Donald Warne
Donald speaking
2021

Donald Warne

Physician and Advocate

Prescribing Equity: Dr. Warne’s Healing Vision

meet donald

Dr. Donald Warne is the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Director of the Indians Into Medicine (INMED) and Public Health Programs, and Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota. He is the Senior Policy Advisor to the Great Plains Tribal Leader’s Health Board in Rapid City, South Dakota. A member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe from Pine Ridge, he comes from a long line of traditional healers and medicine men.

Prescribing Equity: Dr. Warne’s Healing Vision
Nominated by: Gov. Doug Burgum MN'20
Class of 2021 Location North Dakota, USA

The primary focus of my professional career is to improve health in Indigenous populations. I serve as a consultant and/or board member to a multitude of health agencies and advocacy organizations, including the national boards of March of Dimes, Public Health Foundation, and American Cancer Society, and several local and regional boards in North Dakota. In nearly all, I am the only American Indian person. At the University of North Dakota we offer the nation’s only Indigenous Health PhD and the only Master of Public Health with an Indigenous health specialization.

I worked for several years as a primary care physician with the Gila River Health Care Corporation in Arizona, as a staff clinician with the National Institutes of Health, and on the Indian Legal Program Faculty with the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. I have also served as a Health Policy Research Director for the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona and Executive Director of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board.

“My hope is that the lasting legacy will be reflected in the remarkable work of the next generation of health professionals who are well trained in Indigenous health and that the future will have Indigenous health interests well represented in all aspects of health systems and professional organizations.”

- Donald Warne

While growing up, I was immersed in both traditional Lakota culture and contemporary education. Integrating Indigenous knowledge with modern science is both intriguing and an opportunity to develop innovative approaches to addressing health inequities. I blend my Stanford/Harvard education with the highest levels of traditional Lakota philosophy. Over the last decade, I have worked with and taught hundreds of public health and medical students innovative curricula.

My hope is that the lasting legacy will be reflected in the remarkable work of the next generation of health professionals who are well trained in Indigenous health and that the future will have Indigenous health interests well represented in all aspects of health systems and professional organizations. The long-term goal is to eliminate American Indian health disparities.

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