Melissa Lewis, PhD


Indigenous people suffer from the worst physical and mental health disparities in the country compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Melissa Lewis, PhD, partners with indigenous communities to revitalize traditional lifeways that can ameliorate the negative effects of colonization, thereby improving health and well-being. By revitalizing traditional beliefs, activities, culture and language, native communities are healing themselves from historical loss and trauma.

In her research, Dr. Lewis has partnered with communities to create training protocols for mental and medical health professionals to provide better care for indigenous patients and clients. She also partners with her own tribe, Cherokee Nation, to evaluate and co‐create programs aimed to reduce cardiovascular disease by harnessing the power of cultural learning.

Academic Information

Associate Research Professor


One Hospital Drive
MA306 Medical Sciences Building, DC032.00
Columbia, MO 65212
United States

P. 573-882-2782

Research Interests

  • Tribally-based participatory research
  • Culture as treatment
  • Culture as prevention

Areas of Expertise

  • Indigenous Health
  • Cardiovascular Disease Disparities
  • Stress and Trauma
  • Indigenous Medical/Health Education

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

PhD: Medical Family Therapy, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

Awards & Honors


Excellence in Indigenous Health Research Award

Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education

In the News


For a complete publication list, see:

My Bibliography (NCBI Collections)