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IHS, Mayo Clinic combine efforts to improve care

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ROCKVILLE, Md. – On July 10, the IHS and the Mayo Clinic signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a formal collaborative relationship. This relationship will capitalize on the individual and combined strengths of the two organizations to facilitate and support efforts to reduce cancer and related health burdens in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. This joint effort will be carried out through research and its applications, education and training, and clinical practice.

“The IHS and Mayo Clinic share a philosophy of collaboration, open communication, and commitment to respectfully serve the American Indian patient and community needs. The Mayo’s Native American programs have a long history of working with American Indian and Alaska Native students, physicians, nurses, researchers, tribal communities and the IHS in a way that respects tribal sovereignty and self-determination,” stated Dr. Charles W. Grim, IHS director. “In treating American Indian and Alaska Native patients, Mayo and the IHS have worked to integrate traditional medicine practices into their care when this has been requested. Mayo’s Native American programs have complemented the IHS mission and we look forward to this joint effort.”

Recognizing that the IHS and Mayo have different resources, functions, roles and areas of expertise, the IHS and Mayo will work jointly in five areas to improve the health of American Indian and Alaska Native people. The five areas are:

* Education and training – Encourage and promote training and education opportunities for American Indian students seeking health care careers.

* Career opportunities for qualified professionals – Promote career and service opportunities for qualified American Indian and Alaska Native researchers, clinicians and allied health care workers.

* Research to address American Indian and Alaska Native health issues – In consultation with the tribes, identify, develop and execute research to address American Indian and Alaska Native health needs.

* Federal and foundation grant contract and funding – Identify appropriate funding resources and support research and service efforts to improve health circumstances.

* Cost-effective health care and preventive health services for American Indian and Alaska Native communities – Develop greater access to

reliable, high-quality health care and preventive health services that respond to

the identified needs and health profiles of the communities.