Mayo Clinic, Indian Health Service form education, research and clinical practice collaboration

July 06, 2006

Rochester, Minn. -- On Monday, Mayo Clinic and the Department of Health and Human Services, on behalf of the Indian Health Service (IHS), will sign a Memorandum of Understanding pledging to collaborate in seeking ways to reduce the burden of cancer and other diseases in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

The public signing will incorporate several American Indian ceremonial elements, including drummers and a color guard. It will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. at the Annenberg Plaza, Mayo Clinic in Rochester. A reception will follow the ceremony.

"At Mayo Clinic, we approach health care looking through the lens of what is best for the patient. We work to combine all three aspects -- research, education and clinical care to provide the best possible care for each individual patient," says Denis Cortese, M.D., Mayo Clinic president and CEO. "This collaboration will enable us to work with the Indian Health Service to address health care-related needs specific to Native Americans, ranging from developing research initiatives to address unique problems, to finding ways to improve access to medical care."

This agreement will allow both organizations to collaborate specifically in five areas: "The IHS and Mayo Clinic share a philosophy of collaboration, open communication, and commitment to respectfully serve the American Indian patient and community needs," says Charles Grim, D.D.S., M.H.S.A., IHS director. "Mayo's Native American programs have a long history of working with American Indian and Alaska Native students, physicians, nurses, researchers, Tribal communities, and the IHS in a way that respects Tribal sovereignty and self-determination. In treating American Indian and Alaska Native patients, Mayo Clinic and the IHS have worked to integrate traditional medicine practices into their care when this has been requested. Mayo's Native American programs have complemented the IHS's mission and we look forward to this joint effort."

Native American programs at Mayo Clinic have been in place for several years, and encompass efforts across all three sites (Jacksonville, Fla.; Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.; and Rochester, Minn.). This agreement will build on current efforts, and lays the groundwork for many more initiatives throughout the country.
-end-
More information on Mayo Clinic's Native American programs can be found at http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/cancercenter/native.cfm. To find out more about the IHS, visit www.ihs.gov.

To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. MayoClinic.com is available as a resource for your health stories.

Mayo Clinic

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