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“To improve the health and wellness of American Indian tribes, communities, and

peoples through research, service, education, and philanthropy.”

These are not just words to us. At the Black Hills Center for American Indian Health, we incorporate this philosophy into all of our projects as we work to hence the physical,  mental, spiritual, and cultural health of American Indian Tribes and Tribal communities.

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Jeffrey A. Henderson, M.D., M.P.H President & CEO

Dr. Jeffrey Henderson is Lakota and an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Dr. Henderson acquired both his Bachelor’s and Medical degrees from the University of California, San Diego. After completing a residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at the University of Washington, Dr. Henderson moved to Eagle Butte, South Dakota in 1992, where he served as Clinical Director of the Indian Health Service hospital. He returned to Seattle in 1994 to pursue his Master’s training in Public Health, after which he moved to the Black Hills of western South Dakota. In 1998, Dr. Henderson founded the Black Hills Center for American Indian Health. The Center has met with considerable success, garnering over $28 million through 50 peer-reviewed health research grants and contracts, largely from NIH and CDC. In turn, these efforts have providing well-paying jobs and benefits for more than 40 reservation-based tribal members, and injected over $5 million directly into our partnering reservation communities.

Patricia Nez Henderson, M.D., MPH; Senior Scientist 

Dr. Patricia Nez Henderson is originally from Teesto, Arizona—a small community in the Navajo Reservation. Dr. Nez Henderson received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Arizona and was the first American Indian woman to graduate from Yale University School of Medicine, earning her Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees from Yale University. As public health scientist, Dr. Nez Henderson collaborates with Tribes and Tribal communities in developing, implementing, and evaluating culturally relevant research projects. She is a panel member of multiple federal tobacco-related committees, including the inaugural Federal Drug Administration Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee which recommended the removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace. Dr. Nez Henderson is also a board member for multiple public health organization, including the Society of Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Board of Directors–an international organization where she recently served as the President. She has been recognized for her work with Tribal communities through numerous honors and awards.

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