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Published on January 30, 2018

Avera Welcomes Dr. Amy Elliott and Research Team


Avera Health is pleased to welcome Dr. Amy Elliott and members of her research team to the Avera Research Institute as the Center for Pediatrics and Community Research.

Dr. Elliott has been principal investigator on several National Institutes of Health (NIH) research projects including an initiative to reduce infant mortality in American Indian communities and the Safe Passage study examining environmental influences on child health outcomes.

Dr. Elliott’s areas of scholarly interest include health disparities, population health, fetal alcohol spectrum, fetal and infant mortality, early childhood development, pediatric sleep disturbance, environmental exposures and maternal-child health. Along with Sioux Falls, the team has locations in Rapid City and Pine Ridge, S.D.

Her work complements and will be an extension of research already taking place throughout the Avera Research Institute, including the study of human development and the impact of genetics and environmental factors on disease and other health conditions. It is also closely related to existing grant projects aimed toward improving health disparities among American Indians, as well as the population health initiatives at Avera.

Among Dr. Elliott’s studies that will be continuing at Avera include Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO), a seven-year initiative launched through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This builds upon the Safe Passage study and follows its cohorts, and will involve starting a new pregnancy cohort. This project is studying four key outcomes that have a high public health impact, including upper and lower airway (asthma), obesity, prematurity and neurodevelopment (ADHD and autism). Another study being continued by this team through Avera is Reducing Infant Mortality in American Indian Communities, and this includes measures to reduce infant death that’s related to sleep environment.

“We welcome Dr. Elliott and her team to Avera. Research is the future of medicine, so we look forward to being part of their exciting research that aspires to save lives and improve quality of life for many. This collaboration is a wonderful opportunity to extend Avera’s mission as well as the research endeavors of Avera,” said Ryan Hansen, Executive Director of the Avera Research Institute.

Dr. Elliott and her team are coming from Sanford Health.


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