July 16, 2024
Native American-owned business conducts research to benefit tribal health

April 18, 2024

This paid piece is sponsored by South Dakota Biotech.

Research done for Native Americans, by Native Americans.

That’s the mission of Missouri Breaks Industries Research Inc., a small but critical Indian-owned business on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in north-central South Dakota.

Native American-owned business conducts research to benefit tribal health

Its mission is to conduct research of medical problems and to disseminate information learned through this research to health care providers, tribal leaders and community members.

“The whole idea behind Missouri Breaks is to both serve American Indian communities with research that’s specific to them but also raise awareness, build capacity and return results in a good way that makes sense to our communities,” said Marcia O’Leary, director of the company.

Research from the 60-person team revolves around both biological and social health, everything from heart health to factors such as housing condition, income, martial and education status that affect social health.

“We have more recently gotten into environmental research, where we can look at the air, the soil, the water, the animals and plants that we eat that are locally raised and see how those factors are affecting a person’s health as well,” assistant director Rae O’Leary said.

Missouri Breaks also has partnered with BioRise, a 501(c)(3) organized by the leaders of South Dakota Biotech, in an effort that received $150,000 in its second phase of the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition through the SBA. The vision is designed to build relationships among new partners while addressing and implementing activities supporting entrepreneurs and existing small businesses to address their food sovereignty and health challenges.

As a research component of the partnership, Missouri Breaks will be able to collaborate more closely with tribal colleges and South Dakota universities, and national health care and PhRMA companies.

“The research being done by Missouri Breaks Industries is so key to our understanding of the needs of the Native American population,” said Joni Ekstrum, executive director of South Dakota Biotech and BioRise.

“We’re excited to be working more closely with them and envision a lot of possibilities for expanding the promise of biotechnology to our Native American communities.”

To learn more about Missouri Breaks Industries Research, click below.

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