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Episode #224 Decolonizing Data With Dr. Rosalina James, Urban Indian Health Institute


On this episode of the Public Health Epidemiology Conversations (PHEC) Podcast


Public health spans all communities and cultures. However, smaller populations are being overlooked due to historical discrimination. We talk to Dr. Rosalina James, Director of Research and Evaluation at Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI), about her interests in decolonizing data and the importance of getting people of American Indian and Native Alaska descent a seat at the table.


We hear the challenges Dr. James faced as a woman of color in academia, and her advice on facing these issues. Find out how Dr. James moved into public health from lab work, why workforce development is so important to her, and why she feels epidemiologists are uniquely equipped to make overlooked cultures visible.


Tune in to hear what the UIHI has been working on throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and how you can get involved as an intern. We look forward to having you join us!


Listen To This Episode of the Public Health Epidemiology Conversations (PHEC) Podcast



Key Points From This Episode


  • Welcome to Dr. Rosalina James, Director of Research and Evaluation at Urban Indian Health Institute; her interests in decolonizing data.

  • How Dr. James moved from lab work into public health.

  • Why Dr. James disagrees with the culture in science of picking one thing and staying with it.

  • What Dr. James is currently working on: providing resources, materials, and information that allow people to make fact-based decisions; addressing chronic disease causes, and workforce development.

  • Dr. James’s experience as a person of color in science.

  • Kitchen table talks: providing space for people to talk about and receive information about the pandemic and other health issues.

  • How the UIHI encourages workforce development, and why Dr. James feels it is so important.

  • Making small populations visible: why public health decisions need to include American Indian and Alaska Native cultures.

  • How volunteers have contributed to the UIHI program.

  • Find out how you can qualify for the UIHI internship!

  • Why it’s so crucial to have people from American Indian and Alaska Native cultures in public health.

  • The role of epidemiologists in making American Indian and Alaska Native cultures visible.

  • Dr. James’s advice for those interested in making a career in public health.


Career Advice to Public Health Students and Graduates


Public health offers a broad diversity of opportunities. If you want to collect and analyze datasets, work in emergency management, conduct health research with community based approach, or facilitate interventions there are career options in public health.


Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI)


UIHI is a Tribal Epidemiology Center that serves over 60 urban Indian organizations nationwide. We provide a number of services to members of our Urban Indian Health Network including program evaluation support, community health profiles, and trainings on everything from decolonizing data to grant writing to Indigenous kitchens traditional foods and nutrition. A central part of our work is training the next generation of AIAN health and public health professionals and allies.


Tribal Epidemiology Centers


Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TEC) are Indian Health Service (IHS), division funded organizations who serve American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Tribal and urban communities by managing public health information systems, investigating diseases of concern, managing disease prevention and control programs, responding to public health emergencies, and coordinating these activities with other public health authorities.


Tribal Epidemiology Centers provide various types of support and services due to the variation of the TECs organization structure, divisions, Tribal populations, and their mission and goals. There are currently 12 Tribal Epidemiology Centers in the United States.


Each month, one of the Tribal Epidemiology Centers will be featured here on the podcast. The purpose is to raise awareness throughout the public health community of the amazing and important public health work that is being done at each of the centers.


In this episode, we will feature the Urban Indian Health Institute.


Get Connected


Dr. Rosalina James on LinkedIn

Urban Indian Health Institute on LinkedIn

Urban Indian Health Institute on Twitter

Urban Indian Health Institute on Instagram

Urban Indian Health Institute on Facebook

Urban Indian Health Institute Website

Episode #141 Interview with Wyatt Pickner and Crisandra Wilkie, Urban Indian Health Institute