Reducing American Indian Health Disparities

PECaD is proud of our partnership with the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies, and providing education and outreach for the American Indian population in the St. Louis region. Through this relationship, PECaD is able to work towards our overall goal of increasing awareness of cancer disparities in our region, and providing resources to reduce those disparities in the community. This past summer, this partnership has embraced new projects and faculty achievements to further our work in the American Indian community.

This fall, PECaD and the Buder Center have begun updating the remaining two 8ight Ways brochures to be culturally responsive to the American Indian community. This includes adapting the text to be appropriate, as well as photos in the 8 Ways to Prevent Cancer and Stay Healthy, and the 8 Ways to a Healthier Weight and Lower Risk of Cancer brochures. We hope to have these brochures complete and sharing with community organizations and members by 2019.

New educational messages for community members featuring American Indian and friends of the Buder Center are being planned and created for use in PECaD’s mass media campaign. These educational messages will include cancer prevention information and highlight healthy lifestyle behaviors specific to reduce cancer risk within the American Indian community. PECaD hopes to complete the messages and begin placing in local newspapers and national magazines for 2019. Previous examples featuring Sherry (Pawnee Nation) and Dolores (Seneca/Comanche descent) can be seen online.

Congratulations to PECaD faculty members Drs. Graham Colditz, Aimee James, and Vetta Thompson on their appointment as Buder Center Faculty Associates. Buder Center Faculty Associates are faculty partners of the Buder Center at Washington University and across the nation who work closely with the Buder Center and students to bring awareness, equality, and reduce health disparities surrounding the American Indians and Alaska Native communities. These faculty collaborate with the Buder Center on different curriculum development, interdisciplinary programs and research projects. Drs. Colditz, James, and Thompson work to reduce disparities in these communities, and look forward to continuing to reduce disparities affecting the American Indian and Alaska Native men, women, and children. All three PECaD faculty have been appointed three year terms that will run through 2021.

PECaD would also like to extend a warm congratulations to Dr. Molly Tovar, professor of practice at the Brown School, on her retirement from director of the Buder Center in December 2018. Dr. Tovar has been a driving force for PECaD’s involvement in the American Indian community and sits on PECaD’s Disparities Elimination Advisory Committee. During her tenure with PECaD, Dr. Tovar has helped adapt cancer prevention messages for the American Indian community, and create specific educational messages for the American Indian community to increase cancer risk knowledge and prevention information. Dr. Tovar has been an integral member of PECaD, and will be greatly missed. We wish her the best in her next chapter.

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