Deana Around Him, DrPH, ScM, is a senior research scientist at Child Trends whose research aims to improve the well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) children, youth, and families through approaches that meet the cultural and contextual needs of their communities. Dr. Around Him’s lived experience as a tribal citizen of the Cherokee Nation, mother, and relative inform a research and evaluation career that respects tribal sovereignty, builds on cultural strengths, and seeks to inform the policies and programs encountered by AIAN families.
Dr. Around Him often applies community-engaged and community-based participatory research (CBPR) approaches in her work. Her training focused on the social determinants of health, maternal and child health, and research ethics, and she has experience collaborating with AIAN communities to develop and adapt interventions, build research and evaluation capacity, and strengthen research ethics knowledge and infrastructure. Dr. Around Him’s past projects have addressed the prevention of adverse childhood experiences, trauma, and youth suicide, and have advanced understanding of the social determinants of maternal and infant health in the perinatal period and the promotion of safe infant sleep practices using a culturally based intervention. Her current projects focus on exploring the school climate experiences of AIAN youth, evaluating a culturally based parent training curriculum, and examining the ways in which home visiting has supported equity during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also serves as the strategic dissemination lead for the Tribal Early Childhood Research Center.
Outside of Child Trends, Dr. Around Him is an adjunct faculty member at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Community Health from Brown University, a Master of Science with a concentration in maternal and child health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a Doctor of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.