(Sioux Falls, SD) – In South Dakota, the teen pregnancy rate for American Indian teens is four times higher than the rest of the state’s population. It’s a rate Sanford Research/USD wants to better understand. Through a Center of Excellence grant by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities to the University of South Dakota, Sanford Research/USD, along with its partners, received $1.5 million dollars to conduct research on the subject.
“We are excited to be working with our partners to take a more in-depth look at the teen pregnancy rate among our Native population,” says Sanford Research/USD Health Disparities Research Center director Amy Elliot, PhD.“We want to better understand why the numbers are so much higher and develop a multi-site, culturally sensitive teen pregnancy prevention program for reservation and urban Northern Plains American Indian teens.”
Sanford Research/USD is partnering with the University of Minnesota, South Dakota Urban Indian Health in Sioux Falls, and the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board to conduct the research.
“We will hold focus groups and interviews to look at the social norms and unique cultural factors that account for high teen pregnancy rates in our Northern Plains American Indian communities,” says DenYelle Kenyon, Sanford Research/USD Associate Scientist. “We also want to examine how those norms and factors differ for the youth living on the reservation versus an urban setting.”
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 190 researchers, Sanford Research comprises several research centers, including The Sanford Project (type 1 diabetes), Cancer Biology, Cardiovascular Health, Health Disparities, Methodology and Data Analysis, Women’s Health, Children’s Health, Native American Health and the National Institute for Athletic Health and Performance.