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


2018 Conference Agenda

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 Natives – Lauren 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

Research Support Fellowships

For American Indian/Alaska Native Graduate Students

Who can apply: 

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

Sponsored by:

National Institutes of Health
Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH)
Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
Oregon Prevention Research Center
Indian Health Service

Fellowship Details:

  • Provides funding for American Indian/Alaska Native graduate students conducting scientific research supervised under an academic mentor
  • Financial support awarded on an hourly basis ($20/hour; maximum: 1,000 hours)

To apply, submit:

  • Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB)
  • A cover letter describing your research
  • Name and contact information of your local academic mentor
  • Letter of recommendation from your academic mentor

Contact: Ashley Thomas, NW NARCH Program Manager, at athomas@npaihb.org for more information or to submit application materials.

Visit http://www.npaihb.org/northwest-native-american-research-center-for-health-nw-narch/ to learn more about the NW Native American Research Center for Health.

Rolling Deadline 


  1. Resources

a.  Blank


  1. Contact us

a.  Ashley Thomas, Program Manager, athomas@npaihb.org


“I am incredibly thankful for the assistance and support of the Northwest NARCH fellowship program. They have given me the opportunity to focus on my studies and connected me with numerous mentors focused on maintaining and improving American Indian and Alaska Native health. In addition, the program director and staff has provided me invaluable support in ensuring I have the tools and skills to be successful in my doctorate program at the University of Washington! Ahe’hee” – Dornell Pete, PhD Candidate, UW


Apply now for the 2020 Tribal Researchers’ Cancer Control Fellowship Program.

Download the 2020 TRCCFP Application Fill-in Doc (docx)
Download the 2020 TRCCFP Application (PDF)
For more information please contact Ashley Thomas at athomas@npaihb.org

Tribal Researchers’ Cancer Control Fellowship Program
The overall goal of the Tribal Researchers’ Cancer Control Fellowship Program is to reduce cancer incidence and mortality and improve cancer survival in tribal communities through the efforts of AI/AN researchers. One specific goal of this program is to increase research capacities and build research skills among AI/AN investigators, so that they will be better prepared to design and implement cancer-related research projects within AI/AN communities.

Accepted Fellows will:

  • attend three-weeks of tailored cancer control research training held at the Indian Health Board in Portland, Oregon. The first two weeks will be June 7th-19th, 2020 followed by a one-week session in the fall.
  • receive follow-up support, including field support, distance learning opportunities, and mentoring.
  • be eligible for cancer control research internships to master additional research skills relevant to careers in community-based cancer control under close mentorship.
  • be connected to a network of experts in cancer control and prevention in Indian Country.

Testimonials:    Marc A Emerson, MPH, PhD candidate

“I feel so grateful to have been a part of TRCCFP, the support has been invaluable. This fellowship has given me tremendous support to pursue my research in my doctoral program, opportunities to present research and network. Most importantly, the fellowship has provided space to grow together as a cohort of Native scholars, something that is truly unique and special about this program. I believe they would bend over backwards to provide support; I cannot speak highly enough of the fellowship and their mission to support motivated students.”
Trudie Jackson, MS, PhD candidate

“My presence has taught me to embrace new knowledge and support each other as emerging researchers in Indian Country for the betterment of our communities.”

Important Dates: 2020_SavetheDate

  • Applications will be available January 21, 2020
  • Application materials will be due: March 18, 2020

Who Should Apply:

  • AI/AN Tribal Health Researchers at the Masters level and higher.
  • AI/AN Graduate students.

Application Requirements:

  • A copy of your CV or resume describing relevant experience.
  • A letter of support from the community or organization with whom you plan to work in cancer control activities.
  • A brief letter from your employer ensuring that you will have three weeks available to attend training in Portland, OR.
  • A personal statement focused on cancer prevention and control.

Contact Us:
Ashley Thomas
NW NARCH Program Manager

Evaluating our Effectiveness in Improving Asthma Care for Children and Adolescents

A project sponsored by the Indian Health Service, Tribal Environmental Services, in partnership with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. The goal of this evaluation is to reduce asthma attacks & in home asthma triggers. 

Who qualifies to participate?

Children and Teens age 3-17 with asthma and their parents/guardians 

What are the benefits of participating in this intervention evaluation?

  • Patients and their parent and/or guardians will receive education.
  • Parent and/or guardians will receive in home visits in order to provide special vacuum cleaners, mattresses & pillow covers, and green cleaning supplies.
  • Services are free of charge
  • Supplies are your families to keep!
  • You will receive a $25 gift card for participating.

For more referral information, please talk with your primary care provider to request a referral.

For general Enhancing Control of Childhood Asthma in AI/AN Communities Project information contact:

Mattie Tomeo-Palmanteer: (503) 416-3254 or asthma@npaihb.org

Thomas Becker, PI
2121 SW Broadway, STE 300
Portland, OR  97201

Ashley Thomas, Program Manager

Grazia Cunningham, Project Coordinator

Mattie Tomeo-Palmanteer, Project Coordinator

NW NARCH Internship Program for American Indian/Alaska Native Students







Who can apply:

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

To apply, submit:

  • Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB)
  • A cover letter describing your project
  • Name and contact information of your local mentor
  • Letter of recommendation from your academic mentor


Ashley Thomas, MPH

Program Manager

NW Native American Research Center for Health

Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board

2121 SW Broadway

Portland, OR 97201