The Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health (CRCAIH) has been designed to build on the Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) (1, 2) and Tribal Participatory Research (TPR) (3, 4) models that have been developed and implemented by the investigators and communities through numerous other research projects that serves as the formative work for the projects descnbed below. The CBPR model provides an exemplary example of effective and mutually beneficial collaborative relationships between tribal communities and universities/research centers that have guided the development of this grant application and the approaches that are described in each of the Core areas. Key elements of the model include: 1) Building relationships and trust between the researchers and the Tribal communities that participate in research studies; 2) Involving Tribal representatives in the design of research and program activities to ensure that Tribal culture, traditions, and community resources are appropriate incorporated; 3) Involving Tribal members and organizations in the conduct of research activities and interventions, with financial support for this Tribal involvement 4) Providing training and technical assistance to tribal members who work with research teams to build skills for conducting intervention activities, data collection, and other research-related activities;and 5) Providing interim and final reports on all research and other project activities, on an ongoing basis, to ensure that the information produced is available and in a useable format for Tribes to use. The CRCAIH will maintain these principles for Tribal participation and involvement in the research, community outreach and information dissemination that will encompass the activities of this center. During the preparation of this grant application, discussions were conducted with numerous Tribes and Tribal agencies across the Dakotas and Northem Minnesota to identify Tribal health priorities for research. The topics that came up frequently during those discussions included asthma management, shortage of dialysis centers and access to quality medical care. With this guidance, the three research studies selected for inclusion as focal points for this application address components of each of these major health areas for American Indians in the Northern Plains.
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