Dr. Pelis has worked at the NIH for more than 15 years, primarily in the Office of the Director, where she was lead speech writer on the NIH Director's Presentations Team and an editor for the NIH Director's Blog. Kim joins the ONHM with experience in both academic and public history. She earned her Ph.D. in the history of medicine from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Prior to coming to the NIH, Kim was an assistant professor of medical history at the Uniformed Services University, across the street from the NIH, from 1998 to 2005.
Observing Native American Heritage Month
This Native American History Heritage Month, we want to recognize the history of cooperation and collaboration between NIH and Tribal Nations. On his final day as NIH director – October 31, 2008 – Dr. Elias Zerhouni attended a meeting of the Director’s Council of Public Representatives (COPR). Formed in 1998 by former NIH Director Harold Varmus, COPR was composed of members of the public who gave insight on opportunities for public participation and outreach at NIH. During this meeting, committee member Dr. Cynthia Lindquist, Spirit Lake Dakota Nation member and president of Cankdeska Cikana Community College, gifted a star quilt to Dr. Zerhouni. She invited Lora M. Church, a Navajo committee member from the Bitterwater and Black Streak Wood Clan, to sing a song of blessing as Zerhouni stepped down.
From left to right: Lora M. Church, Dr. Cynthia Lindquist, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, and Dr. Raynard Kington, acting director following Zerhouni.