Michelle Johnson-Jennings

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Michelle Johnson-Jennings, Ph.D., Ed.M

Academic Title

RICH Director
Assistant Professor
Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Clinical Title

License Eligible Clinical Psychologist/Health Psychologist: Integrated Primary Care


University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology (WICPP); Hospitals and Clinics
National Institute of Health National Institute of Health (NIH)/National Center on Research Resources (NCRR) IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) postdoctoral fellow Montana State University
B.S. Education and American Indian Studies
Harvard University, Human Development and Psychology
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Counseling Psychology/Health Psychology

Contact Info




Office Address

213 Life Science

Mailing Address

University of Minnesota
College of Pharmacy, Duluth
Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences
232 Life Science
1110 Kirby Drive
Duluth, MN 55812-3003

Bio Statement

Dr. Johnson-Jennings is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma. She presently serves as tenure-track faculty and graduate faculty (Social and Administrative Pharmacy) in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota (UMN). Dr. Johnson-Jennings also serves as the Research for Indigenous Community Health (RICH) founding co-Director. RICH is an interdisciplinary College of Pharmacy and School of Medicine center and developed from motivation to reduce AIAN health disparities and promote protective factors. Dr. Johnson-Jennings' expertise lies in biopsychosocial health interventions (including brief cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and providing integrated care) and in understanding the cultural health beliefs among Indigenous peoples, including traditional healing practices, that serve as protective factors for trauma and stress coping. She has served, or currently serves, as co-PI and co-investigator on several NIH, NIDA funded grants involving identifying protective and risk factors and developing Indigenous cultural health interventions and effectiveness in reducing substance abuse use and, or food addiction/obesity in Indigenous communities. Dr. Johnson-Jennings offers expertise in cultural health beliefs and behavioral interventions regarding addiction such as misuse of medicines, reducing obesity, decreasing tobacco use and substance use for tribal participants. She further has drawn from her expertise as an integrated primary care psychotherapist, and trainings in qualitative and quantitative research.


  • National Institute of Health (NIH)/National Center on Research Resources (NCRR) IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE)
  • Montana State University, Bozeman, MT


  • National Institute of Drug Abuse AI/AN Scholars: 2010
  • UMN Mentoring in Education Program, NIMH: Mentee: 2008-2009
  • American Psychological Association: (2001-Present) APAGS Student member
  • Future Faculty Teaching Partners: (2002-2010) Student member
  • Children Health Alliance of Wisconsin Board Member: (2007-2009)
Research Interests

Dr. Johnson-Jennings research continues to address Indigenous cultural health beliefs that reduce addiction; such as misuse of medicines, reducing obesity, decreasing tobacco use and substance use for tribal participants. As an integrated primary care psychologist, she seeks to continue developing culturally-based health interventions to reduce risks associated with historical and present trauma and stress in Indigenous communities.

Research Projects

1.) National Institute of Health L16 Career Award: NOT-OD-10-105 National Institute of Health Extramural Loan Repayment Program
American Indian cultural health beliefs for prescription medications, chronic pain, and provider health interventions
Johnson-Jennings, M (PI)

2.) National Institute of Health 1P30DK092950 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), WU-CDTR 09/01/2013 – 08/31/2015
Reducing Obesity in Tribal Community: Identifying Needs through Photovoice
Pilot SubAward: Johnson-Jennings, M/Jennings (PIs)

3.) National Institute of Health PAR-11-346 Interventions for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Native American Populations (R01)
Intertribal Talking Circle for the Prevention of Substance Use among Native Youth
Lowe, J & Baldwin, J (co-PI’s)
Johnson-Jennings, M (co-Investigator)
Funded $ 3,100,900

4.) National Institute of Health PAR-11-346 Interventions for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Native American Populations (R01)
1R01DA037176-01 NIH National Institute of Drug Abuse
Yappalli: the Choctaw Road to Health
Walters, K; Johnson-Jennings, M; Choctaw Nation (Co Principal Investigator)
Funded $3,341,815

5.) Greater New Orleans Foundation
Returning to Our Roots… Houma tribal health and wellness
Johnson-Jennings, Michelle & Houma Nation (Principal Investigators)

SELECTED Completed Research Support:
1.) American Indians, Substance Use, And HIV risk behaviors: Secondary data analysis of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (R01)
PAR-10-018 Accelerating the Pace of Drug Abuse Research Using Existing Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment Research Data
Eitle, D & Eitle, T (Co-PI’s)
Johnson-Jennings, M (Co-Investigator)

2.) National Institute of Health 5R25MH084565-03 Walters, K (PI) 07/01/2009-6/30/2012
Indigenous HIV/AIDS Training Research Fellow.
$22,000 Subaward for Pilot Study
PI: Johnson-Jennings, M

Leadership Roles
  • INIKHD World Congress Steering Committee Bi-annual International Steering Committee Member 2013-2015
  • NIH/NIDA American Indian Research Network Committee Member 2013-present
  • NIH, NIDA UC Denver School of Medicine Steering Committee; Native Child’s Research Steering Committee Member June 2010 to January 2014
  • Wiidookage, Cancer Team, Fond Du Lac Committee Member 2012-present
  • Harvard Women into Leadership Institute Certification. March 2014. Competitively Accepted Harvard women into leadership participant. This training is reserved for women who are presently viewed as leaders in higher education.
  • National Congress of American Indians WU-CDTR Diabetes Research Fellow: 2013-present
  • National Institute of Health (NIH)/ National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Indigenous HIV/AIDS Research Training (IHART) Fellow award: (2010 to 2013)
  • NIH/NIMH Health Equity Leadership Institute Fellow: (2011, 2014) The Collaborative Center for Health Equity; The University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and The University of Maryland School of Public Health Maryland Center for Health Equity.

Thompson, V., Johnson-Jennings, M., Bauman, A., Proctor., E. (In Press, Preventing Chronic Disease). Use of culturally focused theoretical frameworks for adaptations of diabetes prevention programs: A qualitative review

Johnson-Jennings, M. Belcourt, A., Walls, M., Town, M.,* Walters, K. (2014). American Indian LGBT Two Spirit smoking as related to discrimination and pain. Journal for Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved. 25 (4), 1667-1678

Johnson-Jennings, M.D. & Gonzalez, H.M. (Accepted in International Indigenous Health Journal, 2015) American Indians and healthcare providers’ assessment of pain: the Influence of racial concordance and patient ethnic salience.

Johnson‐Jennings, MD, Tarraf, W., Hill, KX, & Gonzalez, HM. (2014) United States colorectal cancer screening practices among American Indians/Alaska Natives, blacks, and non‐Hispanic whites in the new millennium (2001 to 2010). Cancer, 120(20), 3192–3299. (2014).*
*Editorial highlight accompanying article Lynch, Patrick M. Colorectal cancer screening in the American Indian/Alaska Native population: Progress and at least one new challenge. Cancer (2014).

Walls, M., Aronson, B.*, Sooper, G.*, & Johnson-Jennings, M. The Prevalence and Correlates of Mental and Emotional Health Among American Indian Adults With Type 2 Diabetes. The Diabetes Educator 40.3 (2014): 319-328.

Eitle, T, & Johnson-Jennings, M. Eitle, D. (2013). Family Structure and Adolescent Alcohol Use Problems: Extending popular explanations to American Indians. Social Science Research 32(6), 1467-1479.

Gonzalez, H.M., Fischer, G., Bowen, E., Johnson-Jennings, M., Tarraf, W. (2013) What do my parents have to with my cognitive reserve? Results from the Health and Retirement Survey 1998-2008. Neuroepidemiology Journal 41(2).

Eitle, T; Eitle, D; & Johnson-Jennings, M. (2013). General Strain Theory and substance use among American Indian adolescents. Race and Justice, 3(1), 3-30.

Miranda, P; Johnson-Jennings, M; Tarref, W.; Gonzalez, P.; Gonzalez, H (2012). Colorectal cancer screening trends and ethnicity. Preventative Medicine

Miranda, P; Tarref, W.; Gonzalez, P.; Johnson-Jennings, M., Gonzalez, H. (2012/2011). Breast cancer screening trends in the United States and ethnicity. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 21(2):351-7. Epub 2011 Dec 6.

Thompson, M., Johnson-Jennings, M. & Nitzarim, R* (2012/2013) Native American Undergraduate Students’ Persistence Intentions: A Psychosociocultural Perspective. Journal of Cultural-cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Johnson, Michelle, M. (2001, Winter). The importance of community education. Winds of Change 16(1).

Johnson-Jennings, M.D. (2009) Silent Crimes: Hate crimes against Native Americans (Book Review). The American Indian Quarterly 33(3), 414-416.

Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters
Allen, J., Lewis, J. & Johnson-Jennings, M. (Forthcoming) Well-Being and Health in Counseling. Counseling Across Cultures (7th ed.)Dragan, J.G. (Ed). Chapter 20.

Wampold, B., Imel, Z., Bhati, K., & Johnson-Jennings, M. (2006) Insight as a common factor. In L.G. Constanguay & C.E. Hill (eds). Insight in Psychotherapy. Washington, DC: APA books. p. 119

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  • Last modified on March 4, 2015