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Pediatrician tells how poverty, historical trauma can influence health of Native American children

Jane Oski, MDThis year's Frank A. Oski, MD, Memorial Lecture was given by the noted pediatrician's daughter, Jane Oski, MD, left, who is also a pediatrician. She spoke about the health status of Native American children living on reservation lands. Oski, who lives in Arizona, points out that in parts of the desert Southwest and Alaska, some Native famlies live in poverty, without electricity or running water. Such living situations make for adverse childhood experiences, which can have a lifelong impact on a person's health, she says. Oski also discusses the individual effect of historical trauma, such as genocide, forced migration or war. Her father was a pediatric hematologist who was chairman of pediatrics at Upstate until 1985, when he left to lead the pediatrics department at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He died in 1996, and the Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital named its pediatric intensive care unit in his memory.