The UNM Health Sciences Center, as a member of the New Mexico Tribal Healthcare Alliance, has been chosen as one of eight locations nationally for the establishment of American Indian Research Centers. The research centers are being created through $3 million in funding by the U.S. Indian Health Service to focus on medical research relevant to Native American communities.

To establish the center, the Health Sciences Center is partnering with the New Mexico Tribal Healthcare Alliance, an organization that was developed in partnership with the Albuquerque Area Indian Health Service from 26 New Mexico sovereign tribes and one urban tribal organization.

UNM will partner with the alliance in developing community-based research programs focused on health improvement and health maintenance issues and conducting collaborative biomedical research designed to meet the needs of the American Indian communities of the area. The center will also working to develop a cadre of Native American healthcare professionals trained in research techniques through expanded training and a mentoring effort.

"We want to conduct participatory research so that Indian communities can take responsibility of their own healthcare and participate fully in their research, including being able to have input into what research questions are asked," said Dr. Roberto Gomez, M.D., associate dean, office of Cultural and Ethnic Programs.

"These funds will increase the capacity of tribes and universities to work in partnership to reverse a trend of Indian communities frequently being the subject of research and not benefiting from that research," said Dr. Michael Trujillo, director of the Indian Health Service.


Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322