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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Johns Hopkins: Center for American Indian Health Expands to Upper Midwest

Building on community partnerships with tribal members from 11 Ojibwe Bands, the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health is expanding its programming to the Midwest. The center is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. With the launch of the Great Lakes hub, the center now reaches more than 125 tribal communities in 20 states.

The center’s new Great Lakes hub will be located in Duluth, Minnesota, under the direction of Dr. Melissa Walls. It will be home to a study examining a multigenerational approach to preventing diabetes in American Indians.

Since 1991, the center has worked with American Indian and Alaska Native communities to improve the health status, self-sufficiency and health leadership of native people. The center offers a range of programs that focus on holistic approaches to health such as alcohol and drug abuse prevention, maternal and child health, mental health, and obesity and diabetes prevention.

In the U.S., American Indian youth experience the highest rate of childhood obesity and the highest and fastest-growing rate of type 2 diabetes of any racial or ethnic group. Dr. Walls, who has been appointed an associate professor in the Bloomberg School’s department of international health at the Bloomberg School, will lead an effort to adapt Together on Diabetes, a home-visiting diabetes prevention and management program that teaches American Indian children and their families about nutrition, physical activity and life skills.

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