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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.

Home: About


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; Vice-President

Dr. Patricia Nez Henderson is originally from Teesto, Arizona—a small community in the Navajo Reservation. As a Diné scientist, Dr. Nez Henderson is one of the leading authorities in tobacco control and prevention in American Indian communities.  Her work has led to the Navajo Nation passing commercial tobacco-free policies for government workplaces and ceremonial settings, and increasing excise taxes on tobacco products.  In addition, Dr. Nez Henderson collaborated with Tribes and Tribal communities in  developing, implementing and evaluating culturally relevant research projects, including smoking cessation strategies for American Indian adults; an in-home smoking policy intervention; an in-home asthma/smoking intervention; social network-based tobacco intervention in the Navajo Nation; and the examination of tribally manufactured tobacco products and their marketing and sales on and off reservations. Dr. Nez Henderson is a panel member of the 2008 update of the Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline “Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence,” Federal Drug Administration Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, and the Human and Health Services Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health.

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