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November 2018

Art + Activism: Gregg Deal to Speak at event hosted by Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and Native American LifeLines

The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and Native American LifeLines are pleased to welcome Gregg Deal (Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe) to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on Monday, November 5th at noon for a talk on Indigenous Art and Activism in celebration of Native American Heritage Month. Read about Gregg Deal.
 
RSVP

Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health briefs Congressional Baby Caucus on how we can protect infants from flu

American Indian/Alaska Native infants are hospitalized with influenza (flu) at a rate 5 times higher than infants in the general US population, and also 5 times more likely to die from complications of the flu.
 
On Tuesday, September 25th, Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Chuck Fleishman (R-TN), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Baby Caucus, convened a briefing in Washington, D.C. about flu in infants to help prepare for the coming flu season. 
Dr. Jessica Atwell, an epidemiologist with the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, joined three other guest speakers to discuss the burden of influenza among infants under 6 months of age across the US and specifically among American Indian/Alaska Native children. Panelists presented strategies for how policy makers, health care providers, and communities can work together to protect infants from the flu. Two key strategies:
  • Develop materials and programs specifically-designed for high risk communities to promote immunization. 
  • Vaccinate women who are pregnant during flu season so they can pass that protection to their baby. Vaccinate infants once they are 6 months of age to protect them from the flu.
The Center’s Evaluating Maternal Immunization Study is collaborating with Navajo and White Mountain Apache communities to develop culturally-tailored communication and education materials to increase awareness of flu and other vaccine-preventable diseases, and improve vaccine uptake in order to reduce disease.
 
Congresswoman DeLauro will be sponsoring a bill asking Congress to dedicate $5 billion in funding over five years to influenza prevention and vaccine development, with provisions to focus on the specific needs of high-risk communities. 

Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Scholar Naomi R. Lee, PhD, wins American Indian Science and Engineering Society 2018 Professional of the Year Award

Congratulations to Naomi R. Lee, PhD (Seneca Nation), an Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of Northern Arizona University who just won the American Indian Science and Engineering Society 2018 Professional of the Year Award. A Senior Platoon Leader and Captain with the National Guard, Dr. Lee has also received a scholarship to pursue public health training with the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. 
 
“I seek to improve the lives of American Indian and Alaska Native people through biomedical research, community-based participatory research, STEM education, and mentoring,” says Dr. Lee.
 
“The Center’s Public Health Certificate program is a unique way to merge biomedical research with public health research related to Native communities.”
 
Dr. Lee’s training at Johns Hopkins is made possible by Dr. Elizabeth A. Sackler, a visionary advocate, historian, and social activist for Native American peoples. Dr. Sackler is also currently supporting over 15 other Native scholars—and will ultimately support up to 40 scholars—pursuing a range of public health studies with the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. 
 
Watch a short video about Dr. Lee’s career, including her current leadership roles within the National Guard and innovative work developing HPV vaccines.

Spirit Of Our Center

Laurelle Sheppard supports the Family Spirit home-visiting program from her home base in Chinle, AZ

Laurelle Sheppard is Naakaidiné (Mexican Clan) born for Ashiihíí (Salt People) clan from the Navajo Nation. She provides technical support to tribal communities across the country that are implementing Family Spirit.

“I’ve spent the past 15 years in the service of bettering humankind in different capacities," said Laurelle.

"As a Diné (Navajo) woman, I struggled with integrating my traditional side with the modern world. I found a balance that provides me with a unique perspective in public service.” 

Read more about Laurelle.

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