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CA7AE: HIV/AIDS Prevention Project
"In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations"
- The Great Law of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy -


Primary Staff

Affiliated Staff

Student Workers

Meet the Team

Dr. Pamela Jumper-Thurman -

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Pamela is an enrolled member of the Western Cherokee tribe and is a Senior Research Scientist with CA7AE: HIV/AIDS Prevention Project. She brings 15 years of experience in research on such topics as cultural competence, mental health, substance abuse, violence and victimization, rural women's concerns, HIV/AIDS prevention, solvent abuse, and partner violence as well as an additional 15 years in the provision of program evaluation and direct treatment and prevention services.

She is a co-developer and co-author of the Community Readiness Model and has directly applied the model in over 800 communities Nationally as well as Internationally. She has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator for federal grants that examined intimate partner violence, methamphetamine prevention, rural drug use, American Indian substance use/epidemiology and solvent use among youth. She is currently the director of the National Center for Community Readiness and is Principal Investigator of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention project to provide CBA to multi-ethnic communities in an effort to reduce HIV/AIDS and increase testing and early detection. She has served as a member of the National CSAT Advisory Council and a Board Member for the Society for Prevention Research. She is also a Board Member of the First Nations Behavioral Health Association. She was a special appointee to the Cherokee Children's Commission by former Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller, a member of Roslynn Carter's Caregiving Panel, and a team member of First Lady Laura Bushs' initiative "Helping Americas Youth".

On a personal note, she is a published photographer, an artist who has exhibited throughout the United States, and an award winning jeweler who has had several one woman art shows.

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Dr. Barbara Plested -

Profile image of Dr. Barbara Plested Barbara Plested is Co-Director of the National Center for Community Readiness and a Research Scientist who has worked extensively in the provision of direct services to various special populations including American Indian, Latino, Native Hawaiian, Native Alaskan, child and adolescent, female, and jail-based programs. She has twenty years of experience, serving both as an administrator as well as a therapist in the fields of mental health and substance abuse in addition to her 15 years of research experience.

She serves as an evaluator and grant writer for several Native American programs and is one of the co-developers of the Community Readiness Model. She has applied the model in over 800 communities both National and Internationally. She has conducted research using the model on a variety of issues: intimate partner violence, HIV/AIDS prevention, methamphetamine prevention, drug and alcohol prevention, prevention of head injury, and environmental trauma. The Community Readiness Model has been used successfully in urban areas, Alaskan villages, and Native reservation areas throughout the United States as well as internationally to effect community change.

Barbara has published extensively and has served on Roslynn Carter's panel on intergenerational caregiving and participated as a team member of First Lady Laura Bushs' initiative "Helping America's Youth". She was a recipient of the first Indian Health Service Director of the Year award in 1989, an award voted on by Program Directors throughout the United States.

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Dr. Irene Vernon -

Profile image of Dr. Irene Vernon Dr. Vernon is the Department Chair of Ethnic Studies. Dr. Vernon specializes in Native American Studies, Multicultural Studies, and Theories of Ethnicity. Her intellectual interests and research include Native American health disparities, particularly HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Vernon has written the definitive book Killing Us Quietly: Native Americans and HIV/AIDS, as well as other monographs, resource manuals, and articles. She has co-authored several articles with Dr. Thurman and one with Dr. Plested on HIV in Native communities. She is a tireless advocate for healthier Native communities and also authored the National Congress of American Indians resolution to recognize the first National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, held March 21, 2007.

Irene Vernon is of Mescalero-Apache, Yaqui, and Mexicana descent.

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Andrea Israel -

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Andrea Israel is a Research Associate for CA7AE: HIV/AIDS Prevention Project. As a CBA Specialist, Evaluation Assistant and Media Specialist, she provides our team with computer graphics, website development & maintanance, travel preparations, Community Readiness phone interviews, and she assists with Community Readiness Trainings.

Andrea has coordinated the development of resource materials such as fact sheets targeting American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian populations, as well as CA7AE's Community Mobilization Toolkit.

Andrea is an alumnus of Colorado State University, having graduated in 2005 with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Liberal Arts, and she has also received a certificate in Native American studies from Ethnic Studies. Andrea is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.

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