Sanford Research, Partners Receive $13.5 Million Grant

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Research center to study American Indian health

Amy Elliot

Amy Elliott

This work will include strong community engagement, outreach and education efforts to advance public health and minimize social determinants of health.

Sanford Research has received the largest grant in its history—$13.5 million—to create a platform to bring together tribal communities and health researchers from multiple disciplines to address health disparities experienced by American Indians in South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota.

The five-year grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Disparities will establish the Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health (CRCAIH) in Sioux Falls. The CRCAIH will work with tribal leaders to equip their communities with infrastructure to assist with research and improve health care.

“The CRCAIH is a truly collaborative endeavor with our regional tribes; it will use a diverse group of experts from many disciplines to examine needs of the American Indian community,” said Gene Hoyme, MD, president of Sanford Research. “American Indian health is a real, regional issue that Sanford Research and its partners will work to improve.”

Amy Elliott, PhD, director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention Research at Sanford Research/USD, is the principal investigator for this project, which includes collaboration from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe (Pine Ridge) and Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Sanford Research has also partnered with South Dakota State University; the University of South Dakota; the University of North Dakota; North Dakota State University; Turtle Mountain Community College; Missouri Breaks, Inc.; Medicine Wheel, Inc.; Rapid City Regional; and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

“We are working to create a means for tribes, research centers and health care organizations to work together to improve American Indian health,” said Dr. Elliott. “This work will include strong community engagement, outreach and education efforts to advance public health and minimize social determinants of health.”

A primary goal of the CRCAIH will be to work with tribal communities and researchers to support and ultimately improve American Indian health.

The multidisciplinary approach includes the use of health researchers, tribal health administrators, health-care providers and spiritual leads as well as experts from public health, clinical psychology, epidemiology, family studies and human development, biostatistics, nursing medicine, nutrition and sociology.

About Sanford Research/USD
Sanford Research/USD is a non-profit research organization formed between Sanford Health and the University of South Dakota. Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD and represents the largest, rural, not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation with a presence in 111 communities, eight states and three countries. In 2007, a transformational gift of $400 million by Denny Sanford provided for an expansion of children’s and research initiatives, specifically finding a cure for type 1 diabetes, and has given Sanford Research significant momentum in its goal of becoming one of the premiere research institutions in the United States and the world. Most recently, a subsequent gift of $100 million by Mr. Sanford has paved the way to establish Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research.

With a team of more than 200 researchers, Sanford Research comprises several research centers, including Children’s Health Research, Edith Sanford Breast Cancer, Cancer Biology, Cardiovascular Health, Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention, and the National Institute for Athletic Health and Performance (NIAHP).


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