Author: Allison Keliher

Allison Kelliher, MD, is Koyukon Athabascan, Dena, from Nome, Alaska. She is the Director of the American Indian Collaborative Research Network (AICoRN), a Practice-Based Research Network at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences where she is also an Assistant Professor. She also serves as faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine and University of Alaska Anchorage and serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of American Indian Physicians. She is the first and only physician trained as a Traditional Healer in a Tribal Health setting and weaves this into her practice as a Family and Integrative Physician. She is a board member for the Association of American Indian Physicians, and University of Alaska Fairbanks Alumnus of the year. She recently published a chapter in a textbook Walking Together, Working Together Engaging Wisdom for Indigenous Well-Being.

Indigenous Patients Who Live in Rural Areas Often Have Limited Access to Medical Care Six and one-half years. That’s the decline in life expectancy that the COVID-19 pandemic wrought upon American Indians and Alaska Natives, based on an August 2022 report from the National Center for Health Statistics. This astounding figure translates to an overall drop in average living years from 71.8 years in 2019 to 65.2 by the end of 2021. Although the pandemic is a major reason for this decline, it’s not the whole story. Even before COVID-19 emerged, life expectancy for Indigenous men was already five years…

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