Dr. Vicki Tall Chief, associate professor in health promotion sciences at the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health, has been chosen to receive the 2015 National Indian Health Board’s Local Impact Award for her significant contributions to advancing American Indian and Alaska Native Health. The award was presented to Dr. Tall Chief at the NIHB Native Health Awards Gala during their Annual Consumer Conference in Washington, DC, September 23. This award acknowledges an individual or organization whose work has affected change or impacted health care on the local and/or tribal level. Dr. Tall Chief’s service to Indian Country has been noted by Tribal Leaders and advocates across the country, and they have recognized her achievements and service with this award.
Dr. Tall Chief has worked with American Indian populations and public health for over 30 years. She is the principal investigator of the HRSA-funded Public Health Training Center and the CDC-funded Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center at the College of Public Health. Both Centers focus on ways to improve the Nation’s public health system by strengthening the technical, scientific, and leadership competence of current and future public health workers in tribal, local, and state public health agencies. In both projects she works with community partners to provide improved access to education and training for the tribes and public health workforce. She worked with tribal emergency managers and was instrumental in the development of the first-ever Intertribal Emergency Management Coalition (ITEMC) which united all tribal emergency managers in the state of Oklahoma. She has also contributed to the Oklahoma Center for American Indian Diabetes Health Disparities, the Native American Prevention Research Center, and the Oklahoma STRONG HEART Study. Over the years, Dr. Tall Chief has worked with the Oklahoma Area Intertribal Health Board, the Oklahoma Tribal Epidemiology Center and the Association of American Indian Physicians on a variety of grants and projects which have been translated into the delivery of trainings, workshops and conferences.