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Faculty member participates in indigenous peoples' health meeting

Photo of Don Warne


Dr. Donald Warne, chair of NDSU’s Department of Public Health and Mary J. Berg Distinguished Professor in Women’s Health, was invited to participate in the “Wellness, Suicide Prevention and Indigenous Experiences” meeting hosted by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization in Montreal, Canada, Oct. 25-26.

According to organizers, there are more than 370 million indigenous peoples worldwide. They remain some of the most vulnerable groups, driven by factors such as social and political isolation, discrimination, poverty, illiteracy and few employment opportunities. These circumstances, worsened by insufficient access to health services, contribute to indigenous communities’ poor health status and reduced quality of life, reflected by higher rates of maternal and child mortality, malnutrition, chronic diseases and poor mental wellbeing.

The meeting’s objectives were to:

• Exchange experience of wellness and suicide prevention at the community level

• Develop culturally competent adaptation processes for international mental health tools

• Establish future collaborations with participating indigenous communities

The event featured representatives from Canadian, Latin American, Caribbean and United States indigenous communities, governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Warne, who joined NDSU in 2011, earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, his Doctor of Medicine at Sanford University School of Medicine and his Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

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