 years with the IHS, she has worked as the Crownpoint Hospital Director of Community & Preventive Health, the chief executive officer of the Tuba City Medical Center, and in past 11 years as a medical officer in adolescent health with the Northern Navajo Medical Center Teen Life Center. Dr. John has served on numerous boards, committees, and local and national task forces advocating for youth, including serving as president of the Board of Directors for the New Mexico Assembly on School Based Health Care. Dr. John believes effective health care is more than the state-of-the-art technology and the latest medications. It is also culturally competent care that is flexible to the changing needs of a population and development of leadership capability for all involved. Her work has included supporting more opportunities for the youth, women, and children.
Teresa LaFromboise, Ph.D. (Miami), professor of development and psychological sciences in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, is a descendant of the Miami tribe. She is also an affiliated faculty member in Native American Studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences and an affiliated faculty member in the Child Health Research Institute within the School of Medicine at Stanford University. She specializes in research on stress-related problems of youth and cultural issues in the implementation of evidence-based practices with diverse populations. Dr. LaFromboise is a recognized contributor to American Indian/Alaska Native mental health initiatives. She has published more than 100 articles and chapters in that area. She has authored a number of prevention intervention manuals, including Assertion Training with American Indians, Circles of Women: Skills Train-
ing for American Indian Professionalization, and Zuni Life Skills Development. Her awards for the American Indian Life Skills (AILS) Development Curriculum include recognition from HHS as a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Program of Excellence, the Carter Center for Public Policy at Emory University as an Intervention Ready for Prime Time, and the First Nations Behavioral Health Association as One of Ten Best Practices. AILS is also listed in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention inventory of effective programs. Dr. LaFromboise is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. She is past president of two organizations: the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race, and the Society of Indian Psychologists. She currently teaches courses in Cultural Psychology, Racial and Ethnic Identity Development, and Psychology and American Indian Mental Health.
John Lowe, Ph.D. (Cherokee), is a Cherokee Native American tribal member and 1 of only 17 doctoral-prepared Native American nurses in the United States. He is currently the Wymer Distinguished Professor of Nursing at the Florida Atlantic University Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Boca Raton, Florida. He earned his Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Miami and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. He actively serves in elected, appointed, advisory, and consultant positions such as the American Colleges of Nursing for Cultural Competencies in Graduate Nursing, the American Nurses Foundation, the Florida Nurses Association, the Florida Nurses Foundation, the National Alaskan Native American Indian Nurses Association, HHS, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees Tribal Health and Education Department. Dr. Lowe has represented Native American and Indigenous nurses in many national and international forums and with political leaders. He has been awarded several federally funded research grants to support his program of research. Dr. Lowe developed the Cherokee and Native Self-Reliance Models, which are being used in several intervention research projects that use the traditional Talking Circle format to reduce substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, obesity, and diabetes risks among Indigenous youth. Dr. Lowe has received numerous awards, such as the researcher of the year award at the professor rank, Florida Nurses Association Cultural Diversity Award, Great 100 Centennial Research Award, Nursing Educator of the Year Award, and Lifetime Achievement in Education and Research Award. He has published several articles and books that report the findings of his research. Dr. Lowe also co-authored the first Native American Nursing Conceptual Framework, which is being used to guide nursing curricula.
Catherine Malone, M.B.A., is a program associate at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) who is working to address health disparities and advance diversity and inclusion. Ms. Malone serves as program officer for New Connections: Increasing Diversity of RWJF Programming, a program supporting diverse scholars from historically underrepresented and disadvantaged communities through research grants, methodological training, and leadership and professional development. She also serves as program officer for Project L/Earn, an internship program designed to increase the number of health researchers from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in health-related graduate programs. Ms. Malone has been a member of the Foundation’s Diversity Committee since 2009 and has led the Human Capital Diversity Project, an effort to broaden program outreach to applicants with diverse perspectives. Prior to joining the foundation, Ms. Malone served as a health care professional and director in the long-term care, assisted living, and hospital-based transitional care settings, focusing on therapeutic recreation interventions for older adults. She led therapeutic recreation program development, volunteer services, and community integration programs. Ms. Malone received a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, with a certificate in Criminology, from Rutgers University and an M.B.A. from Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey. She is a member of Delta Mu Delta and Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Societies for Business. Ms. Malone is working toward the completion of her Doctorate in Business Administration at Argosy University.
Victor Medrano currently serves as the division director for the Division of Program Development and Operations in the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH). Prior to this appointment, Medrano served as the acting division director and project officer at OAH, providing oversight and direction to teen pregnancy prevention programs and pregnancy assistance fund grantees. In addition, he worked to strengthen existing partnerships that focus on adolescent health issues. Previously, he spent 12 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He served as a project officer and team lead in the Division of Adolescent and School Health. He served as the partnership team lead for CDC’s highly successful Youth Media Campaign (the VERB Campaign). He also served as a project officer in the Office on Smoking and Health (OSH), providing leadership and direction to state health departments and nongovernmental agencies, and was lead for OSH’s National Networks Initiative, which provided funding to African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, and Asian/Pacific Islander organizations in meeting the needs of these communities in addressing tobacco use prevention. Prior to his federal services, Mr. Medrano spent 10 years at the New Mexico Department of Health as field director manager, working on the American Stop Smoking Intervention Study funded by the National
Cancer Institute. Before his work in public health, Mr. Medrano taught for 10 years at the middle and high school levels.
Valerie Romero-Leggott, M.D., received her B.A. from Harvard University and her M.D. from the UNM School of Medicine. She has been a primary care provider for many years on the forefront of treating populations burdened by socioeconomic and racial and ethnic disparities. Presently, Dr. Romero-Leggott is vice chancellor for diversity at the UNM Health Sciences Center, associate dean for diversity in the School of Medicine, and professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She also serves as the executive director of the School of Medicine Combined B.A./M.D. Degree program, a unique program to promote the recruitment of a diverse group of graduating New Mexico high school seniors interested in New Mexico health care and in practicing medicine in areas of greatest need in the state. She is immediate past president of the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools. Dr. Romero-Leggott has extensive experience in teaching cultural competence, developing educational pipelines for disadvantaged youth, and working with minority women in medicine and the health sciences. She has been awarded grants totaling more than $3.7 million to enhance the workforce diversity from middle school through the professional degree for underrepresented and disadvantaged youth into the health professions, and she remains a strong advocate for STEM work. One of her major duties is to provide multiple forums for discussing issues concerning underrepresented and disadvantaged populations. She has led in the work to develop and teach cultural competence to students, residents, and faculty in the medical school and other health professions and disciplines in order to better address health disparities and has provided statewide leadership in cultural competence working with legislators and the New Mexico Department of Higher Education. Dr. Romero-Leggott is co-principal investigator on the Urban Universities for Health collaborative grant initiative, a national demonstration program aiming to expand and enhance a culturally sensitive, diverse, and prepared health workforce to improve health and health equity in urban communities. She has forged important bridges among the health sciences, New Mexico community groups, and national entities. She believes that understanding diversity and cultural issues are integral parts of achieving better health outcomes for our communities and our nation.
Kyle Smith is a student at UNM, where he is dual major in Community Health Education and Dietetics. He is also the project coordinator at the Institute for Indigenous Knowledge and Development at the UNM’s Health Science Center. With his passion to address health disparities in Native American populations, Mr. Smith is conducting research in diverse child-
hood experiences in relation to health outcomes. Smith completed a study in 2012 titled Adverse Childhood Experiences: Impact Upon Intimate Partner Violence, Depression and Suicide Attempt Among Adults in a Sample of Southwest Tribes, which was presented at the 2013 Council of the State and Territorial Epidemiologists Conference, the 2013 American Public Health Association Conference, and the 2014 New Mexico Public Health Association Conference. He is currently writing up this research for publication. Mr. Smith plans to attend graduate school where he will study community and public health.
Mildred Thompson is the senior director and director of the PolicyLink Center for Health Equity and Place, leads the organization’s health team, with work focusing on healthy food access, improving the built environment, and the systemic integration of health equity. A significant component of her work involves exploring community factors that impact health and identifying effective solutions. Prior to joining PolicyLink, she was director of community health services for Alameda County’s (California) Public Health Department; director of Healthy Start; and director of the San Antonio Neighborhood Health Center. Ms. Thompson has degrees in nursing, psychology, and social work. She has taught at Mills College and San Francisco State University, and also worked as an organizational development consultant. Ms. Thompson is a frequent speaker on topics related to health equity and serves on several boards and commissions, including The Zellerbach Family Foundation, and she is co-chair of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities.
Antonia Villarruel, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, has an extensive background in health promotion and health disparities research and practice. Her research focuses on the development and testing of interventions to reduce HIV sexual risk among Mexican and Latino youth. Utilizing a community participatory approach, Dr. Villarruel has been the Principle Investigator and Co-Investigator of several NIH- and CDC-funded studies. She developed an effective evidence-based intervention to reduce sexual risk behavior among Latino youth titled ¡Cuídate! (or Protect Yourself!). This program will be disseminated nationally by the CDC as part of its Diffusion of Evidence Based Interventions program. In accordance with her own research and practice interests, Dr. Villarruel’s areas of teaching expertise include health promotion and risk reduction theories, interventions, and practice; health disparities research; and research with children and adolescents. A major goal for her in teaching is to understand the evidence base for nursing practice. Because of her strong commitment to building and developing the current and future generations of nurse researchers,
she works to integrate students at all levels in research and scholarship, thus providing a mechanism to bridge the research practice. In mentoring students and faculty in their research pursuits, what she values most is a commitment to learning and to improving health through nursing.