News & Events


April 15, 2014

Healthy Hearts, Healthy Minds Study Launched

HealthyHHealthyMThe “Healthy Hearts, Healthy Minds” research study was designed to improve the cardiovascular health of a Northwest American Indian population. Local community resources and input from tribal members were used to develop study materials and protocols. The study offers a new health program in hopes of helping community members protect themselves against diabetes, obesity, and depression. The program is designed to promote adherence to positive health behaviors and has been culturally adapted to address depressive symptoms in American Indians who are pre-diabetic or have diabetes. The goals of this study are to improve symptoms of depression, which may be a barrier to taking care of one’s diabetes. Poorly controlled diabetes can in turn lead to cardiovascular-related health problems. IWRI researchers will measure how the program affects self-treatment for diabetes, food and exercise habits, symptoms of depression, weight, blood pressure, and blood test results like cholesterol and blood sugar.

The first year of the project was spent developing the protocols and procedures, creating the culturally-adapted program curriculum, and gathering community feedback. The second year of funding saw the launching of the project and the active recruitment of local participants. The study is expected to run through 2015. “Healthy Hearts, Healthy Minds” is led by Karina Walters, PhD, and June LaMarr, PhD, with staff members Michelle Tiedeman, Yvette Pinkham, MSW, and Rachelle McCarty, ND, MPH. The project is administered through IWRI and is funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (#P60MD006909 subproject 5702).

For more information on the project, see the project page on