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The Power of People & Partnerships! University of Minnesota’s Program in Health Disparities Research

Part II

Empowering Community Through Health Equity Driven Research 

When the Little Earth of United Tribes residents’ board and administration decided to confront the many health issues in the community, they turned to the Program in Health Disparities Research. Together, they developed a baseline survey that would inform the needs of the community and build upon existing programs.

Given the history between academic institutions and the Native American community, it was imperative to establish and maintain a power structure that would facilitate trust between the two. 

A co-development of a Memorandum of Understanding was established and subsequently a data user agreement. It was agreed that while both parties shared vital expertise, the needs and power of Little Earth were paramount. This translated into how the survey questions were drafted, who administered the survey, and who controlled interpretation and dissemination. 

With over 416 Little Earth residents participating in the survey, this successful partnership highlights the positive impact of community and academia working together in a way that responds to community priorities with community in the driver seat. 


Bridging Policy, Research & Community

The mission of the Health Equity in Policy Initiative (HEPI) is to bridge persistent information gaps between researchers, communities and policy-making bodies, specifically related to health disparities.

Founded by Dr. Marilyn Nanney and Huda Ahmed, HEPI is an arm within PHDR focused on leveraging research shaped by community voices to inform policy makers of concerns and recommendations that support health equity in all policies.

For more information: 

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© 2023 by Quality Life MN. Created by NdidiMarie Grafix for The Anika Foundation.


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