History and Funding


Dr. Jennie Joe, previous interim executive co-director of the Wassaja Carlos Montezuma Center for Native American Health served as research core director in AIRCH 1 and 3, and managed the Faculty Development component. Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, then assistant professor at Family and Community Medicine and former director of the Indian Health Service, served as director of the Student Training component. Dr. Teshia Solomon, associate professor at Family and Community Medicine, serves as both the research and training core director for AIRCH 5.


The AIRCH is funded by the Indian Health Service under the Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH) initiative. The purpose of the NARCH initiative is to support partnerships between AIAN Tribes or Tribally-based organizations and institutions that conduct intensive academic-level biomedical, behavioral and health services research.

The AIRCH 5 is funded for a four-year period from 2009-13 and has three key programs:

  1. The Student Health Research Development (SHRD) provides lectures by Native scholars in health policy, culturally competent research, and careers in health to UA students on campus and funds summer research scholarships;
  2. The Faculty Research Development (FRD) program provides training and research opportunities and uses a cohort development model to provide mentoring and career development in health research;
  3. The Research Core consists of two research studies. Dr. Nicky Tuefel-Shone, Associate professor in the MEZCOPH is working with the Hualapai to reduce cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes risk factors in their study, “Leveraging Social Influence to Increase Physical Activity.” UA Faculty, Drs. Iris Bell, Mary Koithan and Cathleen Michaels, are partnering with the San Carlos Apache to determine community knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding traditional healing in their study, “Traditional Healing Practices and Complementary and Alternative Medicine Utilization.”

For more information on the NARCH initiative, visit the IHS web site >>