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The Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health (CRCAIH) was formed in September 2012 upon receipt of a grant from the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities. This five-year grant creates a communication and infrastructure platform that brings together Tribal communities and health researchers, from multiple disciplines, to work in the development of cutting-edge transdisciplinary research that will address the significant health disparities experienced by American Indians in South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. A central component of CRCAIH is the Community Engagement and Innovation Division. This division works directly with tribally-employed community liaisons to develop each tribe’s research infrastructure according to specifications and requirements set forth by each Tribal nation.
The CRCAIH is a transdisciplinary center that embraces a “social determinants of health” theme and serves to advance research through three research projects in pediatric asthma self-management, kidney transplant donation education, and emergency room utilization. In conjunction, the Center offers pilot grants and other resources/curriculum or education in research culture/bioethics, regulation and methodology.
These studies, along with the pilot projects, will serve as models and demonstrations of the high quality research that is possible through the partnerships of the CRCAIH. The CRCAIH was created through the vision and collective expertise of numerous partners. Collaborators on the grant include: Oglala Sioux Tribe (Pine Ridge), Spirit Lake Nation, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sanford Health, South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Missouri Breaks Industries Research, Rapid City Regional, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and KAT Communications. (Elliott – PI, NIMHD U54-MD008164)
Prenatal Exposures on Health Outcomes
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Epidemiological Research (FASER): FASER is a study of the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) among first graders in Sioux Falls. All public and private elementary schools in Sioux Falls participated and the data collected included growth parameters, dysmorphology evaluation, psychological testing and maternal interviews. FASER has also supported ancillary studies in DNA methylation (PI - Puumala) and microarrays. The prevalence study has finished and a study of anthropometry is now being completed in all Sioux Falls public schools. (May/Hoyme/Elliott – Co-PI, NIAAA U01-AA019894)
Safe Passage Study: In a prospective study to investigate the role of prenatal alcohol exposure in stillbirth and sudden infant death syndrome, the Northern Plains collaborates with two American Indian Tribal communities and two urban locations. In total, over 12,000 women and infant pairs from South Africa and the Northern Plains will be enrolled in this study. (Elliott – PI, funded by NICHD/NIAAA/NIDCD U01-HD045935)
Effects of Prenatal Environment on Brain Development: A longitudinal study in preterm infants. The project involves EEG studies in premature infants and is looking at how prenatal alcohol exposure affects brain development. The overall goal of the study is to determine early in life which exposed infants are at risk for developing cognitive defects. (Fifer/Myers – PI; Elliott – Co-PI, NICHD R37-HD032774)
CBPR Initiative in Reducing Infant Mortality in American Indian Communities: This project will work with American Indian community and healthcare workers in the design and implementation of an intervention to reduce risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other related infant deaths due to unsafe sleep environments. (Elliott – PI, NICHD, R01-HD080544)
Contact Information for Elliott Lab:
Amy Elliott, PhD
2301E. 60th Street N.
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