Vera Palmer, a Native American studies professor, offers a traditional prayer and blessing before the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00/Dartmouth Now)

Dartmouth and Indian Health Service Partner to Help Native Americans


Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) have partnered with the Indian Health Service to promote health and develop leaders in Indian country.

The college and center signed a memorandum of understanding November 12 with IHS, the division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that provides health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

“This is the next step in our commitment to Native Americans and to helping Native communities become healthier and more vibrant,” says Kalina Newmark ’11, senior presidential fellow of global health, IHS relations coordinator at the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science, in a Dartmouth press release.

“We’re in a great position to help a population that faces a lot of issues, issues that are more prevalent in Indian country than in the rest of the U.S.,” Newmark, a member of the Tulita Dene Band, a tribe centered in Canada’s Northwest Territories, added.

As examples she cited a shorter-than-average life expectancy, substance abuse, diabetes, and suicide—especially teen suicide—as some of the major health problems facing Natives.

Goals of this partnership include improving undergraduate understanding of Native health care, recruiting and training Native health care professionals at Dartmouth and providing doctors and nurses with educational opportunities at IHS.

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