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Lori Alvord, Chief of Surgical Services and a practicing general surgeon at Banner Health Page Hospital, spoke on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015 at the Heard Museum in Phoenix as part of the Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture, and Community. The Department of English is a sponsor of the series.
Dr. Alvord spoke of the healing properties of ceremonies and the importance of the mind-body connection both to overall health and to the medical profession. She spoke about the benefits of chant, songs, prayer, and meditation to physical and mental health. Moving beyond individual health, Dr. Alvord also notes the connection between ceremonies and the health of the planet as a whole.
Raised in Crownpoint, New Mexico, Dr. Lori Arviso Alvord, MD (Navajo) is a member the Tsinnajinnie (Ponderosa Pine) and Ashi’hii’ Dine’ (Salt) clans. She is the first Navajo woman to be board-certified in surgery. Her memoir, The Scalpel and the Silver Bear (Bantam, 1999), tells the story of her journey from the reservation to the operating room and of her work to combine Navajo philosophies of healing with western medicine.
Dr. Alvord also holds an appointment as Associate Faculty at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for American Indian Health.