Donna Grandbois, NDSU assistant professor of nursing, has been named a Hampton Faculty Fellow through a comprehensive tribal cancer control program called American Indian/Alaska Native Initiative on Cancer, also known as Spirit of EAGLES.
Spirit of EAGLES is a National Cancer Institute Community Networks Program with a research base within Mayo Clinic’s Comprehensive Cancer Program. The program establishes intervention studies in Native populations, provides support for students in medicine or biological sciences training and advocates for improved cancer prevention and control in American Indian and Alaska Native populations.
American Indian and Alaska Native populations have high incidence rates for specific cancer sites and poor survival rates for most cancers, according to Grandbois. The fellowship program is designed to help combat those problems by bringing together researchers from throughout the country.
Hampton Faculty Fellows were initiated to train and promote the career development of qualified health disparity researchers. The program brings together researchers from various academic and clinical practices to increase research capacity through one-on-one mentoring, course training and conducting research projects.
“As a Native American tribal member, nurse and health educator, I have seen firsthand the devastating results of the grave health disparities and inequities that continue to exist among Native people, both urban and those living on reservations,” Grandbois said. “I want to be in a position to help bring about positive changes for Indian people and I think this fellowship will help me do that.”
Her fellowship will begin at the Spirit of EAGLES ninth national conference in Albuquerque, N.M., Oct. 25-28. The conference, themed “Changing Patterns of Cancer in Native Communities: Strength through Tradition and Service,” brings together Mayo Clinic faculty and nationally prominent researchers. Donald Warne, director of the NDSU Master of Public Health program, is scheduled to present at the event.
Grandbois is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Nation in Belcourt, N.D. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clinical nurse specialization in psychiatric mental health nursing from the University of North Dakota. Grandbois earned a doctorate in gerontology from NDSU and is one of only two American Indian gerontologists in the country.
Grandbois also is one of three core faculty who will teach in the newly developed American Indian Public Health specialization in NDSU’s Master of Public Health program. The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to work with and improve the health of American Indian populations.
“I believe the benefit of the Hampton Faculty Fellowship program will not only build on my past endeavors but will greatly enhance my work in the future because our interest areas are so closely aligned,” Grandbois said.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.