News and Highlights
November is Native American Heritage Month
This November we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, a time to honor the history, culture and traditions of Native Americans past and present. The contributions of Native Americans are many.
As the first inhabitants of North America, Native Americans discovered how to live off the land. Many tribes domesticated edible plants, raised animals, and discovered natural medicines, such as eating foods with Vit C to prevent Scurvy. These innovations were then carried to other cultures in Europe and Latin America.
Native American governments in eastern North America, particularly the League of the Iroquois, served as models of federated representative democracy to the Europeans and the American colonists. The United States government is based on such a system.
We would like to particularly honor Dr. Gwen Nell Westerman, an English Professor at Minnesota State University, and a citizen of her father's people, the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota, and of her mother's people from the Flint District of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. In September of this year she became the first Native American to be appointed Minnesota Poet Laureate. In her capacity she will engage marginalized voices in poetry, celebrate the state's cultural heritage and inspire all generations of poets and readers. Of her many poems “Give-Away Song” stood out. Dr. Westerman states, “this poem was written in response to the missionaries and Indian agents who often reported that her ancestors did not know the value of things the government provided them—blankets, flour, meat, food, tools, other supplies—and that when those goods were distributed, the people would immediately share with others who did not have as much as they did. But they knew exactly the value of things and that value only comes when you can share”. As such we would like to share it with you.
Please also see these great personal narratives courtesy of the Center for Women in Medicine and Science (CWIMS)
How to balance being Native American and queer – a short (13min) film featuring Zachariah George
What It's Like to Be a Native Trans Woman on Thanksgiving by Arielle Twist
Meet Our Team
Nissrine Nakib, MD is the Director of Pelvic Floor Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Nakib has a busy clinical practice that entails caring for patients with pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, pelvic pain, recurrent urinary tract infections, as well as those with spinal cord injuries and neurogenic bladders. As lead of the Urology Department’s Quality Control she works hard to establish safety and quality measures in order to ensure patients get the best possible care. Additionally, she conducts clinical and translational research with focus on sacral nerve modulation and other urinary disorder treatments. Education is an integral part of her role at the University and she enjoys teaching residents and medical students about Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstruction through mentoring, didactic sessions, and anatomical training labs. Furthermore, she strives to increase public awareness and educate her patients on urological issues in women. Gender and other equity issues are an important topic to Dr. Nakib and she values her work as the Chair of The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for the Urology Department. She is also a member of the American Urological Association North Central Section Committee for Women. Last year she joined The Strategic Communication and Collaboration Action Committee in The Center for Women in Medicine and Science. Dr. Nakib was voted as the Chair of this committee and looks forward to accomplishing great things in her new role. Full Bio
Dr. Christopher Warlick is the Department Head for the Department of Urology and is an Associate Professor who treats several urologic cancers, with an emphasis on prostate cancer. Dr. Warlick has a busy prostate cancer practice and is a nationally recognized leader on Active Surveillance for low risk prostate cancer, while performing robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomies for men requiring definitive therapy. Dr. Warlick has ongoing research focusing on the use of MR imaging in prostate cancer, the development of novel tests to help determine early signs of disease progression, and on programs to increase the use of shared decision making around PSA screening and prostate cancer treatment decision making. Full Bio
Dr. Kyle Anderson is interested in a variety of urologic conditions, including laparoscopic treatment of abnormalities including kidney cancer, ureteral pelvic junction obstruction, prostate cancer, adrenal abnormalities. He also specializes in minimally invasive thermotherapy for kidney cancer and kidney stone disease. When he’s not in clinic, Anderson is an associate professor of urologic surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School. His research focuses on the use of thermotherapy (cryotherapy and radiofrequency ablation) for the treatment of kidney cancer. Full Bio
Ryan Haggart is a first year urology resident at the University of Minnesota. He attended the University of Chicago for undergraduate school where he was involved in multiple non-profit organizations including ArtShould, Young Chicago Authors, and Health Leads where he helped create and manage arts and health programming targeted to the Southside of Chicago. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for medical school where he was vice-president of MEDiC, the only free healthcare clinics program in Madison. He is passionate about finding solutions to healthcare disparities. He has been part of research efforts on a health coaching model to address healthcare disparities in hypertension outcomes, and he is currently involved with a randomized controlled trial developing methods for the sexual rehabilitation of sexual minorities following prostate cancer treatment.
Mary Jo Hadler is the Administrative Director for the Department of Urology. She has been a leader, mentor, and coach for female athletes for over 17 years. Additionally she is a member of the YWCA - "the YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen communities."