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Mathuram Santosham Chair in Native American Health

Bloomberg School of Public Health

Established in 2015 and supported by donors and friends in honor of Dr. Mathuram Santosham

MATHURAM SANTOSHAM, M.D. is the founder and director emeritus of the Center for American Indian Health at the Johns Hopkins University. He holds professorships in the Departments of International Health and Pediatrics. Dr. Santosham founded the center to promote physical, mental and behavioral health among Native Americans. His pioneering research on oral rehydration therapy and H.influenzae type b, conducted in partnership with the White Mountain Apache Tribe and Navajo Nation, has helped to save over 50 million lives worldwide. Dr. Santosham is the recipient of numerous awards including the Sabin Gold Medal and the Fries Prize for Improving Health.

Held by Victoria M. O'Keefe

VICTORIA M. O’KEEFE, Ph.D., (Cherokee and Seminole Nations of Oklahoma) is the inaugural Mathuram Santosham Chair in Native American Health. Dr. O’Keefe is an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of International Health (Social and Behavioral Interventions Program), an associate director at the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, and a licensed psychologist. Dr. O’Keefe was appointed to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2017, becoming the first-ever Native American tenure-track professor in the Bloomberg School’s history. Her community-based participatory research (CBPR) with Native communities focuses on strengths-based and culturally-informed suicide prevention, mental health promotion, and wellness. In addition to research, she is passionate about mentoring the next generation of Indigenous scholars pursuing public health and mental health degrees and careers.

Dr. O’Keefe received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Oklahoma State University and completed her clinical internship at the Puget Sound VA Health Care System – Seattle Division, both in 2016. She was a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow 2012-2015. In 2020, Dr. O’Keefe was honored with the Cherokee Nation Community Leadership Individual Award.