Northern Medical Center to host updates on Navajo Birth Cohort Study

Shiprock, NM – The Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock will be hosting two sessions on July 16 from  to provide updates on the Navajo Cohort Study, which was mandated by the U.S. Congress in August 2010.  The first part of the session will take place in the Atrium of the hospital from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.  The second session will begin at 1 pm until 4:00 pm in the Tse Bita’i Room C.

     Staff from University of New Mexico, Center for Disease Control /Agency for Disease and Substance Toxic Registry , and Navajo Nation EPA (Special Water Project) will be doing presentations on blood/urine and home environment assessment results.

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NBCS currently enrolls pregnant women between the ages of 14 and 45 who have lived on the Navajo Nation for a minimum of five years. The potential participant must have a confirmed pregnancy and plan to deliver at one of the five Indian Health Service/638 hospitals. Parent(s) agree to have their child remain in the study for the first year of life.

The Navajo Birth Cohort Study (NBCS) began enrolling participants in February 2013. This research study is recruiting pregnant women to participate in the collection of biological (blood/urine) and home environmental (radon/water) samples during and after their pregnancy. The child’s development is evaluated up to 12 months of age.

The planned outcome of this study is to provide the first Navajo Nation-wide documentation of the possible associations between environmental uranium and other heavy metal exposures and birth outcomes and child development. The data from the study may be used to improve future birth outcomes and services.

This research project has already enrolled more than 235 women across the Navajo Nation. Shiprock is represented with 28 Moms, 13 Dads, and 19 Babies.

Presenters:

 

Overview of NBCS Study – CDC/ATDSR

Metals Levels in Blood and Urine of Participants in the Navajo Birth Cohort Study – Jennifer Ong, PhD Candidate, University of New Mexico Community Environmental Health Program, Albuquerque, NM

What We’re Learning from Home Environmental Assessments in the Navajo Birth Cohort Study – Chris Shuey, MPH, NBCS Co-Investigator, Southwest Research and Information Center, Albuquerque, NM 

What is the Water Quality in Your Area? – Yolanda Barney, MHA, Environmental Program Manager, Public Water Systems, Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency, Window Rock, AZ

Questions and Answer Session

Learn more about the Navajo Birth Cohort Study.  Or, visit us on http://nbcs.healthyvoices.org.

Tuba City to Host Community Event for Navajo Birth Cohort Study Updates, July 18th

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Iina Nizhoni Newsletter June 2014 Issue

Please click this link to open the newsletter:

IinaNizhoniNewsletter.June2014

Southwest Research and Information Center provides outreach to Navajo Communities

Even in the most isolated regions on the Navajo Nation, a lot of Navajos know Chris Shuey, Co-Investigator to the Navajo Birth Cohort Study and Director of Southwest Research and Information Center, as their own son.  For over thirty years, Chris and his staff from their Albuquerque office have helped Navajo communities make sense of how to deal with making their home environment and water sources that much safer.

At a recent meeting in Churchrock, NM where the Red Water Pond community help its annual commemoration of the infamous uranium tailings spill into the Puerco River in July 1979,  a community elder said when Phil Harrison, a community advocate introduced Mr. Shuey, “Our son Chris, his hair has turned grey helping our community overcome all this push for uranium,” he said to much laughter and applause.

The Southwest Research and Information Center Research Field Staff have worked on the DiNEH Project, a study that preceded and information the Navajo Birth Cohort Study.  SRIC’s involvement since the early 1980s has helped turn the issues related to the legacy of uranium into priority issues on the Navajo reservation.  SRIC works in collaboration with the University of New Mexico’s Community Environmental Health programs and the Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control/Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry to collect data from Navajo participants for the Navajo Birth Cohort Study.

The DiNEH Project has been instrumental in hiring research field staff from the effected communities to conduct the research on the Navajo reservation.  The DiNEH Project focused on families affected by uranium tailing and abandoned mines in the easter portion of the Navajo Nation.  The Navajo Birth Cohort Study will conduct a study focusing on moms-to-be and her baby, where the Research Field Staff will be responsible for helping recruit participants, providing in-depth home environmental surveys, and provide public outreach.

The SRIC research field staff were essential to training more field staff, and due to their experience with previous research, the staff is well-versed in cultural sensitivity issues while doing scientific research.

Navajo Birth Cohort Study on You Tube

Dr. David Begay, co-investigator for the Navajo Birth Cohort Study facilitates a focus group during trainings that were held at the five major hospitals on Navajo lands where the study will take place.

Dr. David Begay, co-investigator for the Navajo Birth Cohort Study facilitates a focus group during trainings that were held at the five major hospitals on Navajo lands where the study will take place.

FOREST LAKE, AZ – The Navajo Birth Cohort Study has 10 videos featured on You Tube for public information and outreach to possible participants for this landmark study on Navajo lands.  As the study kicked off in February 2013 with its first participant who was recruited at Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility.  As the study got underway, more participants were recruited at Tuba City Regional Health Care Center, Gallup Indian Medical Center, Tsehootsoi Medical Center in Fort Defiance, AZ, and Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, NM.  The Navajo Cohort Study staff are trained, and each participant hospital has made a complete run through of the study’s protocol.  Here are the 10 Navajo Birth Cohort Study videos on You Tube.
Overview of Navajo Birth Cohort Study
http://youtu.be/kcJebbN4e_I

(L to R): Cora Maxx Phillips, Dr. David Begay, Dr. Johnnye Lewis, Chris Shuey, Malcolm Benally, and Teddy Nez.

(L to R): Cora Maxx Phillips, Dr. David Begay, Dr. Johnnye Lewis, Chris Shuey, Malcolm Benally, and Teddy Nez.

An introduction to the Navajo Birth Cohort Study, a brief narration about why the study is taking place on moms-to-be, baby, and dad, too!  The study has been approved and funded by Congress for five years in January 2013.  The study is being conducted with partnerships between the University of New Mexico’s Community Environmental Health Programs, Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC), Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency, Navajo Nation Division of Health (NNDOH), Navajo Area Indian Health Services, and the Center for Disease Control/Agency of Toxic Substances Disease Registry.
Navajo Birth Cohort Study Part II Eligibility Screening
http://youtu.be/gCVcHVlgx2E

Chris Vining, UNM, interview session at KYAT in Gallup, NM.  (Photo by Teddy Nez)

Chris Vining, UNM, interview session at KYAT in Gallup, NM. (Photo by Teddy Nez)

This lively video featured Navajo actors and was produced with the help of staff at the Chinle Comprehensive Health Facility when the Navajo Birth Cohort Study staff trainings were first being conducted during winter and spring 2012.  The production showed how a lot of younger Navajo women and youth alike wanted are lending their support to spearheading the project from its beginnings.  The short mock survey that was re-enacted for this video can also be conducted entirely in the Navajo language at the participant’s request during enrollment!

Navajo Birth Cohort Study Part III Legacy of Uranium
http://youtu.be/I-hUV5hmMvg

Dr. David Begay, co-investigator for the Navajo Birth Cohort Study facilitates a focus group during trainings that were held at the five major hospitals on Navajo lands where the study will take place.

Dr. David Begay, co-investigator for the Navajo Birth Cohort Study facilitates a focus group during trainings that were held at the five major hospitals on Navajo lands where the study will take place.

A short educational piece about the history of uranium and the need for studies on the Navajo reservation as told by co-Investigator for the Navajo Birth Cohort Study Dr. David Begay from Ganado, Arizona.  Dr. Begay has been instrumental in providing a communication link to the traditional Navajo speaking communities and the scientific community.  This short video shows how the study utilizes both the Navajo and English languages to educate the public about uranium.

Navajo Birth Cohort Study Part IV Perspectives

http://youtu.be/BMLqB5w6LQg

Goats take shade from the summer heat in Monument Valley, Utah.  (Photo by Malcolm Benally)

Goats take shade from the summer heat in Monument Valley, Utah. (Photo by Malcolm Benally)

After screening the first videos to the Navajo communities, a lot of Elders and community leaders suggested that the project use photos of the landscape and animals to temper the difficult story of uranium exposure and health.  This video features President Ben Shelly giving a background on the work the Navajo communities took on until they testified before the U.S. Congress during the Waxman hearings in Washington D.C.

Navajo Birth Cohort Study Part V Red Water Pond Road
http://youtu.be/s1C_aAPdg6s

A march in Church Rock, NM to commemorate the people affected by the 1979 uranium tailings spill.  (Photo by Malcolm Benally)

A march in Church Rock, NM to commemorate the people affected by the 1979 uranium tailings spill. (Photo by Malcolm Benally)

Every year in mid-July, the Red Water Pond Road, a community near Church Rock, NM commemorates the 1979 United Nuclear dam break that is considered one of the worst uranium disasters comparable to Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.  The leaders who speak out in this video represent the main issues that face Navajo communities today.

 

 

Navajo Birth Cohort Study Part VI Outreach
http://youtu.be/tUM_NdjvrDs

A view of the Comb Ridge incline near Kayenta, AZ.  The Comb Ridge inclines extends in uranium country.  (Photo by Malcolm Benally)

A view of the Comb Ridge incline near Kayenta, AZ. The Comb Ridge inclines extends in uranium country. (Photo by Malcolm Benally)

The Navajo Birth Cohort Study staff is continually doing outreach throughout the Navajo Reservation with the goal of getting 1,500 moms-to-be and their baby to participate in this study.  Videos like this serve as updates to the work that is ongoing with the study.  The elders and community members who viewed these short videos enjoy the landscape photography that accompanies the more heart wrenching stories that belong to the Navajo legacy of uranium.

 

Navajo Birth Cohort Study Part VII:  A Father Speaks Out

http://youtu.be/fUTBVQcoqa8

A shed set up for an interview near Shonto, Arizona.  (Photo by Malcolm Benally)

A shed set up for an interview near Shonto, Arizona. (Photo by Malcolm Benally)

In this short video, a heavy metal musician and guitarist from the Pinon community talks about coping with health issues as a young father.  The film is a monologue that reveals the vast resources available to Navajo youth and their willingness to take it for granted, until it really matters.  It has been a great opportunity for the Navajo Birth Cohort Study to have many community members who provided their own stories and inspired more to come forward and tell their stories.

Navajo Birth Cohort Study:  Get Your Water Tested

http://youtu.be/YcsUfn5H7oQ

Windmill near the Navajo Generating Station, Page, AZ.  (Photo by Malcolm Benally)

Windmill near the Navajo Generating Station, Page, AZ. (Photo by Malcolm Benally)

Produced and Directed by Melissa Samuels, this short piece on the importance of getting your water tested is just over two minutes long, but the depth of information in this piece makes this video compelling.

 

 

 

 

Navajo Birth Cohort Study Part IV:  The Leadership

http://youtu.be/y-GV0bSWF_0

Anna Rondon, CHERS Supervisor meets with Navajo Nation Vice President  Rex Lee jim.  Photo by Malcolm Benally

Anna Rondon, CHERS Supervisor meets with Navajo Nation Vice President Rex Lee jim. Photo by Malcolm Benally

The Navajo Nation leaders speaking about the importance of studies on uranium issues to keep “environmental contamination” from becoming an epidemic focus on the meaning of the Navajo Birth Cohort Study.  The need for more documentation of the lands and water that has already been contaminated, and the need to find monies for specialists to help those afflicted by long-term exposure to uranium are all long-term goals.

 

Navajo Birth Cohort Study Part X:  PSA

Teddy Nez, Research Field Staff from the Southwest Research and Information Center shares a story with protest marchers about living with the aftermath of the Church Rock oil spill.  Photo by Malcolm Benally

Teddy Nez, Research Field Staff from the Southwest Research and Information Center shares a story with protest marchers about living with the aftermath of the Church Rock oil spill. Photo by Malcolm Benally

The short videos in our outreach series features our radio and public events portfolio.  The Navajo Birth Cohort Study has been on radio shows like Native America Calling, KTNN Focus Forum, and on news reports on NPR and reservation radio stations.  These are times when the inter-agencies and partnerships developed through the Navajo Birth Cohort Study works together to promote the study.  Getting everyone to talk about this important study and get people to participate requires support and leadership.  You will find voices from the community,  Navajo Nation leaders, service providers, and youth speaking out on behalf of the Navajo Birth Cohort Study.  When the whole culture is speaking, that is when everyone learns.

 

Navajo Birth Cohort Study now on WordPress

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The Navajo Birth Cohort Study can now update its ongoing public outreach initiatives quicker, bringing new information as soon as it is available.  The Navajo Birth Cohort Study has outreach staff who are partnering and  teaming up as pairs to provide public outreach in the Navajo communities.

The first group are the Southwest Research and Information Center Research Field Staff (SRIC RSF) who have continued their outreach and home survey assessment work from the DiNEH Project.  The staff has also been instrumental in providing cultural sensitivity trainings and some staff members have been working with environmental issues in their communities for years.  Chris Shuey, SRIC Director and con-investigator for the Navajo Birth Cohort Study has been working on environmental issues on Navajo lands for over thirty years.

A Cohort Clinical Liaison is on staffed at the six major hospitals on the Navajo Reservation.  A CCL is available to answer questions and recruit participants at the Chinle Comprehensive Health Facility, Tuba City Regional Health Care, Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, NM; Gallup Indian Medical Center, Kayena Health Center, and Tsehootsoi Medical Center in Fort Defiance, AZ.  A Cohort Clinical Liaison works at the birthing unit as the main intake person for Navajo Birth Cohort participants.  A CCL is the direct contact for all the information that is crucial fo a participant to have a good, successful experience.

The third essential group that makes direct contact with the community and possible participants for recruiting are the Community Health Environmental Research Staff Representatives  (CHERS).  The CHERS staff members work in communities throughout the Navajo Nation.  The staff is available to help conduct surveys, provide public information about the study to Chapter communities, schools, businesses, and organizations.  The staff are also instrumental in enrolling participants and helping to conduct scheduled surveys and assessments at the participants’ home.

Malcolm Benally, multi-media specialist, and David Begay, co-investigator visit with George Weritos at KNDN in Farmington, NM.  Photo by Malcolm Benally

Malcolm Benally, multi-media specialist, and David Begay, co-investigator visit with George Weritos at KNDN in Farmington, NM. Photo by Malcolm Benally

After 80 years of almost complete media silence from the free press, several recent documentary videos have brought the Navajo legacy of uranium to the attention of local and mainstream media.  The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, documentaries made by Navajo activists and communities affected by uranium mines marks this study with good back ground reading and viewing material.  Ten short videos, the Navajo Birth Cohort Study Parts I to V have been approved for public information by the Navajo Nation Institutional Review Board and can be seen on You Tube.

 

Learn more about the Navajo legacy of uranium.  Invite the Navajo Birth Cohort Study to your community today!  Schedule screenings of our 10 short public education videos during your next scheduled Chapter meeting.  For more information about becoming a participant, please call 1 (877)-645-6775 or visit www.healthyvoices.org.

Navajo Birth Cohort Study Community Health Environmental Research Staff

Miss Navajo Natasha Hardy poses with (L to R) Rebecca Tsosie, Olivia Muskett, Roxanne Thompson, Miss Navajo Natasha Hardy, Anna Rondon, and Qeturah Anderson at Navajo Nation Broadcast Services meeting room.  (Photo by Malcolm Benally)

Miss Navajo Natasha Hardy poses with (L to R) Rebecca Tsosie, Olivia Muskett, Roxanne Thompson, Miss Navajo Natasha Hardy, Anna Rondon, and Qeturah Anderson at Navajo Nation Broadcast Services meeting room. (Photo by Malcolm Benally)

WINDOW ROCK, AZ –  The Community Health Environmental Research Staff (CHERS) staff bring the Navajo Birth Cohort Study to Navajo communities to recruit mother-infant pairs to participate in a study that will help to better understand the impacts of long-term uranium exposure on developmental outcomes.  Fathers are strongly encouraged to participate.

In a recent training meeting, the CHERS staff discussed new strategies in bringing information about the study to the public.  On Friday, December 09, 2013, the staff began reading excerpts from a book entitled Journey Women.  The book features prose poetry and narratives that focus on wellness in various facets of womanhood, anything from financial literacy, to looking at your hair and skin closely for changes, and overcoming emotional barriers.  The CHERS staff will do two-minute readings on the book’s subject matter that are also crucial information to be shared by the Navajo Birth Cohort Study.

 

CHERS staff who attended a  training workshop at the Navajo Nation Museum during the International Uranium Film Festival, May 03, 2013.

CHERS staff who attended a training workshop at the Navajo Nation Museum during the International Uranium Film Festival, May 03, 2013.