As the co-chair of The Lancet Commission on Arctic and Northern Health, Lisa V. Adams, MED ’90, associate dean for global health and a professor of medicine at Geisel, will be working to advance the health and wellbeing of Arctic Indigenous peoples.
Adams and her colleagues conceived the commission in 2019. Now, she and her co-chair Dalee Sambo Dorough, PhD, International Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (a non-governmental organization that represents Inuit across the Arctic), are leading this effort with 36 commissioners representing Indigenous peoples from the Arctic and Northern regions, Indigenous Knowledge holders, and non-Indigenous Arctic scholars and global health experts. Dartmouth colleague Ross A. Virginia, PhD, the Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science, is a co-author and member of the Commission Executive Committee.
At Dartmouth, Adams oversees global health programs focusing on advancing health equity. She is the director of Geisel's Center for Health Equity, and manages Dartmouth Global Health Initiative at the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding.
“I am honored to co-chair this effort and work with such an esteemed group of colleagues on this urgent and previously neglected global health priority,” Adams says. “Our goal is put this issue squarely on the global health agenda and propose actionable ways forward guided by the wisdom and strength-based approaches from the affected communities.”
Persistent disparities exist in Arctic and Northern Indigenous communities reflecting a variety of issues, including forced displacement, inadequate health systems, and systemic racism, along with environmental deterioration due to rapidly rising temperatures affecting their way of life. Though these issues are widely known, these communities are absent from a broader global health agenda.
The Commission will “examine crucial health challenges facing Arctic and Northern Indigenous people, explore the underlying factors that influence health and wellbeing, and develop a roadmap to improve the health” and healthcare of those in a region confronting rapid environmental and social change. It will also examine the economic, social, cultural, political, and spiritual determinants of health and wellbeing for this population to identify solutions consistent with these communities’ beliefs and their human rights.
The Lancet is a family of journals where authors and external peer reviewers work in partnership to make the best scientific and medical research widely available to advance the global impact of research and the health and wellbeing of people worldwide.
Founded in 1797, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth strives to improve the lives of the communities it serves through excellence in learning, discovery, and healing. The Geisel School of Medicine is renowned for its leadership in medical education, healthcare policy and delivery science, biomedical research, global health, and in creating innovations that improve lives worldwide. As one of America’s leading medical schools, Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine is committed to training new generations of diverse leaders who will help solve our most vexing challenges in healthcare.