Michaela Seiber, research coordinator in the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health's Department of Allied and Population Health and 2016 Master of Public Health graduate, led a human subjects research ethics training at the University Student Union Sept. 18. Seiber teamed with the SDSU IRB and Sanford Research to host this free training. In 2018, Seiber was trained as a facilitator of the six-hour curriculum—Research Ethics for Health in Indigenous Communities (rETHICS). The training is a culturally tailored research ethics training curriculum for researchers, IRB members, community members and students interested in working with Tribal Nations.
It is well-known that Tribal Nations face health inequities when it comes to preventing, managing and treating chronic conditions. Sharrel Pinto, who leads the Department of Allied and Population Health, said, “Our department is in a unique position to foster better relationships with Tribal Nations in South Dakota, through developing community-based programs and training the next generation of health-care workers.” While faculty, students and practitioners are interested in conducting research or working on projects with Native communities, they are often underprepared for doing so in a way that will make impactful changes and improve health outcomes. There are many factors that go into creating a beneficial relationship with Tribal Nations and attending a training session such as rETHICS is a great start to understanding how to begin community-based projects with Native populations.