IREACH Partners in $4.5 Million Wabanaki Nation Health Study – WSU Insider
Washington State University’s Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH) and Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness (WPHW) received a four-year, $4.49 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
This Center Grant aims to estimate the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease-related dementia and mild cognitive impairment among Wabanaki Tribal citizens aged 55 and older to determine the current and future economic costs associated with these conditions. It also supports the development of a public health course for undergraduate students and the establishment of a Wabanaki Public Health District Research Review Board. Based in Bangor, Maine, the center grant will be conducted over the next three years.
Dr. Patrik Johansson, MD, MPH, and associate professor at WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, who is also director of WSU’s Northwest Health Education Research Outcomes Network (NW HERON), will co-lead the center grant with Lisa Sockabasin, RN, MS and co-CEO of WPHW.
Johansson worked for over 20 years with the Wabanaki Nations comprised of the Mi’kmaq Nation; the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians; the Penobscot Nation; and the Passamaquoddy Tribe, which includes the communities of Indian Township and Pleasant Point. He has also worked with various tribes across the country.
Johansson said, “Through our partnership, we will learn more about the memory function of Wabanaki elders and create education programs for future generations of public health professionals and researchers who are citizens of the Wabanaki tribe. . The work we are doing in Maine will inform future collaborative efforts with tribes in Washington State on tribal priorities related to aging.
IREACH faculty and staff are committed to improving health through community-based participatory research for Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Pacific and Hawaiian Islanders, and other underserved communities in the urban and rural settings in the Northwest and other locations across the country.