April 11, 2024

Defining what ‘healthy’ means to Osages

Harvest Land is halfway through a 16-week-long Indigenous-Supported Agriculture Study with OSU’s Center for Indigenous Health. Called “Go Healthy,” the study investigates sovereign approaches to healthy eating that are unique to – and created by – Osages.

Read more at osagenews.org.

February 22, 2024

NIMHD Welcomes Six New Members to the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institute on Health (NIH) announced the appointment of six new members to its advisory council.

Members of the council are drawn from the scientific, medical, and lay communities, so they offer diverse perspectives on minority health and health disparities. The NIMHD Council, which meets three times a year, advises the secretary of Health and Human Services and the directors of NIH and NIMHD on matters related to NIMHD’s mission. The council also conducts the second level of review of grant applications and cooperative agreements for research and training and recommends approval for projects that show promise of making valuable contributions to human knowledge.

Read more at NIMHD.NIH.gov.

January 23, 2024

Dr. Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan discusses the inclusion of diets of American Indians and Alaska Natives for the first time in the dietary guidelines.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) Health Equity Working Group and Food Pattern Modeling and Data Analysis subcommittees provided details on its pilot program to develop dietary intake patterns for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, a potential proof-of-concept for developing health-oriented and culturally appropriate protocols for other diverse groups, during its fourth meeting on Jan. 19.

Read more at FoodNavigator-USA.com.

December 21, 2023

The Cowboy Way: Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan

Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan, professor of rural health and director of the Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, is currently serving on two prestigious national advisory committees — one determining the country’s dietary guidelines and the other looking at how health care disparities have changed in the last 20 years.

For more information, visit OKState.edu.

November 2023

Health Promotion Practice Special Focus Issue: Food Sovereignty as a Path to Healthy Equity for Indigenous Communities Showcasing Dr. Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan and Ms. Kaylee Clyma

“In this latest addition to the HPP Author Profiles, you can get to know 15 of the Native and Indigenous authors who have published with us in the past year. Click on each photo to learn more about their work, how their identities shape their scholarship and practice, and what they would say to Indigenous/Native students or new scholars wondering if there is a place for them in public health and health promotion”


Find more info about the focus issue here.

October 5, 2023

Oklahoma State University receives $10 million to research Indigenous health disparities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $10 million over five years to OSU’s Center for Health Sciences to address Indigenous health disparities and advance equity. OSU and the University of Hawai’i were awarded the grant, and they work as partners under the department’s Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity.

Visit KOSU.org to learn more.

September 29, 2023

Dr. Ashley Cole, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at OSU, is currently accepting students for her research lab. The application deadline for the 2024-2025 academic year is December 1st, 2023.

To learn more about the OSU Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program, click here.

To learn more about her lab’s work, visit the lab website.

August 10, 2023

OSU Health Science Center Receives More Than $3M for Indigenous Health Research

Global healthcare company, Novo Nordisk, donated $3.5 million to the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences to fund indigenous health research. Dr. Jernigan said this donation will help find ways to improve the health of Indigenous people by cultivating healthy food systems and gardening practices.

Vist NewsOn6.com to learn more.

July 26, 2023

CIHRP has received a $3.5 million donation from Novo Nordisk Inc., to fund the Indigenous Foodways and Health Initiative.

“After 20 years of working in public health with Native American communities, I have found that initiatives that support and strengthen cultural practices and traditions are the most effective strategies for promoting health,” said Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan, professor of rural health and director of CIHRP, who also has a doctorate in public health and is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

“Gifts like this one from Novo Nordisk support Native peoples to implement programs of greatest priority to them, which are culturally centered and use indigenous research methods,” Jernigan said.

Visit OKState.edu for more information.

July 15, 2023

‘Go Healthy’ program delivers fresh food to participants as part of study

A project to improve the diets and health of Osages that has been years in the planning kicked off July 13, when Oklahoma State University and Harvest Land began distributing free fresh produce and cooking equipment to selected families. The pilot project is only for six families but in January it is to expand to 200 families, half of whom will get the weekly “Go Healthy” program boxes brimming with seasonal fresh food.

Visit OsageNews.org for more information.

January 19, 2023

Dr. Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan is the first Indigenous woman to be appointed to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the appointment of 20 nationally recognized scientists to serve on the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

Dr. Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan, Director of the Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy, has been appointed and is the first Indigenous woman to ever serve on this committee.

The Committee will be tasked with reviewing the current body of science on key nutrition topics and developing a scientific report that includes its independent assessment of the evidence and recommendations for HHS and USDA as they develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

For more information, visit usda.gov.