Accelerating and Strengthening Native American Health Research Through a Collaborative NIH Initiative
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This paper is intended to provide an overview of the considerations that informed the development of a National Institutes of Health funding opportunity to promote health and prevent disease in Native Americans, including American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities. NIH Institute staff thoughtfully considered epidemiologic research findings and feedback from constituents regarding the need for more published research overall and stronger prevention efforts to address persistent health concerns affecting many Native communities. This led to the publication of four funding announcements supported by multiple NIH Institutes and one NIH Office. Through the efforts of researchers, tribal leaders, community collaborators, and NIH leadership and staff, a growing body of knowledge regarding culturally informed approaches to supporting health in Native Americans is emerging. This article describes how staff who developed the funding opportunities envisioned a process to support high impact science through ensuring methodological rigor, responsiveness to prevention needs, and respect for community heritage, values, and history with non-Native peoples. In addition, this article highlights the growth of the researchers and collaborators within a community of scientists expanding the knowledge base further by sharing their research resources, instruments, and strategies for engaging in scientific inquiry that meets the needs of Native communities and those of funding organizations.
KeywordsNative American Health promotion Disease prevention Research ethics
The authors would like to thank the tribal elders, community leaders, community collaborators, research participants, IRINAH investigators, research staff and NIH colleagues, without whom, this work would not be possible.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.
Because this article is not data-based, informed consent is not applicable.
The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIH.
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