Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan, DrPH, MPH


Professor of Medicine

Dr. Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan is a Choctaw community-based participatory researcher. Dr Jernigan received her Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular disease prevention at Stanford University, where she also completed a degree in documentary filmmaking. She is the Principal Investigator of more than a dozen research studies aimed at improving Indigenous food environments through policy and systems interventions. She also leads the Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity, funded by the Office of Minority Health. Dr. Jernigan is a member of the Canadian Institutes of Health research College of Reviewers. She is the inaugural chair of the National Cancer Institute’s Intervention Research to Improve Native Health (IRINAH) initiative, a collaboration of NIH-funded investigators conducting intervention science research. In 2019 she established and now directs the Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy (CIHRP), an endowed research arm of Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Sciences. In all of Dr. Jernigan’s work she has focused on fostering long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous communities that promote tribal sovereignty and build community capacity to improve health.

Oklahoma State University Profile