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East Metro American Indian Diabetes Initiative

Family Medicine and Community Health, Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul/Department of Indian Work
Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul (Sponsoring Org)
Aboriginal people, North America; community-based programs; diabetes; health care disparities; illness and disease, chronic; obesity / overweight; participatory action research (PAR); research, action; social support
Project Contact
Tai Mendenhall

This initiative is composed of four core team members who represent established and innovative organizations in St. Paul, MN that are highly invested in seeking knowledge and promoting the health of urban-dwelling American Indian (AI) people. Our primary goal is to engage AI community members (including youth, adults, and elders), professionals (including medical, mental health, and social service providers), and university researchers to better understand and reduce health disparities. Using community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods, our team worked to identify unique challenges/needs and develop specific methods for tapping/utilizing families’ and community resources/assets to address said challenges/needs. We apply our findings in an iterative manner to the design and revisions(s) of culturally-powerful, multi-family interventions to prevent and/or effectively manage diabetes and its complications. These interventions include overlapping components that engage both youth and adults/elders. The inclusive and community-based nature of these interventions is consistent with the collective orientations of AI culture(s) and communal tradition(s).

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