News and Events

New Interdisciplinary Health Doctoral Program

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) and the College of Health and Human Services (HHS) at Northern Arizona University are starting an Interdisciplinary Health (IH) Ph.D. program, with classes beginning in fall 2018. This cross-disciplinary collaborative program is designed to educate and train the next generation of health researchers, advocates and educators with emphasis on health equity, disability and psychosocial health.

Students will work with faculty on important theoretical and practical issues related to population health, health care and well-being. Graduates will be uniquely qualified to lead interdisciplinary research that yields new insights about health. Read the full article at NAU News.

NAU-Yuma Nursing Student Awarded President's Prize

Northern Arizona University announced its President’s Prize winners, Gold Axe honorees and Distinguished Seniors at a banquet Tuesday night at Ashurst Auditorium.

A committee selected 26 graduating seniors from all colleges to receive the Gold Axe Award. Of those 26, two were chosen to receive the President’s Prize, the highest award NAU offers to undergraduate students. Out of this class, Adrianna Camacho, a nursing student at NAU-Yuma, and Courtney McNichols, an exercise science student from Green Valley, received this prestigious award.

Read the full story at NAU News

CHHS Researchers Examine Role of Physical Education

Steve Palmer, associate dean of Northern Arizona University’s College of Health and Human Services, and Tim Behrens, professor of public health and chair of NAU’s Department of Health Sciences, recently published a paper addressing how PE can prepare children to remain active beyond the school day and supporting a new direction for physical education. In their article “At the Crossroads: How Physical Education Can Succeed in a Public Health Paradigm,” the researchers argue that physical education should “teach youth the skills, knowledge and dispositions to become physically literate and active for life.”

Read the full story at NAU News

NAU Research Center will Address Health Disparities Across Southwest

Building on its long history of serving underrepresented populations in Arizona and beyond, Northern Arizona University has established a new research center underscoring its ongoing commitment to addressing... health disparities.

Funded for the next five years through a $21.4 million grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, NAU’s Southwest Health Equity Research Collaborative (SHERC) will focus on increasing the university’s basic biomedical, clinical and behavioral research capacity to address health disparities among diverse populations of the region. Among the largest grants received at NAU, the SHERC grant will give NAU the ability to make significant strides in these areas...

View the full article here.

Nursing Professor Featured in Flagstaff Business News for Work in Palliative Care

"Chronically ill patients across the nation are getting some help to make sure they receive consistent care in managing pain and other symptoms. To provide clarity about the individual’s wishes, there’s a medical form known as Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, or POLST. In Arizona, the form and new protocols are termed AzMOST, or Arizona Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment.

“POLST and AzMOST provide continuity of care across settings of care with a goal of increasing patient quality of life and improving patient satisfaction,” said Dawn Rivas, M.S., R.N., a doctoral student and an assistant clinical professor at Northern Arizona University’s School of Nursing.

Rivas and Emmalee Kennedy, M.D., the medical director of Northern Arizona Healthcare’s (NAH) Palliative Care Program, are currently members of the AzMOST task force and are working in conjunction with other state leaders to develop and implement a POLST/AzMOST program in Arizona. At present, Flagstaff Medical Center has a POLST pilot program, which is the only such program in the state. Meanwhile, other communities are looking into starting POLST pilot projects of their own..."

View the full article here.

New Opportunities for Community-based Work in Adolescent Drug Abuse

The Institute for Translational Research Education (ITRE) in Adolescent Drug Abuse is expanding to NAU, bringing opportunities for graduate students at NAU to learn about community-based research in this field, and to partner with local community agencies for a service learning project. This federally-funded, state-of-the-art research education program teaches the practical skills of translational research and implementation science in the field of adolescent behavioral health. The Institute and its outstanding graduate scholars work with community partners, academic mentors, and national mentors to advance the field of translational science and promote evidence-based practice.

See the front-page article from the Arizona Daily Sun about the launch of this new program, and what it means for northern Arizona!

Visit the ITRE website for more information and to apply to the Institute!

Study Abroad Testimonial
Read testimonials from students participating in a Study Abroad program offered as a partnership between NAU and Hanze University, Groningen in the Netherlands. 
Town Hall Input Regarding CHHS Structure

To watch the video of the Town Hall Meeting, click here.  

To submit feedback on the meeting and its content, click here.  

Physician's Assistant Program Makes the News
Our PA program made the news last night! Emily Babcock did a fabulous job representing NAU and the PA program. It was a spur of the moment interview, but really showcases the PA program well! Here's the link:
CHHS Honors and Awards Ceremony 2015

CHHS Honors 1

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NAU students help create free healthcare and education program
Students from Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University created a service organization that provides no-cost medical care and education to the homeless population in the Valley.  Click here to find out more.  
Mainpat Interdisciplinary Global Learning Project

An exciting photo documentary exhibition is now open to the public through September in the School of Communication’s gallery.

If you can't make it to the photo exhibition, the following Vimeo videos are available online.

Visions of Mainpat: Passing on the Dharma:

Voices of Mainpat: The Long Journey:

Health Science Grad Named Rookie Teacher of the Year
Rookie of Year Award to Danielle O'Reilly
Danielle O’Reilly, a Fall 2010 graduate of the Health Sciences Physical Education Teacher Education program, was recently awarded the Arizona State Rookie teacher of the year. Danielle teaches at Horizon Community Learning Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
NAU Health Sciences Graduate Selected as AZ Physical Education Teacher of the Year
Kelly Teacher of Year
Kelly Donatell, a 2006 graduate of NAU’s Health Sciences Physical Education Teacher Education Program, was selected as the Arizona Physical Education Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Donatell is currently a physical education teacher at Sinagua Middle School in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Native American students' success!

Ben Scharfenberger

Ben Scharfenberger, 2nd year Physical Therapy student, received a prestigious Indian Health Services scholarship program award. As part of the program award, Ben will work with Native populations for at least 2 years after graduation.

Camille Miller

Featured on the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDJK) website, Camille Miller spent the summer in Phoenix working with the NIDDJK. A current student in NAU's School of Nursing, Camille will work with Dr. Dirk DeHeer over the next year to guide new applicants for NIH internships, and broaden NAU's scope to Harvard and Stanford programs. 

Health Sciences receives $6 million grant!
Assistant Professor Priscilla Sanderson of NAU's Department of Health Sciences will co-lead the Center for American Indian Resilience, a new project that will create partnerships among health researchers and tribal communities. Click here to learn more.