Current NIHB Health Policy Fellows

Current NIHB Health Policy Fellows

This year’s class of Health Policy Fellows are a group of bright and talented young adults from across Indian Country. Please join us in welcoming them and celebrating their dedication to advancing health and wellness in their communities. Scroll down to see photos and bios of the 2020 NIHB Health Policy Fellows.

If you have any questions about the NIHB Health Policy Fellowship or would like to submit an application to join next year’s cohort, visit here to learn more.

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Adelaine Ahmasuk

Hello all, my Inupiaq name is Akłaasiaq (Aq-łaa-see-aq, Inupiaq for "Little Bear" ;) and I am from Sitŋasuaq (Nome, Alaska). Since graduating college in 2018 with the intention of applying to medical school, I have found a new passion in local community action and community planning with our local tribal consortium. I do my work from a wholistic wellness perspective that's guided by our elders andwork to reclaim my indigeneity in all realms of my life.

My dreams include only speaking my traditional language to my children, developing a research institution that centralizes our traditional knowledge and strengthening food sovereignty by creating policy that protects/supports our ways of life. From the way that I was raised, I know the medicine that is living and breathing our ways of life. I currently work as the Community Development Specialist for the 20 Bering Straits region tribes and hold language circles in my hometown.

My hobbies include beading, sewing, skiing, village ball, running with my dog Cedar, spending time with my sisters, and watching Cody & Cody videos. Quyaana (thank you) and looking forward to sharing time and learning with you all :) Adelaine (Addy) Ahmasuk.

Hannah Bartol

Hannah is a graduate student at Central Michigan University and currently lives in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. She is a member of the Hannahville Potawatomi.

In the summer of 2017 and spring 2018, she was given the opportunity to volunteer time at Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) in New York City, the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy.

After spending time with the organization she was given the task of bringing education and creating conversation around the topic. She researched HIV and AIDS within Indian country to present in a few of her courses at Central Michigan University. With the knowledge gained from volunteering at Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) in New York City and her course work at Central Michigan University it became her mission to develop the conversations around prevention, testing, and care for HIV and AIDS in her Tribal community.

Carly Chavarria

Santa Clara Pueblo – bio coming soon.

Rachele Hurt

My tribal affiliation is Spokane and Navajo. I grew up in Spokane, WA and moved to Seattle for college. I graduated in June 2019 from the University of Washington with my B.A. in Public Health.

Since then I have interned at the Urban Indian Health Institute and started a job at the Seattle Indian Health Board as a Homelessness Case Manager.

In my free time, I like to knit hats, hang out with my friends and read books.

Miriam May

My name is Miriam May I am San Carlos Apache from San Carlos, AZ. I am 23 years old. I am currently employed as a dental assistant at San Carlos Healthcare Corp. I am attending Gila Pueblo Community College to earn an AA in Psychology. I am interested in finding a career in the behavioral health field. When I am not working or busy with classes. I love to spend time with my daughter. Some of my hobbies are traveling, being outdoors, and running.

Tosheena Nez

My name is Tosheena Nez. My hometown is Cameron, Arizona and I am an enrolled member of the Navajo/Dine tribe. I am currently a Health Education Technician for the Navajo Special Diabetes Program. I graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor's degree in Public Health Policy. I am an alumnus of the Summer Public Health Scholars Program at Columbia University (CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Program). I am also a Gates Millennium Scholar. I am passionate about improving mental health and wellness of tribal communities and vulnerable populations.

Paige Priest

Hello my name is Paige Priest and I am currently a 2nd year MPH student at Cornell University. I am an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians - Cattaraugus territory and I am turtle clan. I enjoy dancing and listening to music in my free time. I also LOVE traveling and had the opportunity to live in Tanzania for a month over thesummer for my APE (applied practice experience). I am a dog mom of a (soon-to-be) 11 year old dog named Blu. I absolutely love spending time with my grandma and my 6 cousins any time I am home. I am super excited to meet you all and start this journey!

Sydney Schad

Háu, mitakuyapi. Cánté wásté nápeyuzápi. Sydney Schad emáčiyapi kštó. Malákȟota kštó. Greetings! I shake your hand with a good heart. My name is Sydney Schad, I am Mnicoujou Lakota of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and I am from Eagle Butte, South Dakota. I use the pronouns she/her.

I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with emphasis in Public Health and Health Services Administration from the University of South Dakota in May 2019. I am currently a Master of Public Health candidate at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health located in the great city of New York. I am in the department of Population and Family Health with a certificate in Child, Youth, and Family Health. I have a strong interest in childhood ACEs, incarceration, food deserts, and understanding the various ‘-isms’ that brought the health disparities to Native people.

My short-term goals are to publish an op-ed in the New York Times, graduate with my MPH, and travel to a new country. I love trying out new restaurants, meeting new people, and spending time with my dog and family. So excited to meet you all!

Laura Stinson

Chwant. Hello. My name is Laura Stinson. I am an enrolled member of the Tuscarora Indian Nation of upstate New York. I recently graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a major in Biology and a minor in Spanish language and culture. I am an intern for Geoffrey Roth, the newly elected Permanent Forum member on Indigenous Issues at the United Nations, and recently began work as an intern with the National Indian Health Board Policy Department.

Growing up in a medical family as an enrolled member of the Tuscarora Nation, I have a strong connection and commitment to the health of Native Americans and under-represented individuals.

After graduating college, I decided I wanted to give back to my community in a meaningful and impactful way. I am excited to learn more about policy and how I can connect with others to create real change. As a Biology major, I am also an avid environmental advocate for water quality and conservation. I am excited to meet everyone at the fellowship and hope to make lifelong connections.

Jackson Storm

Aya! My name is Jackson Storm, and I'm Myaamia and a citizen of the Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma. I was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma but am currently living in Salt Lake City, Utah. I attended Dartmouth College where I studied Geography and took courses that would prepare me for medical school.

Professionally, I'd like to work at the confluence of biomedicine, Native cultures, and tribal and federal policy to support the flourishing of Indian Country. More specifically, I’m interested in substance abuse prevention efforts and how healthcare systems can support healthy lifestyles.

On my own time, I like exploring local trails, experimenting with flavors in the kitchen, foraging, fishing, and running.

Sophie Maria Tiger

Sophie Maria Tiger, 22, is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma and also comes from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. As a Gates Millennium Scholar, she is in her final year at the University of Oklahoma where she will graduate with a degree in Political Science with a minor in Native American studies.

In her previous role as Female Co-President of UNITY and her current role as Female Co-President of the NCAI Youth Commission, Sophie is passionate about youth advocacy, and she focuses on creating an environment that offers leadership development experiences which is built to invite, equip, and empower Native youth to shape their communities and transform Indian Country into the world they envision living in. Her goal is to empower Native Youth to become future leaders and to help find solutions to the issues that plague our communities. Sophie always looks forward to networking with youth from across the country in hopes of making a change within Indian Country.

Deionna Vigil

I am Tewa from Nanbé Ówîngeh (Nambe Pueblo), New Mexico. In 2018 I graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO with a Bachelor of Science in cellular and molecular biology.

Currently, I am a postbaccalaureate fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke within the National Institutes of Health. Here I do research that focuses on ensuring that American Indian and Alaska Natives have the opportunity to ethically enroll in clinical research studies here that are not specific to AI/ANs or a Native Nation. I am really interested in biomedical research policy and its impact on AI/AN health. In my spare time I like to read, create, bead, and bake. I also work on a community-based organization that I created called the Redline Institute (RLI), which focusses on reshaping the way scientists, researchers, and medical physicians’ approach biomedical and clinical research as well as improve science communication and accessibility.

Stay Connected

To learn more and stay connected, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There we will highlight the Fellows’ work, provide tools and resources for getting involved in health policy, and share opportunities to help you tackle the health challenges in your community.


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