Native American Child Health

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The International Meeting on Indigenous Child Health (IMICH), held every two years, focuses on innovative clinical care models and community-based public health approaches for children and youth in First Nations, Inuit, Métis, American Indian, Alaska Native and other Indigenous communities around the world.

Conference objectives are available here.

Co-hosted by the Canadian Paediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics, this meeting brings together health care providers and researchers working with children, youth and families in American Indian, Alaska Native, First Nations, Inuit, Métis and other Indigenous communities. Participants share model programs and research, learn about prevalent health problems, and acquire practical skills for use in community settings. Opportunities to share knowledge and support one another’s efforts, to network and develop partnerships are built into the program.

The conference organizers represent Aboriginal and Native American organizations in Canada, the United States, Central and South America.

Click here to submit your proposal.

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The most recent conference

6th International Meeting on Indigenous Child Health - March 20-22, 2015 / Ottawa, Ontario

Upcoming Webinar

Improving Oral Health Care for American Indian/Alaska Native Children: The Menominee Model
Presented by Ronald D. Freeman, DMD and Tammy Keller, BSDH, RDH, CDHC on May 24, 2016 at 11:00 AM CDT.  To register for the FREE webinar, sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics Indian Health Special Interest Group, click on

Tammy Keller, BSDH, RDH, CDHC
Tammy received her Dental Hygiene Degree in 1992, Community Dental Health Certificate in 2003 and Bachelor in Dental Hygiene in 2001.  She has worked the past 19 years at the Menominee Tribal Clinic as a Clinical Hygienist, Community Oral Health Coordinator and Office Manager.  Tammy represents oral health needs for the community through appointments to the Menominee County Tobacco Coalition, AIDS task force, Clinic’s Health promotion/Disease prevention group, Diabetes Committee team member and Head Start Health advisory board.  Tammy has been working on developing various oral health programs over the past years.  She has coordinated school based mouth rinse program, trained medical providers to apply fluoride varnish at well child visits, Head start, Daycare and WIC fluoride varnish programs, pregnant moms and xylitol program, health fairs along with numerous oral health presentation within the community.

Ronald David Freeman, DMD
Dr. Freeman did his undergraduate work at the University of Kentucky obtaining a B.S.  in 1978.  He graduated from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry in 1983.  His post-doctorate training included a General Practice Residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and a Fellowship in the Department of Surgery at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD.  He then was a Clinical Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.  He served on the faculty of the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC and was also a Senior Clinical Dentist in the United States Air Force.  He has been the Dental Program Director at the Menominee Tribal Clinic since 1998.

Physicians, dentists, medical students and residents, dental hygienists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, nurses and other health care professionals.


1. Be able to describe the severity of the dental caries problem in the AI/AN population.
2. Understand the clinical tools available to use to address the problem.
3. Recognize the community and financial resources that are needed to increase access and treatment for these children.


Past Webinars

Suicide: An Invasive yet Preventable Disease
Presented by Shaquita Bell, MD, FAAP on February 22, 2016

To view recorded webinar, please click here.
To view slides, please click here.


At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Correctly identify youth who are more at risk for attempting suicide.
  • Mobilize communities to engage in prevention strategies.
  • Implement postvention strategies once a suicide has occurred.

Epigenetics and Health Disparities: Linking Biology and Social Science

Presented by James N Jarivs, MD, FAAP on November 18, 2015 at 12:00 Noon Central Time.
To view the recorded webinar please
click here.

At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the fundamentals of epigenetics
  • Describe how historical traumas may impact the epigenome
  • Apply community-based initiatives that may buffer the epigenetic effects of toxic stress

Lung Infections in Indigenous American Children: A Hidden Disparity

Presented by Rosalyn Singleton MD, MPH, FAAP on August 25, 2015 .
To view the slide set please click here.

American Indian and Alaska Native children experience higher rates of hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs), including bronchiolitis and pneumonia, compared with the general U.S. child population. This disparity is highest for pneumonia in infants. Pneumonia is of particular interest because high rates of pneumonia have been associated with increased incidence of chronic suppurative lung disease like bronchiectasis in rural Alaska Native children as well as indigenous children in Australia and New Zealand. Lower respiratory tract hospitalizations have been associated with several modifiable risk factors including lack of piped water, household crowding, lack of breast-feeding and indoor air pollution. We will present trends in lung infections in American Indian and Alaska Native children and encouraging data showing the impact of interventions such as vaccinations and introduction of piped water in lowering rates of lung infections.

At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize higher morbidity for LRTIs among American Indian / Alaska Native (AI/AN) children
  • Describe the decrease in AI/AN and US child pneumonia hospitalizations over the past two decades
  • Recognize modifiable risk factors for LRTIs in AI/AN children, including: lack of piped water, indoor air pollution, absence of breastfeeding, and household crowding

Heritable Illnesses in the Navajo: Fallout from the American Indian Wars of the 19th Century Presented by Steve Holve, MD, FAAP on May 28, 2015
To view the slide set click here.

The arrival of Europeans in North America 400 years ago had a devastating effect on the native population. We often think of war and infectious diseases as the legacy of colonization.
However, ongoing conflict and political decisions up into the 20th century have had a direct, but little appreciated effect on population genetics in American Indians and Alaska Natives. Using the experience of the Navajo tribe in the Southwest we will show how the history of colonization in North America has had lasting genetic effects on the Navajo. The Navajo experience can inform work in looking at other indigenous groups around the world.

At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Define the founder effect and recognize the genetic effect in a community
  • Recognize the historical factors that lead to the founder effect in the Navajo
  • Identify heritable illnesses that are common to the Navajo



AAP Children's Oral Health Web Site

The AAP supports pediatricians and other health care professionals to provide preventive oral health services as part of early well child exams and continued throughout the child's life until a dental home can be found. The new Children's Oral Health Web site provides opportunities for education, advocacy, and resources to help you to implement oral health services in the pediatric practice. For more information about the AAP's Oral Health efforts email

You can become involved in the AAP's Native American child health efforts through the Indian Health Special Interest Group (IH-SIG). The IH-SIG provides a forum for pediatricians and other licensed health care professionals serving American Indian/Alaska Native children to share successes and strategies, sponsor educational programs that highlight aspects of providing care to American Indian/Alaska Native children, support the work of the CONACH by disseminating information, and link members to address problems specific to local or regional care of American Indian/Alaska Native children

One of the activities of the IH-SIG is a quarterly webinar series. These webinars are listed above.

Membership is free of charge. To join, or for more information on AAP Native American child health activities, please e-mail


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