May 26, 2015

NDSU hosts conference to explore Native American health and wellness


The North Dakota State University School of Nursing is hosting an American Indian health-care conference that will explore health and wellness through the traditions and cultures of American Indian people. “Encompassing American Indian Culture in Healthcare,” is scheduled for May 28-29 at the Holiday Inn in Fargo, North Dakota.

The conference, which is in its fourth year, brings together tribal leaders, health-care practitioners, educators and American Indian support program staff from North Dakota and Minnesota. It will feature national and regional speakers, poster presentations and networking opportunities.

Loretta Heuer, NDSU professor of nursing and conference organizer, said, “Our expert speakers will be discussing challenges that can arise when there are differences in culture, values, beliefs and experiences between American Indian patients and health-care providers, as well as strategies for developing solutions.”

Margaret Moss will deliver the conference keynote. Moss is an associate professor and the coordinator of the Nursing Management, Policy and Leadership Specialty at the Yale School of Nursing and was the first director of the school’s doctor of nursing practice program. She is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota – the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation.

Speakers also include Dr. Albert Allick, a specialist in cross-culture psychiatry at Sanford Health, Fargo; NDSU President Dean Bresciani; Michael Melt, co-director of the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis at the University of Chicago; Michael Yellow Bird, NDSU professor and director of the Tribal Indigenous Studies program; and Philip Young P. Hong, associate professor in the School of Social Work and a faculty associate of the Center for Social Development at Washington University, St. Louis.

The conference is the result of collaboration among the NDSU School of Nursing, Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Spirit Lake, North Dakota, and the Recruitment/Retention of American Indians Into Nursing, or RAIN, program at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The conference is part of a broader effort to encourage American Indian students to pursue health careers. It is funded by The University Partnership Research Grant for Health Profession Opportunity Grant, # 90PH0019, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation; Administration for Children and Families; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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