Congratulations to Maya Magarati, a research scientist at the School’s Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, for her selection as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Interdisciplinary Research Leaders program.
The program assembles diverse interdisciplinary teams composed of two mid-career researchers and one community member who conduct and apply community-engaged and equity-focused health research to improve the health of communities. Because of its interdisciplinary design, the program is able to foster new research collaborations that will help build the evidence base for effective community interventions, improving health for all.
Maya’s research team will examine how environmental injustice is impacting the health of tribes in Alaska. She will be partnering with an Alaska Native village on the remote Yukon-Kushokwim Delta. Maya is joined by community research partner Terri Parr, executive director, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indian, and research partner Clarita Lefthand-Began, assistant professor at UW’s iSchool.
The team will characterize the types of heavy metals present in a nearby watershed and examine how those contaminants affect the health of community members by developing and distributing a place-based culturally adapted environmental distress scale. Together, team members will work to promote health equity and healing by engaging the tribes in environmentally related decision-making.
Maya has spent the past decade collaborating with IWRI faculty and other researchers conducting community-based participatory research in behavioral health in Indian Country, including tribal colleges and universities. In addition to her work at IWRI, Maya is an affiliate faculty with the UW Department of Sociology. She currently leads the “Opioid Overdose Prevention in Tribes” project at UW’s Seven Directions: A Center for Indigenous Public Health, funded by the CDC and the National Network of Public Health Institutes.
Maya received an M.A. in sociology under the Fulbright program and a PhD in sociology from the University of Washington. She serves on the board of directors of The Mountaineers, and Nepal Seattle Society. She is indigenous Magar from Nepal.
We hope you take the time to congratulate Maya on this incredible opportunity.