Past CANHR Projects
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funded Projects
WATCH: Western Alaska Tribal Collaborative for Health: Four NIH-funded research projects, in partnership with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, combined data sets to better characterize the prevalence and incidence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in Yup’ik and Inupiaq people. This study engaged tribal groups and community representatives to help prioritize community needs and to inform future interventions and research direction.
Workforce Development: This grant allowed us to provide more in-depth training to our community-based research staff, new COBRE investigators, postdoctoral fellows, tribal health organizations and graduate research assistants on community-based participatory research methodology. The training helped new investigators compete successfully for NIH research funding and to design and conduct rigorous research that is both community-based and culturally sensitive.
Bert Boyer, Ph.D, Principal Investigator
NIH/National Center for Research Resources
Alaska Native Stroke Registry
The Alaska Native Stroke Registry represented an important project to investigate the prevalence of vascular disease in Alaska, as well as a chance to develop culturally appropriate stroke prevention and intervention programs for Alaska Native populations.
CANHR joined the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, and Columbia University on this study.
Jim Allen, PhD, Brian Trimble, MD, Bernadette Boden-Albala, PhD, Principal Investigators
Funded by NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Health Promotion in a Yup'ik Community: Improving Health Through Collaboration
Piciryaratggun Calritllerkaq is designed to test the feasibility of community development based health promotion and primary prevention in rural Alaska and to explore the acceptability of this approach to Alaska Native (AN) people, specifically to Yup’ik people. The focus of this study was to show changes in the variables directly related to the health promotion activities to demonstrate the immediate impact this approach to health promotion can have on AN populations. In other words, can community development based health promotion that is anchored in indigenous conceptualizations of wellness lead to actual change in behavior and attitudes related to cardiovascular disease?
This investigation has been developed in collaboration with the host community and the regional Tribal Health Corporation. The project examined specific ways in which this approach to cardiovascular health can develop a local infrastructure, knowledge base, and process to encourage and maintain lasting lifestyle improvements. The long-term goal of this research is to develop this project into a model for conducting health promotion in the region. We hypothesize that a culturally-based community-development approach to health promotion will increase physical activity, increase consumption of subsistence foods and/or healthy substitutes, and decrease stress levels. Eventually, changes in these behaviors and participants’ sense of well-being are expected to be related to an increase in protective blood lipid factors, healthy weight, and healthy blood pressure.
Cecile Lardon, PhD, Principal Investigator
Funded by NIH/National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
Originally, People Awakening Resilience Program
The aim of the Yupiucimta Asvairtuumallerkaa (YA-PARP) program was (presently analyzing data) to develop a culturally-based alcohol and substance abuse prevention program for youth (ages 12 – 18 years) and their families, and to demonstrate that it is feasible to do in rural Alaska and is acceptable/of value to indigenous Alaskans. YA- PARP represents the second of a four-part research project (People Awakening) that is working toward developing and refining a model of a successful process for the creation of local, culturally-based prevention interventions that any community can utilize. A local Community Planning Group guided and worked alongside YA staff to develop and present a program of modules/workshops that related to the protective and resiliency factors (personal, family, and community level characteristics) that were identified from the life stories of ANs that participated in the original People Awakening study.Gerald V. Mohatt, EdD, Principal Investigator
Funded by NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Originally Ellangneq Project
Elluam Tungiinun (ET-EP) was a sister study with YA-PARP that also strove to demonstrate the feasibility of the PA derived process for developing local, culturally-based prevention interventions. While working in a different community in the same southwest Alaska region, ET-EP’s staff worked with the community’s planning and elders groups to develop and present a series of culturally-based workshops aimed at preventing suicide as well as alcohol and substance abuse in youth and their families. ET-EP data is also presently being analyzed and will be combined and compared to YA-PARP data to yield insights that will guide the upcoming efforts in the ET communities. Both ET-EP and YA-PARP participants will be provided the opportunity to continue their research involvement by partaking in annual local booster sessions that will allow the monitoring of the sustainability and durability of the intervention’s impact over the next 5 years
Gerald V. Mohatt, EdD, Principal Investigator
Funded by NIH/National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
Predictors of Alaska Native Adolescent Sobriety and Reasons for Living
Cuqyun (Yup’ik term for ‘a measuring tool’) is a developmental project linked with the long term, programmatic PA research. Significant cultural adaptation of established measurment tools as well as development of new culture specific tools was rquired to assess variables related to alcohol, substance abuse and suicide in AN adolescents. Cuqyun’s primary purpose is to test the psychometric properties of these adpated and recently developed measures with a sample of 475 AN adolescents age 13-18 years. This project also tests the predictive validity of these measures in a culturally-based model of AN sobriety and reasons for living suggested by our previous CBPR. This final aim will also provide a test of the mulitlevel pathway model of sobriety on which our preventive intervention program of research is based.
James Allen, PhD, Principal Investigator
The People Awakening Project (PA) began in 2001 as a three-year research study of Alaska Native (AN) pathways to sobriety, today it continues in its fourth phase of programmatic investigation as the Elluam Tungiinun (ET) project. Prior to PA, most past research on alcohol and ANs had focused on problems and abuse. As a result, little research attention had been given to the many AN people who are sober, who are not problem drinkers, and who have succeeded in recovery from alcoholism. It was this negative orientation that not only existed in the research literature but also in written and spoken popular media as well, that led AN leaders to join forces with University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) researchers to study and document the positive aspects of AN individuals and their culture that allowed them to avoid the dangers of alcohol abuse.
Gerald Mohatt, PhD, Principal Investigator
Funded by NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism