Current health research activities at ANTHC build on a 60-year history of research with Alaska Native people and encompass a wide spectrum of health issues that impact the Alaska Native people, including high rates of tobacco use, obesity, cancers, suicide, STDs and unintentional injuries. We ensure health research continues to meet the health needs of Alaska Native people in Alaska and continues to explore solutions to the major health disparities specific to the diverse Alaska Native population.
Research activities have had a dramatic impact on the lives of the Alaska Native people and ANTHC recognizes the importance of maintaining a robust research department with staff who are dedicated to research with Alaska Native people and who understand the importance of Tribally-driven research. While not an academic institution, where staff are retained through tenure, ANTHC supports research through direct funding for core research staff and research projects, administrative and logistics support, and in fostering collaboration with academic institutions in Alaska and elsewhere. Additionally a number of staff who are primarily engaged in clinical care are able to dedicate time to translational research that has application and clinical relevance to the Alaska Native population they serve.
Oversight of research by Alaska Native people
Research conducted by ANTHC is Tribally-driven, meaning that the ANTHC Board of Directors has reviewed and approved research that meets ANTHC health priorities and supports research necessary to improve Alaska Native health care and health status.
The ANTHC Health Research Review Committee (HRRC), a Board committee, oversees health research conducted within ANMC as well as all research involving ANTHC staff and facilities conducted throughout the state. The HRRC is comprised of six appointed members of the ANTHC Board of Directors, who review and approve research on behalf of the Board or recommend research for approval to the board. Tribal approval is sought to affirm that research is conducted to benefit Alaska Native people, assuring that Alaska Native communities are not harmed and that proposed research studies address health needs pertinent to Alaska Native people. To be eligible for HRRC review, all research must first be reviewed and approved by the IHS Alaska Area Institutional Review Board (AAIRB). An ANTHC employee provides administrative support to the AAIRB. Prior to HRRC review, all research abstracts, manuscripts and proposals are internally reviewed by knowledgeable staff participating on the Abstracts Manuscripts and Proposals Review Committee (AMP-RC) who provide feedback in the form of recommendations to authors and investigators.