Carefully designed and implemented health research can provide solutions to help eliminate the vast disparities in health between Northwest American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) and non-AI/AN.  Because of past experiences with non-AI/AN researchers, however, AI/AN communities are generally distrustful of health research and thus have low participation in health research which could improve community health.

This project offers AI/AN researchers access to the extensive health research training opportunities of two premier academic health research institutes of the Northwest—Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) and the University of Washington (UW).  All of the NARCH projects will be accomplished through enhancements of the existing partnership between NPAIHB, OHSU, and UW.  Efforts of these partners will help to further the position of the NW NARCH as a regional resource for AI/AN health research, and will contribute to the national effort to reduce health disparities among AI/AN people, compared to other races in the US.


The NW NARCH is operated by the EpiCenter at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB),—an Indian organization uniquely qualified to administer NARCH based on an active membership of all 43 Northwest Indian tribes in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

The overall goal of the NW NARCH is to develop a cadre of highly trained AI/AN biomedical and health researchers who are sensitive to the culture and specific concerns of Northwest Indian and Alaska Native communities, and who can bring the benefits of academic research to these communities to reduce health disparities.

Community Based Projects to Accomplish our Goals

The NW NARCH funds community-based research projects that address priority health issues. Here are some past and current projects:

Past Projects:

  • Diabetes Self-Management Via Internet
  • Eye Disease Surveillance Study
  • Monitoring Abuse Drugs (MAD NARCH)
  • Native Voices Adaptation
  • Summer Institute Research Training
  • Toddler Obesity and Tooth Decay Prevention Study (TOTS)

Present Projects:

  • Asthma Intervention Study
  • Cancer Control Training
  • Child Safety Seat Study
  • Native VOICES
  • Tots-2-Tweens

Research Support Fellowships

for American Indian/Alaska Native Graduate Students
in the Biomedical and Social Sciences

Fellowship Details:




Friday, April 27, 2018

Keynote Address – Abigail Echo-Hawk (Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma/Athbascan), Director, Urban Indian Health Institute

Telling Our Stories: The Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country StoryMap – Rose James, Colin Gerber, Urban Indian Health Institute

Responding to Concerning Posts on Social Media: A Training Video for Adults Who Work with Native Youth – Celena McCray & Danica Brown, NPAIHB

We Rise (to be Heard): Community Conversations Led by Stories of American Indian/Alaska Native Men Left Behind by Police Violence – Wyatt Pickner, University of Washington

Strong Men, Strong Communities: A Mixed Methods Approach to Develop a Lifestyle Program for American Indian?Alaska Native (AI/AN) Men – Patrick Eagle Staff, Theodore Latta & Kelly Gonzales, Portland State University; Ka’imi Sinclair, Washington State University

Development and Implementation of a Lifestyle Program for American Indian Men – Ka’imi Sinclair, Washington State University; Myra Parker & Maya Magarati, University of Washington 

Research Oversight for Urban Indian Communities – Rosalina James & Abigail Echo-Hawk, UIHI

Is the Colville Confederated Tribes Ready for a New Generation of Research? – SimHayKin Jack, University of California, Davis; Kookguma Schumhist Jack, Colville Confederated Tribes

Our Vision of Health for Future Generations: An Exploration of Culturally Based Mechanisms of Change Danica Brown, Portland State University

Misclassification of AI/AN in Washington’s Chronic Hepatitis C Surveillance System – Monika Damron & Sujata Joshi, NPAIHB; Soyeon Lippman, WA State Department of Health

Native Opportunities to Stop Hypertension – Ka’imi Sinclair & Katie Nelson, Washington State University

The Prevalence of Disability among Northwest American Indian/Alaska Native Children through Analysis of Encounter-level Data – Thomas Weiser, IHS/NPAIHB; Molly Fuentes, Seattle Children’s/University of Washington


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Keynote Address: ~ Karina Walters(Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), Co-Director, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, University of Washington Associate Dean of Research, University of Washington School of Social Work

Indigenous Aging: Advancing a Community-Based Model to Address Dementia in Tribal Clinics – Meghan Jernigan, Washing ton State University Partnerships for Native Health

Identifying Barriers and Facilitators to HPV Vaccine Uptake in Washington Urban American Indians/Alaska NativesLauren White, Seattle Indian Health Board / UIHI; Alyssa Yang & Leah Dodge, Seattle Indian Health Board

The Cycle of Trauma and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in AI/AN Communities – Jordan Cocker, Future Generations Collaborative/Native Wellness Institute; Heather Heater, Multnomah County Health Department; Suzie Kuerschner, Future Generations Collaborative

Assessing the Everyday Discrimination Scale among American Indians & Alaska Natives – Kelly Gonzales, Portland State University