Few studies of the health of Native people in the U.S. have been conducted by American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) researchers. The overarching purpose of the Center for Native Population Health Disparities (CNPHD) Training Core is to develop a cadre of population health post-doctoral-level AI/AN scientists who are prepared to contribute in the emerging 21st century transdisciplinary research milieu. Our ultimate goal is to increase the number of such scientists who are able to conduct high-quality population research at the interface of population health and culture. The CNPHD Training Core will augment the established Native Investigator Development Program and build on over a decade of experience training Native Investigators. More specifically, our career development format uses formal didactic sessions, workshops, mini-courses, regular meetings, and mentoring activities to help investigators of AI/AN heritage acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to submit independent R01 or K Award applications. Thus, the spec/f/ca/ms of our Training Core are to: 1) Increase the number of American Indians/Alaska Native individuals able to conduct research pertinent to cancer disparities and population health by augmenting each exiting cohort of trainees with an additional Native junior faculty member;2) Initiate and maintain learning and mentoring relationships between established researchers and junior AI/AN investigators;3) Improve the analytic and methodological skills of AI/AN scientists through participation in secondary data analyses and small scale pilot studies involving primary data collection;4) Publish manuscripts based on the secondary data analyses and pilot studies, and use these as the basis for preparing independent investigator-initiated grant applications on population health disparities and cancer. We will also link our Core activities to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center/University of Washington Biobehavioral Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program, and the training opportunities offered by the university's Surgical Outcomes Research Center. The establishment of a population health training program focused on American Indians/Alaska Native health inequities will allow us to enhance a remarkably successful program that has already trained 28 Naive researchers.
Racial/ethnic minorities suffer disproportionately from diseases that can be prevented or controlled Fortunately, minority investigators are more likely than their White counterparts to focus on diseases and risk factors that most strongly affect minority populations. Equally important, these investigators bring unique insider perspectives and experiences that enhance the potential to understand factors underlying population health disparities.
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