MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY, INC
This project aims to address the health concerns and reverse the health disparities experienced by Native Americans living in Montana. Our experience is insistent that the necessary approach to scientific inquiry and health enhancement for this population is Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). The Consortium for Community-Based Research in Native American Health was developed out of a dual request by Native American communities seeking to replicate successful CBPR projects, and by researchers seeking an entree to address Native American health concerns and disparities. The central practical purpose of this proposal is to grow the Consortium and change the way that research historically has been conducted with tribal nations by bringing together researchers and communities to establish trust, share power, foster colearning, enhance strengths and resources, build capacity, and examine and address community-identified needs and health problems. These institutional and behavioral changes are critical to achieving the ultimate outcomes sought through this project: improvements in Native Americans' health and reduction of health disparities through health literacy and disease prevention behaviors, change in health institutions, and increasing social capital in Native American communities that ultimately leads to improved economic conditions. The project's specific aims are to: establish an enduring, adaptable and conducive infrastructure for Montana researchers, medical and public health practitioners, and Native American community members to develop their capacity, coordinate their efforts and cooperate to address the health disparities faced by Montana's Native American populations (Administrative Core); carry out one full CBPR research project in the Crow tribal community and develop 12-25 CBPR pilot projects that address needs identified by Native American communities in Montana (Research Core); expand and enhance the capabilities of academically-based health researchers and medical and public health practitioners in Montana to work effectively with Native American community partners, and develop mentoring relationships for students to actively engage in research dealing with health issues of Montana's Native Americans (Training Core); and develop through the crucible of experience an understanding of the community structures, processes and participation and the. university policies required to conduct CBPR research with Native American communities that successfully addresses Native American health concerns and disparities (Community Engagement Core).