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Our Mission:

We are focused on promoting quality health care and healthy lifestyles within American Indian families and communities in North Carolina through research, education and advocacy.




In Robeson County: Fighting Grim Statistics with Work and Hope


East Carolina University is welcoming new leadership for its graduate public health programs this fall. Dr. Ronny Bell has been named chair of the Brody School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health, effective Nov. 7.

Read the story-


As you are likely aware, Eastern North Carolina is facing extensive flooding and devastation from Hurricane Matthew. Several tribal communities in North Carolina have been directly impacted by the flooding. 
The NC AIHB is partnering with the UNC American Indian Center and accepting health supply donations as well as monetary donations. 100% goes to the tribal communities. Health supply donations can be dropped off at the American Indian Center located in Abernethy Hall, Room 113 between 9:00am-5:00pm Mondays through Fridays.
If you would like to help these tribal communities, you can make a tax-free donation on behalf of the NC AIHB.
Here is the link to donate-


Rx Open helps patients find nearby open pharmacies in areas impacted by disaster. 
Below is a link to a site which reports pharmacies that are open during disasters.
Note, this map is only active during disasters. You have to zoom into the state and then the area in which you are seeking assistance.



The Medical Missionary of Eastern North Carolina

Dr. James Jones is a Lumbee Indian. In the mid 1950's, he was the first American Indian to graduate from Wake Forest University and from Bowman Gray School of Medicine.


Shedding light on the poor state of American Indian health-

“Natives have the worst health statistics in the country, but nobody sees it, hears it or knows about it.”
Margaret Moss, PhD, JD, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion in the University at Buffalo School of Nursing



The 2016 Navajo Health Promotion Campaign titled Iiná Ayóó'ííní'ní - Love Your Life 102 is a multimedia social marketing and suicide prevention campaign based on the Diné philosophy and teachings of honoring life and aspiring to live a healthy and full life of 102 years. According to Diné (Navajo) origin stories on aging, the lifespan of the Navajo is 102 years. In 2015, southern Utah and the Four Corners region on the Navajo Nation experienced a rash of suicides that caused immediate attention and response from the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service.  Suicide rates are the highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives.  The 2016 Navajo Health Promotion Campaign, Iiná Ayóó'ííní'ní - Love Your Life 102, addresses this critical public health crisis by promoting and honoring the cultural beliefs and traditions of the Diné.

Love Your Life - Shaneyka’s Story:
Love Your Life - Lyn’s Story:


The NC AIHB Program Coordinator, Charlene Hunt, was recently selected to be part of the first annual Ruby Slipper Fringe Festival held at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Winston-Salem. The Ruby Slipper Fringe Festival presented new and in-process works that speak to a wide range of experiences, artistic styles and genres while shining light on the lack of women's voices inherent in the worlds of playwrighting, dance, filmmaking, literary arts, music, visual arts and more. Over 70 fierce female artists were chosen to perform this year!
Ink from my soul is a letter written by Charlene Hunt, to unearth the hidden truths of all American Indian people here within the USA.

Older American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) constitute a population that will grow substantially over the next 30 years. Such growth follows an increase over the previous decade that is nearly three times more than other races. Numbers of AI/ANs ages 65 and over will triple, and the oldest cohort (ages 85 and over) is projected to increase more than sevenfold by 2050. The socioeconomic and health coverage disparities that have historically characterized their lives remain, to a large extent, unresolved. This report outlines the demographics of this growing cohort and concludes with recommendations for coordinating programmatic resources to better serve it.



Younger Native Americans Face High Suicide Rate: Report

Experts say poverty may be the root of the problem, interventions are lacking


Feeding Ourselves: Food Access, Health Disparities, and the Pathways to Healthy Native American Communities, explores the complex historical and contemporary challenges to Native American healthy food access, childhood obesity, and health disparities.


This report encourages its readers to take the first step toward a solution – becoming aware of the extent of the problem of Native health disparities and its deep interconnections to U.S. Indian policy, poverty, historical trauma and food systems. This includes building awareness of the complex historic and present-day situations of Native peoples, innovative models, and how systemic and long-term changes may be supported by policy changes at the tribal, federal, and philanthropic levels.



Congratulations to former NCAIHB Chair, Dr. Robin Cummings on becoming the Chancellor at UNC Pembroke!


What do I need to know about getting health coverage in North Carolina?

As Director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest University’s School of Medicine, Dr. Ronny Bell has been leading research on chronic disease and risk factors with a particular focus on ethnic minorities. In addition, he participates in a number of health equity initiatives, including the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) workgroup for the National Diabetes Program and the Southeastern Health Equity Council. Much of this work hits close to home for him as a member of the Lumbee Indian tribe of eastern North Carolina.

In recognition of Native American Heritage Month, the NPA Blog interviewed Dr. Bell to discuss health equity issues in AI/AN communities, a promising new resource that can help address these issues and ways professionals interested in advancing health equity can pitch in.


Traditional Lumbee Healing Practices featuring Dr. Joey Bell

Program Coordinator, Charlene Hunt, was interviewed at the Medical Center for American Indian Heritage Month. Powwows, Quilting Help Keep Indian Traditions Alive

Still Fighting the Good Fight
James Jones, MD ’59, the School’s First American Indian Graduate, Champions the Cause of Family Medicine in North Carolina While Working to Combat Disparities in Health Care Delivery


Dr. Ronny Bell delivered the 34th Annual Zollicoffer lecture at UNC Chapel Hill on Friday, February 21st, 2014.  The Zollicoffer lecture recognizes Dr. Lawrence Zollicoffer, one of the first African American graduates of the UNC School of Medicine.  Dr. Bell’s lecture focused on health disparities in American Indian populations.


Casey Cooper accepted the Governor's Award for Performance Excellence in Healthcare, which was presented to Cherokee Indian Hospital at the North Carolina Hospital Association 2014 Winter Meeting.



Dr. Joseph T. Bell, PharM., M.D., FAAP Recipient of the 2013 AAP Native American Child Health Advocacy Award

This award recognizes significant contributions to Native American Childrens Health. (see article)


Dr. Ronny A. and Natalie Priest Bell, establish a scholarship fund at UNCG that will provide aid to American Indian students who want to pursue graduate studies in nutrition or health education.Their $5,000 gift will benefit graduate students in the School of Health and Human Sciences, with a preference to  students in the Department of Nutrition.




National Library of Medicine Releases Free iPad App, "Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness"

To give those who can't travel to Bethesda, Maryland to see it in person a lively virtual experience, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) announces a new, free iPad app that captures the contents of its popular exhibition, Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness (, currently on display. NLM is the world's largest medical library and a component of the National Institutes of Health.


                     Lumbee Tribe Deserves Full Federal Recognition

The Lumbee have called North Carolina home for hundreds of years. They descended from the coastal tribes of North Carolina and lived along the Lumber River before our nation was founded.  During the Revolutionary War, they fought alongside American colonists and helped shaped our state’s history.

But when Congress passed legislation to recognize the Lumbee nearly 60 years ago, it included a terribly unfair caveat that denied them benefits that every other federally recognized tribe receives.

The 1956 Lumbee Act actually prohibits the tribe from going through the Bureau of Indian Affairs process for full federal recognition. As the law stands now, the Lumbee can only be fully recognized by an act of Congress. (watch news coverage of the Lumbee Recognition Act).