Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Interview with Francine Gachupin, Co-author of Health and Social Issues of Native American Women

What prompted you to write Health and Social Issues of Native American Women? What "message" do you want to communicate?

Native American women are remarkable contributors to tribal societies and native family structures.  Their dreams and hopes for the safely, well-being and happiness of their families and communities are often at the forefront of their daily activities and yet, many of them struggle with a plethora of issues.  Our book highlights some of the challenges faced by Native American women and underscores their incredible strength and resiliency.  

What was the highlight of your research? In the course of your research, what discovery surprised you the most? What surprises readers/others the most about your research?

The highlight of the book and the research within its chapter is the Native American women authors.  The book is the voice of the women themselves, for many of the chapters are on topics of the lives lived by the women themselves.  The book is a culmination of challenges surpassed and accomplishments achieved.  

How did your research change your outlook on the topic?

The book is tangible proof that Native American women can succeed and do well for themselves, their families, and their communities without compromising their traditional beliefs, values and identity.  Each of the chapters provides valuable resources and overview of approaches to problems, that unfortunately, are too commonplace.

How have people reacted to your book and/or the ideas you set forth? Is it what you hoped for, or is there more work to be done?

The book is relatively new and so far, the reaction from people has been very positive.  The book provides a good foundation and more work does need to be done to provide similar background and context for other issues related to health and social issues for Native American women.

What's next for you?

My personal professional goal has always been to provide tribes with technical assistance in addressing health disparity issues for their respective tribes and I continue to work and strive to provide accurate and timely data to tribes.

Francine C. Gachupin, PhD, MPH, CIP, is operations manager of the Human Research Protection Office at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She has extensive experience working with American Indian tribal communities focusing on chronic disease surveillance, public health practice, epidemiology and research. Gachupin obtained her doctorate from the University of New Mexico and her master's degree in public health from the University of Washington.

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