Dr. Melissa Walls

Dr. Melissa Walls

With over 150 members, the KwePack Running Group includes native women from across the region who run together, but also talk together, share, encourage and redefine the standard of health and wellness in native women's lives. 

Dr. Melissa Walls (who is also an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Biobehavioral Health at UMD) joins us to talk about the group's successes and impact on their lives and the lives of their families and communities.

An important part of improving health and wellness in indigenous communities is research -- but how do you proceed when researchers have time and time again broken faith with the people they're professing to help?

Dr. Melissa Walls

When Mike Connor agreed to conduct some interviews with doctors, families and people who have diabetes in the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, he knew the information he was helping to gather for the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth was going to be important.

So many people on the reservation near Nett Lake have diabetes that it's one of the things ambulance drivers are required to ask about when they arrive to help someone.

But he didn't expect the "side effects" of the research: helping people with diabetes feel less isolated and alone.