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Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness: Our Native Voices

An interactive exhibition brought to you by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, and Mayo Clinic.

Honoring Native Voices of Mayo Students and Staff

Brothers: Dr. David Baines & Dr. Jonathan Baines

Dr. David R. Baines (Alaskan Tlingit & Tsimshian) 
was the 1st Native American Graduate
from the Mayo Medical School (in 1982). 

He is a former member of the Mayo Board of Trustee
for the Alumni Association.

To read about his vast accomplishments and medical expertise see his bio below.




Watch his  inspiring story
on the
We Are Healers website.








Dr. David Baines honors his brother Jonathan with a traditional blanket ceremony at graduation for his future role as a healer.

Dr. Jonathan Baines  (Alaskan Tlingit & Tsimshian) is the 1st Native American to Receive a Dual Degree at Mayo. He currently works at Mayo in the Family Medicine Program and is a professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.



Dr. Jonathan Baines is also the Medical Director of Native Circle and co-Director for Spirit of Eagles.

Lori Sam - Medical Secretary

My name is a Lori Sam and I am an enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe located near Mille Lacs Lake in northern Minnesota. I am a descendent of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa (Meskwaki Nation) located in Tama, IA where I grew up.

I attended Marshalltown Community College and received two degrees, AA for Liberal Arts and AS for Mass Communications. I then earned my BA in Cinema and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa. After graduating, I first became a Production Assistant and was promoted to Lead Production Director at KCRG in Cedar Rapids IA. As a single mother of 3 kids, it became difficult to find child care and soon moved back to Tama, IA and worked as a Media Coordinator and enjoyed an office setting.

I moved to Rochester in September 2014 and started working at KTTC as a director before working with a cable company. After a short time at Charter Communications I was hired as a Medical Secretary at Mayo Clinic. I am back in an office setting again but now in a health care environment. Working here has given me a new outlook on life and my health. I enjoy working to help others in my new position which means teaming up with my coworkers and supporting doctors in my department which in turn helps patients.

Sisters: Betty Smith & Shirley Greising


Betty & Shirley at the 2014 Humanities in Medicine Employee Art Show .  Shirley's artwork is to the right and depicts their Dakota ancestral  flight & return to Minnesota.

Susanna Basappa, MD, PhD - Student

My name is Susanna Basappa. My name is also Nanéndek. I am an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, who were removed to Shawnee Oklahoma in the 1800s, but were originally from the Michigan area and were allies to the Ojibwe and Odawa peoples. I am a 3rd year MD/PhD student at the Mayo Clinic, and have my BS in Biochemistry and Biology from the University of San Francisco. My career goal is to be a population health and preventative care researcher, as well as a primary care physician. I am one of the lucky ones, who has had the opportunity and received that extra push I needed to pursue my dreams. One of my goals in life is to pay my opportunities forward, and to mentor and inspire others who may also need that push - so please take it from me: if you have a dream, fight for it, and don’t let anyone tell you that you are not good enough, not right for the position, because of your ancestry or your features. I am Native American, and I am proud to become a healer, a doctor. I hope you will be too.

Dr. Judith Kaur - Oncologist

"Her grandmother first suggested she had potential to be a healer.  Today Dr. Judith Kaur, one of two American Indian medical oncologist in the country, is planting similar seed with a new generation of Native American youth."  

Read the rest of her inspiring story in Teacher, Healer, and Role Model: Judith Salmon Kaur.

Valerie DeCora Guimaraes - Patient Relations Specialist

Valerie DeCora Guimaraes serves as Mayo Clinic's first official Patient Relations Specialist for Native American patients. Her appointment started in early 2018.  She is an enrolled member of the Ho-chunk Nation with Dakota heritage and a registered nurse with 20+ years of patient experience.

Keely Redhage - MGS Graduate Student

Keely Redhage  (Cherokee) is a graduate student in Mayo's Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics program. See her profile here. She is also the founding member of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine's SACNAS Chapter.