CDIS Colloqium Nancy Whitesell

Nancy Rumbaugh Whitesell, PhD

CDIS Colloquium Series
Co-Sponsored by CDIS, Richard Weber, and
the Center for Clinical and Translational Science

“Building a substance use prevention program for American Indian youth: Stepping our way through development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination”

Nancy Rumbaugh Whitesell, PhD

Professor, Community and Behavioral Health

Colorado School of Public Health

University of Colorado


Thursday, October 10, 2019

11:00am — 12:30pm

College of Medicine Research Building

909 S. Wolcott, Room 7175

Dr. Whitesell will tell the story of the Thiwáhe Gluwáš’akapi (TG) substance use prevention program for young American Indian adolescents, from its inception in the call to action from community partners through the current effectiveness trial. Thiwáhe Gluwáš’akapi – translated as sacred home in which families are made strong – is a cultural adaptation of the Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP). It was developed in collaboration with community partners on a Lakota reservation through an optimization trial that incorporated extensive community input and utilized an experimental design to compare potential adaptations. Dr. Whitesell will discuss implementation challenges encountered in the process of translating the evidence-based SFP program for Lakota families, related to both cultural context and remote geographic location. The presentation will conclude with an overview of plans for the sustainability of the TG program within the community and its dissemination to other American Indian communities (pending evidence that preliminary findings of effectiveness hold up in the current effectiveness trial).

Nancy Whitesell  has a leadership role in the Tribal Early Childhood Research Center and co-directs the Native Children’s Research Exchange (NCRE)​. Her work focuses on child and adolescent development within the contexts of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities. Dr. Whitesell’s current adolescent work is an intensive partnership with one Northern Plains reservation focused on developing and evaluating a family-based program for prevention of early substance use and promotion of positive adolescent development.