Dr. Lori Arviso Alvord, the first Navajo female surgeon, returns to Augsburg College Feb. 13 and 14 to share the story of her journey from the reservation to become a surgeon and her work to combine Navajo philosophies of healing with western medicine, to create models of healing environments. This convocation is sponsored by the Center for Counseling and Health Promotion, American Indian Student Support Services, and Augsburg for Adults.
In order to encourage attendance at the Saturday convocation, WEC Saturday classes will be dismissed at 11:45 a.m. and will resume at 1:15 p.m.
Lori Arviso Alvord, MD is currently Associate Dean of Student and Multicultural Affairs at Dartmouth Medical School and a member of the Navajo Tribe, of the Tsinnajinne’ clan (Ponderosa Pine) and Ashihii’ Dine’ (Salt People) clan.
Dr. Alvord is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Psychiatry, and a board certified practicing general surgeon. She earned her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College (1979, cum laude), and received her Doctorate of Medicine from Stanford University (1985). Her surgical residency was completed at Stanford University Hospital in 1991. From 1991 to 1997 she was employed by the Indian Health Service in Gallup, New Mexico as a surgeon for members of the Navajo and Zuni tribes.
Dr. Alvord performs clinical research in Surgical Outcomes in American Indian populations and is funded by a National Institute of Health grant from the National Institute of Aging. She is also a member of the NIH’s National Advisory Council for the National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NACCAM).
Her memoir, “The Scalpel and the Silver Bear” (Alvord, L., and Cohen van Pelt, E., Bantam, 1999), tells the story of her journey from the reservation to become a surgeon and her work to combine Navajo philosophies of healing with western medicine, to create models of healing environments. The Scalpel and the Silver Bear is used by many undergraduate and medical school college courses and is a popular reading group selection.
Dr. Alvord has received many awards, including honorary degrees from Albany Medical College and Drexel University and has been a commencement speaker for five medical schools, including the University of Vermont (2007). She received the “Outstanding Women in Medicine” Award from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine and the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Women from the State of New Mexico. She is also prominently featured in the National Library of Medicine exhibit, “Changing the Face of Medicine,” honoring pioneering women physicians over the past 150 years.
Dr. Alvord lives in Enfield, New Hampshire with her husband, Jonathan Alvord and their two children, Kodiak and Kaitlyn.
Walking in Beauty: The Navajo Way
February 13, 3-3:30 p.m. Book signing (continues after conversation)
3:30 p.m. Conversation
Christensen Center, Marshall Room
At this informal conversation, Dr. Alvord will discuss the traditions of the Navajo. Refreshments will be provided.
The Scalpel and the Silver Bear
February 14, 12 p.m.
Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center
For this convocation lecture, Dr. Alvord will present material from her book, “The Scalpel and the Silver Bear,” and discuss her experiences as a Navajo surgeon.