The American Indian Health Research Program (AIHRP) at Black Hills State University will host an official naming ceremony Friday, April 20 at 2 p.m. at 1246 St. Joe Street in Spearfish.

The AIHRP, which has been been informally known as the St. Joe House, will be officially named Wicozani Tipi, which means Health House in Lakota.

The opening reception will include a tour of the house, the naming ceremony, and a proclamation by Spearfish Mayor Jerry Krambeck. Refreshments will be provided.

The AIHRP, established at BHSU in 2002, conducts collaborative health disparities research studies with American Indian tribes in South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. The program has eight full-time staff and four part-time staff with expertise in exercise physiology, nutrition, criminal justice, sociology, psychology, economics, and American Indian studies. They have conducted research on breast and cervical cancer, childhood obesity, cultural resiliency, diabetes, emergency medical services, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, juvenile diversion, methamphetamine use and its impacts, suicide, seat belt safety, and others.

Since its initial funding through a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant, the AIHRP has obtained additional funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Wellmark Foundation, the Avera Foundation, and through partnerships funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the NIH.

The public is welcome to attend the opening reception at no charge. For more information call the AIHRP office at 642-6434.