Sanford Research has received the largest grant in its history, $13.5 million. The impetus behind the grant is to create a platform to bring together tribal communities and health researchers from multiple disciplines to address health disparities experienced by American Indians in South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota.

The five-year grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Disparities will establish the Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health (CRCAIH) in Sioux Falls. The CRCAIH will work with tribal leaders to equip their communities with infrastructure to assist with research and improve health care.

Dr. DenYelle Kenyon is an Associate Scientist with Sanford Research is excited to join with different organizations to put this plan in motion.  It will be as comprehensive as anything ever conducted in this field of research and Sanford invites all interested parties to get involved with the program.  The tribes from Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe (Pine Ridge) and Rosebud Sioux Tribe are on board with the anticipation that other tribes from South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota will collaborate.

At this time Sanford Research has received committments from such organizations as South Dakota State University; the University of South Dakota; the University of North Dakota; North Dakota State University; Turtle Mountain Community College; Missouri Breaks, Inc.; Medicine Wheel, Inc.; Rapid City Regional; and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Amy Elliott, PhD, director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention Research at Sanford Research/USD, is the principal investigator for this project, and says the overarching goal is to create a means for tribes, research centers and health-care organizations to work together to improve American Indian Health.  To make that happen will take strong community engagement, outreach and education efforts to advance better health.

This effort will be an important step in understanding current Reservation life and working dilligently to improve it.  Thanks to Dr. Kenyon for joining Rick Knobe and Dan Peters on Viewpoint University to discuss this ground breaking event.