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/ANs; however, AI/AN communities are generally distrustful of health research because of past experiences with non-AI/AN researchers.


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 communities, and who can bring the benefits of academic research to these communities to reduce health disparities.  The NW NARCH will be 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.

Community Based Projects to Accomplish our Goals

The NW NARCH will accomplish its goal through several community-based research projects that address priority health issues.

  • Primary prevention of dental caries, and type 2 diabetes through an innovative intervention program, a continuation of a study implemented through the NARCH 1 program; and
  • an internet-based study of self management of Type 2 diabetes, a growing problem in NW Indian communities,  We will also develop an extensive infrastructure for training and supporting
  • AI/AN students and
  • AI/AN faculty in high quality health and biomedical research.

April 27-28, 2018

Native American Student & Community Center

Portland State University

Portland, OR

Conference Agenda


Podium Presentations:


Friday, April 27, 2018

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

Telling our Stories: The Good Health & 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 and 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 and 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, Myra Parker, Maya Magarati, University of Washington

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

Is the Colville Confederated Tribes Ready for a New Generation of Research? – SimHayKin Jack, University of California, Davis; Kookguma Scumhist 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 and Sujata Joshi, NPAIHB; Soyeon Lippman, WA State Department of Health

Native Opportunities to Stop Hypertension – Ka’imi Sinclair and 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, Staff Scientist, Washington 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 Heath Board/UIHI; Alyssa Yang and 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; Kelly Gonzales, Portland State University; Jillene Joseph, Native Wellness Institute; Heather Heater, Multnomah County Health Department; Suzie Kuerschner, Future Generations Collaborative

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

Administrative Core

The administrative Core for the NW NARCH will support all of these activities with secretarial, budget-related and programmatic support.  This project opens to AI/AN researchers the extensive health research training opportunities of the two premier academic health research institutes of the Northwest—Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) and the University of Washington (UW).  All of these projects will be accomplished through enhancements of the existing partnership between NPAIHB, OHSU, and UW.  Our efforts 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.

  • Through the NARCH program funded by the Indian Health service and NIH, the Board is able to provide a limited number of scholarships to support research career development in the biomedical sciences.  Historically, the NARCH fellowships have supported AI/AN students pursuing MPH degrees, other masters degrees, PhD’s in social and biomedical sciences, MD’s, and other doctoral-level degrees. Successful candidates will receive monthly stipends to support their studies, and can use the funds as they see fit for career development.  Doctoral Candidates will receive 28K per year.  The scholarships will be awarded on a first come, first served basis as long as the grant support allows.  The successful candidates must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward degree completion during the course of their awards.Application packets should include the following information:
    A CV for the candidate
    A letter from the candidate that indicates their career interests and goals
    Two letters of recommendation
    The most recent set of transcripts
    Proof of tribal enrollment
    Proof of enrollment in a graduate level health sciences (or related) degree program

Please send all information in one packet to Tom Becker at the Board, either by pdf or surface mail.

Principal Investigator Thomas Becker, MD, PhD
2121 SW Broadway, Suite 300
Portland, OR 97201
(503) 416-3280
(503) 228-8182 Fax

Please Cc emails to Tanya Firemoon.