Research at Southcentral Foundation
A Tradition of Healthy Families
Research Question: What is a better way to assess tobacco exposure during pregnancy?
Summary: This study looks at smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke among Alaska Native pregnant women and their infants. After informed consent, a saliva sample and questionnaire are collected during each trimester of pregnancy and five times during the child's first year of life. Participants do not need to use or be exposed to tobacco products in order to participate in the study. The Indian Health Service and the National Institutes of Health support this study as part of the Native American Research Centers for Health.
Healthy Children, Healthy Communities
Research Question: What is a better way to assess alcohol exposure during pregnancy?
Summary: Funded by the Native American Research Centers for Health, this pilot study involves Alaska Native women in their third trimester of pregnancy. The study purpose is to develop methods to better assess alcohol use during pregnancy. Consenting mothers are asked a series of questions and a meconium sample is gathered from the infant after delivery.
Ethical and Cultural Implications of Specimen Banking Among Alaska Native People
Research Question: What do Alaska Native people think about specimen banking?
Summary: The purpose of this study is to find out what Alaska Native people think about specimen banking. Specimen banking is the storage of samples from the body like blood, saliva or urine for research. Specimen banks can answer questions about health and help find new ways to treat and prevent diseases. For instance, biological samples helped researchers create the hepatitis B vaccine. In this project, both interviews and focus groups will be used to gather information. The history of using specimen banks for research among Alaska Native people will also be studied.
Diabetes Prevention Research Project
Research Question: How can we prevent diabetes in people who are at high risk for the disease?
Summary: Southcentral Foundation is conducting the Diabetes Prevention Research Project in partnership with the Indian Health Service. Alaska Native and American Indian people have a higher rate of diabetes than other racial/ethnic groups. The purpose of the project is to find out if a 16-session educational program designed specifically for Native people can reduce the development of diabetes in an at-risk group.
Education and Research Towards Health (EARTH)
Research Question: How do diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle and cultural factors impact the development and progression of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease?
Summary: Education and Research Towards Health, or EARTH, is a longitudinal study that involves Alaska Native and American Indian people in Alaska, on the Navajo reservation and in the Dakotas. Within Alaska, Southcentral Foundation was one of three EARTH sites funded by National Institutes of Health. The others were based at the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation and the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.
Terms, see also: Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation and Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.
Traditions of the Heart
Research Question: How can heart disease be prevented among middle-aged Alaska Native women?
Summary: Southcentral Foundation has led the Traditions of the Heart project since 1999. Funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is a research-based intervention program with partners located throughout the nation. The purpose of the study is to reduce cardiovascular health risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and smoking among Alaska Native and American Indian women ages 40-64. Traditions of the Heart offers medical screening for cardiovascular health risk factors at the Anchorage Native Primary Care Center's Family Medicine Clinic and an interactive adult group focused intervention.
Terms, see also: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and screening.
Stefanich, C. A., Witmer, J. M., Young, B. D., Benson, L. E., Penn, C. A., Ammerman, A. S., et al. (2005). Development, adaptation, and implementation of a cardiovascular health program for Alaska Native women. Health Promotion Practice, 6(4), 472-481
Witmar, J. M., Hensel, M. R., Holck, P. S., Ammerman, A. S., Will, J. C., (2004). Heart disease prevention for Alaska Native women: a review of pilot study findings. Journal of Women’s Health, 13(5), 569-578.
Slattery, M.L., Murtaugh, M.A., Schumacher, M.C., Johnson, J., Edwards, S., Edwards, R., Benson, J., Tom-Orme, L., Lanier, A.P. (2008). Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Computerized Self-Administered Diet History Questionnaire for Use in Studies of American Indian and Alaskan Native People. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008;108:101-109.
Helzer, Laurie J., Heitkamp, Kathleen M., Shein, Melissa, Etzel, Ruth A. (2007). Pilot Study of Methods to Measure Saliva Cotinine in Alaska Native Women During Pregnancy. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 66(1), 29-38.
Hiratsuka, Vanessa Y., Loo, Ryan, Will, Julie C., Oberrecht, Rebecca, Poindexter, Patricia. (2007). Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Screening Among Alaska Native Women: The Traditions of the Heart Project. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 66(1), 39-44.
Dillard, Denise, Christopher, Deborah (2007). The Southcentral Foundation Depression Collaborative. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 66(1), 45-53.
Slattery, M.L., Schumacher, M.C., Lanier, A.P., Edwards, S., Edwards, R., Murtaugh, M.A., Sandidge, J., Day, G.E., Kaufman, D., Kanekar, S., Tom-Orme, L. and Henderson, J.A. (2007). A Prospective Cohort of American Indian and Alaska Native People: Study Design, Methods, and Implementation. Am J Epidemiol 2007;166:606–615
Jonas, M. M. (2007). Finding adolescents and young adults with transfusion-associated hepatitis C: looking forward to looking back. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 161(2), 202-203.
Bell, B. P., Negus, S., Fiore, A. E., Plotnik, J., Dhotre, K. B., Williams, J., et al. (2007). Immunogenicity of an inactivated hepatitis A vaccine in infants and young children. Pediatr Infect Dis J, 26(2), 116-122.
Cagle, H. H., Jacob, J., Homan, C. E., Williams, J. L., Christensen, C. J., & McMahon, B. J. (2007). Results of a general hepatitis C lookback program for persons who received blood transfusions in a neonatal intensive care unit between January 1975 and July 1992. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 161(2), 125-130.
Smith, H. S., Bjerregaard, P., Chan, H. M., Corriveau, A., Ebbessan, S. O. E., Etzel, R. A., et al. (2006). Research with arctic peoples: unique research opportunities in heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 65(1), 79-90.
Stefanich, C. A., Witmer, J. M., Young, B. D., Benson, L. E., Penn, C. A., Ammerman, A. S., et al. (2005). Development, adaptation, and implementation of a cardiovascular health program for Alaska Native women. Health Promotion Practice, 6(4), 472-481.
Witmar, J. M., Hensel, M. R., Holck, P. S., Ammerman, A. S., Will, J. C., (2004). Heart disease prevention for Alaska Native women: a review of pilot study findings. Journal of Women's Health, 13(5), 569-578.
Wood, F. B., Sahali, R, Press, N., Libr. M., Burroughs, C., Mala, T. A., et al. (2003). Tribal connections health information outreach results, evaluation and challenges. Medical Library Association, 91(1), 57-66.
Pierce-Bulger, M. & Nighswander, T. (2001). Nutaqsiivik – an approach to reducing infant mortality using quality improvement principles. Quality Management in Health Care, 9(3), 40-46.
Other Links of Interest
National Institutes of Health – Research Training and Scientific Resources
National Indian Health Board
Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry – Office of Tribal Affairs
Barrow Arctic Science Consortium
Arctic Peoples – Indigenous Peoples at the Arctic Council
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues