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Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy

The Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy brings together scientific collaborators, Indigenous knowledge holders, and community leaders to eliminate health disparities and cultivate health and wellness with Indigenous communities. These efforts are grounded in the principles of community-based participatory research and traditional Indigenous worldviews that emphasize equity, co-learning, and the interconnected and holistic nature of the health.

The Center builds upon and extends the mission of Oklahoma State University to improve the health of Oklahoma’s most underserved populations. The Center efforts are focused in three primary areas:

  1. Reconnection – the recognition and strengthening of Indigenous knowledge and practices that foster wellness
  2. Education – the provision of pipeline programs that are culturally-grounded as well as scientifically rigorous to develop the next generation of health sciences professionals working with Indigenous communities
  3. Training – the development of cross-cultural and equitable learning opportunities that bring university and community partners together to address training needs within both settings so as to foster long-term, collaborative and co-learning relationships between Indigenous Nations and Oklahoma State University

Faculty and Staff

Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan

Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan

Professor, Rural HealthExecutive Director, Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy

Charlotte Love

Charlotte Love

Managing Director, Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy

Tori Taniguchi

Tori Taniguchi

Data Director and Research Epidemiologist, Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy

Kristy Jurko

Kristy Jurko

Business Administrator, Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy

Melena Mayes

Melena Mayes

Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy

Tvli Jacob

Tvli Jacob

Dissemination and Implementation Director, Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy

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