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The Indigenous doctor who is fighting for Native access to healthcare

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Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Dr. Donald Warne likes to say he doesn't incorporate traditional healing into his modern practice. He incorporates modern medicine into his traditional healing practice. To him, traditional medicine is more holistic.

Warne, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe in South Dakota, comes from a long line of traditional healers. In fact, it was part of his inspiration to go into the medical field. He is also fueled by a lack of resources for Indigenous communities faced with lower life expectancy and higher rates of diabetes and cancer.

Warne, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health, founded the first Indigenous health-focused Master of Public Health and Ph.D. programs in the U.S. and Canada. In this episode of Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with Warne about his work.

This episode was originally produced in January 2023.


  • Dr. Donald Warne, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.