Research collaboration with American Indian communities the focus of conference

by Jo Giles, UNMC public relations | March 05, 2010

Authentic and reciprocal relationships with community members are critical for effective research collaborations and projects. That is why UNMC's Center for Reducing Health Disparities is offering a one-day conference to facilitate research with American Indian populations.

"Partnering with American Indian communities in health research" will be held March 18 in the Scott Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). It is collaboration between the College of Public Health's Center for Reducing Health Disparities and the Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairman's Health Board. The conference is open to faculty, students and community members.

"The health disparities affecting American Indian population are staggering," said Shireen Rajaram, Ph.D., director of UNMC's Center for Reducing Health Disparities. "We are fortunate to have an existing partnership with the Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairman's Health Board that will allow us to work together to develop community-based research initiatives and interventions."

Registration and more info

Register online. For more information, contact Athena Ramos at 559-2095 or aramos@unmc.edu.

It all starts with building relationships based on mutual understanding and trust, said Magda Peck, Sc.D., associate dean of community engagement and public health practice in UNMC's College of Public Health.

"For effective research to take place, it is imperative to take time to learn and appreciate the cultural context of the communities of focus," Dr. Peck said. "Once a trusting relationship is in place, there is greater opportunity for innovative and relevant research."

The conference is made possible by a grant from the Association for Prevention, Teaching and Research (APTR). UNMC was one of five institutions nationwide that received a grant from this institution.

Because the College of Public Health is an APTR member, the registration fee is only $50 for faculty and $15 for students and community partners. A limited number of scholarships are available for community partners, which will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis.