Renae Begay


Research Associate


Renae Begay is a member of the Dine Nation, her clans are Hashtł’ishnii (Mud Clan) born for Naaneesht’ézhí Táchii’nii (Charcoal-Streaked Division of Red Running into the Water). Her maternal grandfather's clan is Áshįįhí (Salt Clan) and her paternal grandfather’s clan is Tó Dích’íi’nii — Bitter Water.

Renae joined the Center for Indigenous Health in May of 2021. Renae is a Research Associate in Shiprock, NM where she coordinates the SafeSchools Project and Connection is Medicine (+CiM) for Shiprock, NM, Tuba City, AZ, and Chinle, AZ. She assists schools on the Navajo Nation by ensuring the safety and well-being of children and adolescents is key for student success. Schools will be able to enhance safety with positive collaborations with stakeholders in their communities as well as being able to rapidly identify cases entering the school and limiting the need for future closures through tracing and isolation protocols. Renae continues to facilitate day to day management of the studies and provide support for REDCap and other project coordination activities.

Previously, Renae worked at San Juan County Partnership for fifteen years with multiple grants in the prevention framework for the Navajo Nation and San Juan County. Substance abuse prevention, also known as drug abuse prevention, is a process that attempts to prevent the onset of substance use or limit the development of problems associated with using psychoactive substances. Prevention efforts may focus on the individual or their surroundings. A concept that is known as "environmental prevention" focuses on changing community conditions or policies so that the availability of substances is reduced as well as the demand. Renae has been a Senior Certified Prevention Specialist for fifteen years with the New Mexico Credentialing Board for Behavioral Health Professional and serves on the Board of Directors for San Juan County Partnership as Vice Chair representing the Navajo Nation.

Renae has a bachelor's degree in Bi-Cultural Studies and Elementary Education from Fort Lewis College and her MPA in Health Policy and Administration.


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