Spero Manson, a CU Anschutz professor of public health and psychiatry, will oversee efforts to improve the health of Colorado's roughly 108,000 American Indians.
American Indians in Colorado die of liver disease and diabetes at higher rates than non-natives. Their babies die at higher rates, too. The effort will focus on members of the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute tribes who may have difficultly accessing certain kinds of care on reservations in southwest Colorado. About 50,000 American Indians living in Colorado's cities will also be helped, Manson says.
The Colorado Trust, a state health foundation, has provided $3 million to create a American Indian health chair in the School of Public Health at CU Anschutz. A member of the Pembina-Chippewa nation, Manson is the inaugural chairman. The goal is a sustained, long-term effort on addressing the health disparities of American Indian residents in the state.
Manson spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.