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Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health Announces Five Additional Pilot Grant Projects

Research initiatives address American Indian health disparities

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has selected five research projects for funding as part of the Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health (CRCAIH) and its pilot grant program.

Now in its second year, the CRCAIH’s pilot grant program was created to fund cutting-edge transdisciplinary research to address health disparities experienced by American Indians in South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota.

In September 2012, Sanford Research and a broad base of partners received a $13.5 million grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Disparities to create the CRCAIH. The research center has now supported a total of 10 pilot grant awards across the region to explore issues in American Indian health.

“Each project was reviewed by an expert external review panel based on scientific merit and community involvement,” said Amy Elliott, Ph.D., principal investigator for the CRCAIH and director and senior scientist for Sanford Research’s Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention. “We were overwhelmed by the level of quality and competitiveness in the program.”  

The pilot projects were selected based on five major scoring criteria, including purpose, priorities and significance; scientific approach; innovation and potential for future funding; investigators and environment; and collaborative relationships. Proposals were reviewed by eight transdisciplinary minority health researchers from across the United States and Canada with expertise in a diverse set of fields, such as health sciences, public health, ethnic studies, nursing, sociology and epidemiology.  

Researchers from the first round of pilot grants, which were announced last summer, are currently finalizing data collection and analysis.  Results are expected to be available this fall.

The following projects were selected for funding: 

  • Emily Griese, Ph.D., Sanford Research
    Impact of residential treatment on American Indian maternal-child health outcomes
  • MaryLou Mylant, Ph.D., South Dakota State University
    American Indian pilot study on caregiving attachment and health of young children
  •  Daniel Petereit, M.D., Rapid City Regional Hospital
    Walking forward American Indian survivorship physical activity pilot 

  • Heather Peters, Ph.D., University of Minnesota-Morris
    Culturally based curriculum, wicozani and suicidal ideation in Dakota youth 
  • Ursula Running Bear, Ph.D., University of Colorado-Denver
    Multilevel context of health-related quality of life in northern plains tribes 

The CRCAIH is made up of the following organizations: Sanford Research; Oglala Sioux Tribe; Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians; Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota; Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center; Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board; Medicine Wheel, Inc.; Missouri Breaks Industries Research, Inc.; North Dakota State University; Oglala Lakota College; Rapid City Regional; Sanford Health; South Dakota State University; Turtle Mountain Community College; the University of North Dakota; and the University of South Dakota.  It is funded under NIH award number U54MD008164.

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About Sanford Research
Sanford Research is a non-profit research organization and is part of Sanford Health, an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas. Sanford represents the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with a presence in 111 communities, nine states and two countries. In 2007, a transformational gift of $400 million by Denny Sanford provided for an expansion of children’s and research initiatives, one of which was to find 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, subsequent gifts of more than $200 million by Mr. Sanford have paved the way to establish Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research and Sanford Imagenetics.

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, Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention and Sanford Sports Science Institute.

Tim Gerszewski
Sanford Media Strategist – Sioux Falls Region
(605) 366-2432 /