Harkness Project Title: Obesity Prevention Among Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Minorities
Mentor: Paula A. Johnson, M.D.
Placement: Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Mihi Ratima, a 2006–07 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy, is the director of Māori Health Research and heads the Māori Health Postgraduate Program at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. Her research interests are primarily in the areas of Māori and indigenous health promotion, Māori health workforce development and Māori access to health services. Ratima was formerly a WHO analyst in indigenous peoples' health, a Fulbright scholar based with the Native American Diabetes Project at the University of New Mexico, a researcher with Te Pūmanawa Hauora and the Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University, New Zealand and a diplomat working with indigenous peoples in the Pacific Region. She is currently a member of the Māori Health Committee, Health Research Council of New Zealand, the Public Health Workforce Development Sector Reference Group, and the Independent Monitoring Group for the National Cervical Screening Program.
Project: Ratima investigated distinctive factors that influence overweight and obesity prevalence among indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, and identified innovative interventions and strategies for obesity prevention among these groups, particularly in primary care systems. She conducted a literature review, expert interviews, and case studies of three obesity prevention interventions targeting indigenous peoples and/or ethnic minorities.
Current Position: Director, Taumata Associates. (Updated 2/2014)