A new Center for American Indian Health is coming to the region. KU medical center has received a $7.5 million federal grant aimed at reducing American Indian health disparities.
Compared to the rest of the U.S. population, American Indians are much more likely to suffer from things like diabetes and breast cancer.
Shelley Bointy is project director of the new center. During a news conference at Haskell Indian Nations University on Friday, Bointy said the program will involve an unprecedented amount of community participation at the university level.
"It's going to be native people determining for ourselves what we need, what we think our needs are, what we want addressed as a community as a whole across the United States," said Bointy. "And that has really been what's lacking in the history of academic research."
Bointy says among other things, the grant will work with native schools across the country to increase the number of American Indians in the health care field. She says the new center will also build upon KU Medical Center's ongoing projects, which are working to develop culturally sensitive approaches to reducing tobacco use and improving nutritional habits among American Indians.
Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
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