Indigenous people experience disproportionately high rates of chronic diseases today. Addressing Indigenous health disparities requires a critical analysis of federal policies and actions historically and currently, as well as a move to privilege the voices, knowledge, and beliefs of Indigenous people.
Dr. Melissa Lewis is an assistant professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in the Department of Family & Community Medicine. Dr. Lewis received her PhD in Medical Family Therapy. She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and her research interests span integrated healthcare models with Indigenous patients, preparing healthcare professionals to work with Indigenous populations effectively, examining the role of stress and trauma on cardiovascular disease in Indigenous populations, and interventions aimed to empower Indigenous families and communities by privileging Indigenous knowledge and practices.