Pueblo man first Native leader of health organization
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JUNE 4, 2001

John Bird of San Juan Pueblo is the first Native american to head the American Public Health Association in its 128-year history.

In his role as President, Bird hopes to promotes better health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives, who suffer disproportionately from a number of diseases and health conditions. To help correct this, he says tribal people must be restored a land base

"If you want to deal with the disparities among Indian people, just give us our land back," Bird told the Albuquerque Journal. "When you dispossess people, you create disparities. It's a sad commentary that the first people of this land continue to be the poorest people on this land."

Bird also wants federal agencies to develop true partnerships with Indian Country, not just the "song and dance" some go through just to say they have met with tribal leaders.

Bird has a master's in social work from the University of Utah and a master's in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. He has spent 21 years with the Indian Health Service.

Get the Story:
Public Health Leader Hopes to Give Indians a Voice (The Albuquerque Journal 6/4)
Michael E. Bird New President of APHA
First American Indian To Lead Membership
(APHA 1/2001)

Relevant Links:
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