Promoting integrity and excellence in research in an environment

that is collaborative, supportive, and builds capacity.


Lifetime Members

Lifetime membership of the Native Research Network is encouraged if members are able to pay; it shows future commitment and lasting commitment as member and supporter of the organization.

Lillian Tom-Orme, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN (Diné)

Past Co-Chair


Lillian Tom-Orme is Assistant Research professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine and Diversity Coordinator in the College of Nursing. She is a Co-Founder and twice co-chair of the NRN. She also serves on the boards of the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association and the American Public Health’s American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Caucus. Her research is in the area of cancer patterns of care and health disparities.



“As one of the founders of the NRN, I am willing to support our organization as long as I can. The NRN is the only organization of its kind that promotes respectful research that is needed to address the health needs of American Indian, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Canada First Nations. In addition, the NRN supports our native students and communities as well as to promote collegiality among all researchers.”



Felicia Hodge, PhD (Wailaki)

Past Co-Chair


Dr. Hodge holds a joint position as Professor in the School of Nursing and the School of Public Health. Dr. Hodge has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1990 and has conducted research with American Indian groups in California, Arizona, Minnesota, and Northern Plains area. Her focus of research is on chronic health conditions, health beliefs and behaviors among American Indian/Alaska Native and Indigenous populations.



“Being a lifetime member of the NRN not only demonstrates my commitment to the organization, but highlights the support for future years of collaboration, advocacy, and research. NRN is the strongest AI/AN/NH organization that encompasses all types and topics of research at all levels of research - this is greatly needed. Over 25 years of experience documents that this group is filling a key role in our communities and in university and research settings. “



Dean Seneca, MPH, MCURP (Seneca Nation)

Past Co-Chair


Dean has a Master’s Degree in Public Health and a Master’s Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning. Dean’s work is specialized in Health Service Administration and Planning, Environmental Health, and Environmental Planning. He is currently a Senior Health Scientist in the Partnership Support Unit within the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His main responsibility is to build CDC’s national public health partners ability to provide greater capacity building assistance to state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments. In January of 2015 he completed a 6 week assignment “fighting Ebola” as a lead health scientist on the epidemiology team in Sierra Leone, Africa. 


EMAIL:  Coming Soon

William Betts III, MPH, PhD

Retired US PHS Commissioned Officer

NRN Treasured Friend


Captain William A. Betts, (US PHS Commissioned Corps) is a native of Mississippi. He received his education at Mississippi State University, Minnesota State University, and Tulane University.  Early in his career, he served as faculty at the University of Hawaii where he trained Peace Corps volunteers. His public health career has taken him on special assignments to the Territory of the Pacific Islands, Republic of Vietnam, and Yugoslavia where he was instrumental in developing rural health programs. William joined the Indian Health Service (HIS) in 1969 as CO to help implement a comprehensive health service for the Billings Area Indian tribes. He continued to work with IHS Headquarters, contributing to the development of Contract Health Service and the Emergency Medical Service programs for the national program. He joined the Nashville Area IHS where he worked with 24 tribes from Maine to Florida to Texas. In 1987, he became involved with planning and implementing a research and evaluation program for IHS under the direction of Dr. Everett Rhoades. William saw the need for professional development of young Native Americans (NA) to enter the world of science and research, and has since been involved in mentoring and training NA students. He received numerous commendations for his work with developing countries and the US IHS, but he is most proud of his accomplishment of having two bright daughters and a wonderful granddaughter, Ada. William resides in Old Hickory, TN, is a pro bono health consultant for NA tribes, is active as a Treasured Friend of NRN and is also a Lifetime Member of NRN.

Joseph Gone-to-War, PhD (Gros Ventre)

Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine- Harvard Medical School

In the effort to remedy American Indian mental health inequities, clinical-community psychologist Joseph P. Gone explores the disquieting disconnect between local construals of wellness and distress within Indigenous settings on the one hand and professional conventions governing clinical practice in mental health services on the other hand. An enrolled member of the Gros Ventre tribal nation of Montana, he has undertaken collaborative research partnerships with Indigenous communities for two decades. Through these projects, Gone has attended to the distinctive cultural psychologies of tribal communities to identify local concepts of wellness and distress; uncovered the principles and logics of Native therapeutic traditions relative to conventional psychosocial interventions; considered the relevance of Indigenous traditional knowledges for evaluating intervention outcomes; and reimagined the clinical enterprise from the perspectives of Indigenous community members. Along the way, he has published 75 scientific articles and chapters on these topics. A graduate of Harvard College and the University of Illinois, Gone taught at the University of Michigan for sixteen years prior to joining the faculty of Harvard University. A recipient of several fellowships and career awards, he completed a residency at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2011. In 2014, he was named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is currently a Fellow in the Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.