Native American Heritage Month Panel
Join alumna Dr. Patricia Dillon, MED’89, MPH, a member of the Mohawk Tribe, as she speaks with Native American physicians about their experience working within tribes and in medicine.
Raised on the Navajo reservation, Adriann Begay is Tábaahi (Edge of the Water clan) and born for Bít’ahnii (Folded Arms People clan). Her maternal grandparents are Ta’néészahnii (Badlands People clan) and paternal grandparents are Tl’aashchí’í (Red Cheek People clan). Dr. Begay completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Arizona and received her medical degree from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine through the Indians into Medicine program. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at the University of Arizona and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice. Dr. Begay spent over 21 years working for the Indian Health Service both as a clinician and healthcare administrator. Her career is dedicated to elevating healthcare for American Indians/Alaskan Natives and increasing the educational pathway for students who will come home and care for their Native people. Dr. Begay’s service has included board member & president of the Association of American Indian Physicians, member on the American Medical Association (AMA) Minority Affairs Section, member on the AMA Foundation for Minority Scholars Award Selection Committee; and member of the Indigenous Health Education and Resource Taskforce (IHEART). In 2019-21 Dr. Begay completed the UCSF HEAL (Health, Equity, Action, and Leadership) Global Health Fellowship. Dr. Begay is currently employed as the Navajo Nation Senior Advisor with HEAL to assist in identification of 2nd domestic site region and build relationships with organizations in the transformation of Indigenous frontline healthcare workers; and continues to provide clinical care to her people as a contract physician. She is the wife of an artist, mother of three and grandmother of ten. She is a consummate support for her family, colleagues, and friends and has mentored several Native American physicians following in her path.
Dr. Donna Galbreath, of Ahtna Athabascan heritage, is from Mentasta, Alaska. Dr. Galbreath received her medical degree from the University of Washington and completed her family practice residency program in Michigan. She has worked for tribal organizations in Alaska since completing her training in 1991. Dr. Galbreath has focused her career on providing health care in both urban areas of Alaska as well as remote villages, and partnering with other Alaska Native people to improve the quality of and access to health care services. Dr. Galbreath served as the president of the Association of American Indian Physicians and remains active on the board. She has been featured in publications such as Modern Healthcare magazine and Indian Country Today. Dr. Galbreath is the senior medical director of quality assurance for Southcentral Foundation’s Medical Services Division. Dr. Galbreatth’s leadership helped create a unique community-owned health center that has achieved NCQA Certification and the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award for performance excellence in 2011 and 2017. She presents nationally and internationally on quality assurance, corporate compliance and the South Central Foundation’s relationship-based Nuka System of Care.
Nicole Stern, MD, MPH, is a member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe of New Mexico, the first member of her tribe to become a physician. Dr. Stern was a Commonwealth Fund Fellow in Minority Health policy at Harvard University from 2021 to 2022. She graduated in May 2022 with a Master of Public Health degree in Health Management. Dr. Stern received her medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson in 1998. She completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson in 2001, and a fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City in 2003. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Sports Medicine. Dr. Stern is a past president of the Association of American Indian Physicians. She served as the AAIP liaison to the Association of American Medical Colleges for the past 6 years, where she continues to work on collaborative plans and initiatives that emphasize the importance of including American Indians and Alaska Natives within the national conversation around workforce development and medical school diversity. A critical focus for Dr. Stern’s work is to increase the number of American Indian and Alaska Native health care professionals who can best reverse health care disparity trends common in American Indian and Alaska Native tribal communities. Dr. Stern currently works as an urgent care physician at Sansum Clinic, Inc. in Santa Barbara, CA.
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