“My studies document that American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) have had the poorest health status, with cancer, heart disease, and suicide being the top three causes of death. Cultural interventions are long overdue and are critical to community wellness.”

Felicia Schanche Hodge, PhD, who holds a joint position as professor in UCLA’s School of Nursing and School of Public Health, has clinical expertise in cultural competencies, health disparities, and health care among American Indians. Continuously funded by the NIH and other sources (1990-2019), Dr. Hodge conducts research on chronic health conditions and behaviors in AI/AN populations, in the areas of wellness, diabetes, nutrition, tobacco control, and cervical cancer screening. Dr. Hodge served as the PI/Director of the NINR Ruth Kirschstein T32 Pre and Postdoctoral Fellowship program for 11 years, and the Director of the Center for American Indian/Indigenous Research and Education (CAIIRE). An enrolled member of the Wailaki tribe of Northern California, Dr. Hodge is committed to removing barriers to healthcare for these populations.

Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest: American Indian health and healthcare, health behavior intervention strategies, cultural competencies, health disparities, and environmental justice.

Faculty Research and Clinical Expertise

Dr. Hodge holds a joint position as Professor in the School of Nursing and Professor in the School of Public Health. Dr. Hodge has conducted research with American Indian (AI) groups in California, Arizona, Minnesota, and the Northern Plains area. Her focus of research is on chronic health conditions, health beliefs and behaviors among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) and Indigenous populations. Current projects include: (1) Lived Experience of Dioxin Contamination on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, (2) AI Veteran Smoking Experience, (3) Homeless Women, (4) HPV Vaccinations and Smoking among AI Youth. Past projects completed were in areas of: (a) examining the cultural constructs of pain and cancer related symptoms among AIAN cancer survivors (R01); (b) development and evaluation of colorectal cancer screening materials for AIs in California; (c) tests smoking cessation interventions; (d) and examined knowledge, attitudes and preferences for HPV vaccinations among American Indian college students. In past years, she received six R01/U01 research grants from the NIH to study areas of wellness, diabetes, nutrition, tobacco control and cervical cancer screening and barriers to care among AI/ANs.

Clinical: American Indian health and healthcare, health behavior intervention strategies, cultural competencies, health disparities, environmental justice


Sonoma State College, Cotati, CA, BA, 1974, Sociology

University of California at Berkeley, MPH, 1974-1976, Public Health

University of California at Berkeley, DrPH, 1983-1987, Public Health

University of California at Berkeley, Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1988-1989, Alcohol Research Center

Honors and Awards


Inducted into the inaugural cohort of the UCLA Faculty Mentoring Honor Society


Frank C Dukepoo Award - Read more here


Provided expert testimony before Congress on the health and educational needs of American Indians


Presentation of the US Surgeon General’s Report to President Clinton (with CDC and Surgeon General Satcher)


Everyday Hero Award, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, Washington, DC


Certificate of Merit, Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research, Wash. DC


Certificate of Merit, Spirit of Eagles, Network for Cancer Control Research among American Indian and Alaska Native Populations (Mayo Clinic), Scottsdale, AZ


California Breast Cancer Research Council (CBCRC) University of California UCOP


Founding Board Member, Native American Community Clinic, Minneapolis, MN


Member, National Advisory Council for Nursing Research, NINR, NIH


Distinguished Guest Faculty of the 3rd Annual Spit Tobacco Summit, Mayo Clinic, MN


Appointed to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Advisory Council CARRA (Consumer Advocates in Research and Related Activities)


Featured in Magazine, ADVANCE for Nurses Magazine


Member, AHRQ Expert Group member on Women's Health and Gender-Sensitive Research


Co-Chair, Native Research Network, Inc. (NRN) a national advocacy group of AI/AN and other indigenous groups seeking to insure integrity in research (Founding member, 2005)


Appointed by NIH Director Collins to the National Institute of Health, National Library of Medicine, Literature Selection Technical Review Committee, Bethesda, MD

Publications (selected out of 100)

Connolly, Michele, Gallagher, Mehgan, Hodge, Felicia, Cwik, Mary, O'Keefe, Victoria, Jacobs, Bette & Adler, Amy. (2019). Identification in a time of invisibility for American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States. Statistical Journal of the IAOS. 1-19. 10.3233/SJI-180495.

Christine Samuel-Nakamura, Felicia S. Hodge, Sophie Sokolow, Abudul-Mehdi S. Ali, and Wendie A. Robbins. (2019). Metal(loid)s in Cucurbita pepo in a Uranium Mining Impacted Area in Northwestern New Mexico, USA. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 16(14), 2569; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142569.

Angela Pauline Halpin & Felicia Schanche Hodge. (2019). Transition Theory Applications — “Wishes”. American Journal of Education and Information Technology; 3(1): 12-16 http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/j/ajeit doi: 10.11648/j.ajeit.20190301.

Tran, N.N., Kumar, S.R., Hodge, F.S., & Macey, P.M. (2018 Sept). Cerebral Autoregulation in Neonates with and without Congenital Heart Disease. American Journal of Critical Care, 27(5):410-416. doi: 10.4037/ajcc2018672.

Al Hasmi, I., Hodge, F., Nandy, K., Thomas, E., & Brecht, ML. (2018). The Effect of a Self-Efficacy-Enhancing Intervention on Perceived Self-Efficacy and Actual Adherence to Healthy Behaviours among Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. 18(4): e513-e519.PMID:30988972 DOI:10.18295/squmj.2018.18.04.014

Halpin, A. P., & Hodge, F. S. (2017). Why Mental Status Standards are Recommended on Medical Surgical Units in Hospitals? Journal of Hospital & Medical Management. 3(1): 9. DOI: 10.4172/2471-9781.100028.

Samuel-Nakamura, C., Hodge, F. S., Valentine, J. L., & Robbins, W. (2017). Heavy metal contamination in Thelesperma megapotamicum Ethnopharmacology. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences, Vol. 9(3), pp. 14-22, DOI: 10.5897/JTEHS2017.0380 Article Number: B3891B063018 ISSN 2006-9820.

Samuel-Nakamura, C., Robbins, W. A, & Hodge, F. (2017). Uranium and associated heavy metals in Ovis aries in a mining impacted area in northwestern New Mexico. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 14(8) 848. doi 10.3390/ijerph14080848.

Coleman, C. E., Elias, B., Lee, V., Smylie, J., Waldon, J., Hodge, F. S., & Ring, I. (September, 2016). International Group for Indigenous Health Measurement: Recommendations for best practice for estimation of Indigenous mortality. Statistical Journal of the IAOS, 32, 729-738.

Hodge, F., Cadogan, M., Itty, T. L., Williams, A., & Finney, A. (2016). Culture-Broker and Medical Decoder: Contributions of American Indian Cancer Caregivers in Cancer Pain Management. Journal of Community and Supportive Oncology, 14(5):221-228.

Halpin, A. P., & Hodge, F. S. (2016). Framed messages effects on readmissions. Journal of Hospital Administration, 5(4): 95-102.

Hodge, F., Nandi, K., Cadogan, M., Itty, T., Warda, U., Martinez, F., & Quan, A. (2016). Predictors of pain management among American Indian cancer survivors. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 27(2):636-43. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2016.0079.

Hodge, F., Kotkin-Jaszi, S. Rahman, M., & Martinez, F. (2015). Use of prescription medication OTC, and traditional medicine use among Hmong adults. J of Nursing Care, 4(4), 1000276.

Hodge, F., Itty, T. L., Cadogan, M. P., & Martinez, F., & Pham, A. (2015). The cultural constructs of cancer-related fatigue among American Indian cancer survivors. Journal of Supportive Care in Cancer, E-publication. 24(3):1235-1240.

Halpin, A., Hodge, F., & Chui, P. (2015). Older adults research in acute care – Breaking the Barriers. Commentary, California Journal for Health Promotion, 13(1), vi-x.

Palacios, J., Salem, B., Hodge, F., Abarran, C., Anaebere, A., & Hayes-Bautista, T. (2015). Storytelling as a qualitative tool for promoting health among vulnerable populations. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 26(4):346-53, Epub 2014 May 14; doi: 10.1177/1043659614524253.

Hodge, F. (2014). American Indian male college students’ perception and knowledge of human papillomavirus. Journal of Vaccine and Vaccination, 5(2). doi: 10.4172/2157-7560.1000222.

Hodge, F., Stemmler, M. S., & Nandy, K. (2014). Association between obesity and history of abuse among American Indians in rural California. Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy, 4, 1000208. doi:10.4172/2165-7904.1000208. PMC4236913.

Itty, T. L., Hodge, F. S., & Martinez, F. (2014). Shared and unshared barriers to cancer symptom management among urban and rural American Indians. Journal of Rural Health, 30(2): 206-213. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12045. PMC3974161.

Hodge, F., Line-Itty, T., & Ellenwood, C. (2014). Communication Pathways: HPV Information and Message Barriers Reported among American Indian College Students. California Journal of Health Promotion, 12:3, 14-23.

Hodge, F. S., Maliski, S., Itty, T., and Martinez, F. (2014). Colorectal cancer screening: The role of perceived susceptibility, risk and cultural illness beliefs among American Indians. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 21:2:48-44.

Itty, T. L., Hodge, F., Poitra, C. M., & Cardoza, B. (2012). HPV awareness among American Indian young adults: Implications for health education in adolescents. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 21(4):123-129.

Hodge, F. (2012). No meaningful apology for American Indian unethical research. Journal of Ethics and Behavior, 22(6):431-444. doi: 10.1080/10508422.2012.73078.

Hodge, F. S., Line, T. L., Cadogan, M. E., & Martinez, F. (2012). “Weaving Balance into Life”: Development and cultural adaptation of a cancer symptom management toolkit for Southwest American Indians. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 6(2), 182-188. PMC3322251.

Hodge, F., Itty, T., Cardoza, B., & Samuel-Nakamura, C. (2011). HPV Vaccine Readiness among American Indian College Students. Ethnicity and Disease, 21 (4):415-420.

Hodge, F., & Nandy, K. (2011). Predictors of wellness and American Indians. Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved, 22(3):791-803. PMC3287368.

Hodge, F., & Nandy, K. (2011). Factors associated with American Indian cigarette smoking in rural settings. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8, 944-54. PMC3118872.

Hodge, F., & Sinha, K. (2010). Safer sexual practices and HIV screening behavior among rural California American Indians. California Journal of Health Promotion, 8(1):10-21. PMC3102512.

Hodge, F., & Struthers, R. (Winter, 2006). Persistent smoking among Northern Plains Indians: Lenient attitudes, low harm value and partiality towards cigarette smoking. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 13(4), 181-185.

Struthers, R., & Hodge, F. (2004). Sacred tobacco use in Ojibwe communities. Journal of Holistic Nursing. 22(3), 209-225.

Hodge, F., Geishirt Cantrell, B., Struthers, R., Casken, J. (2004). American Indian Internet cigarette sales: Another avenue for selling tobacco products. American Journal of Public Health, 94(2), 260-261. PMC14482309.

Struthers, R., Savik, K., & Hodge, F. S. (2004). American Indian women and cardiovascular disease: Response behaviors to chest pain. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. 19(3), 158-163. PMC3106303.

Struthers, R., Hodge, F. S., Geishirt-Cantrell, B., & DeCora, L. (2003). Participant experiences of talking circles on type 3 diabetes in two Northern Plains tribes. Qualitative Health Research, 13(8), 1094-1115. PMC3103143.

Hodge, F. S, Pasqua, A., Marquez, C.A., & Geishirt-Cantrell, B. (January 2002). Utilizing traditional storytelling to promote wellness in American Indian communities. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 13(1), 6-11.

Hodge, F., Weinmann, S., & Roubideaux, Y. (2000). Recruitment of American Indians and Alaska Natives into clinical trials. Annals of Epidemiology, 10(8 suppl), S41-S48.

Hodge, F. et al. (1999). American Indian breast cancer project: Educational development and implementation, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 23(3), 205-215.

Hodge, F. et al. (1999). Talking Circles: Increasing cancer knowledge among American Indian women, Cancer Research and Therapy, 8, 103-111.

Hodge, F. et al. (1998). Cervical cancer screening: Knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of American Indian women, Cancer, 83(S8), 1799-1804.

Hodge, F. et al. (1996). Urban rural contrasts, patient and smoking patterns in Northern California American Indian clinics, Cancer, 78(S7), 1623-1628.

Hodge, F. et al. (1996). American Indian women’s talking circle: A cervical cancer screening and prevention project, Cancer, 78(S7), 1592-1597.