Dr. Jeff Henderson is a Lakota and enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Dr. Henderson acquired both his Bachelor’s and Medical degrees from the University of California, San Diego. After completing a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Washington, Dr. Henderson moved to Eagle Butte, South Dakota in 1992, where he served as Clinical Director of the PHS Indian Hospital there. He returned to Seattle in 1994 to pursue his Master’s training in Public Health, after which he moved to the Black Hills of western South Dakota and worked once again for the Indian Health Service.
In 1998 Dr. Henderson began his transition to public health and epidemiology, joining the well-known Strong Heart Study as a co-investigator. Also in 1998, Dr. Henderson founded the Black Hills Center for American Indian Health, a community-based, non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the wellness of American Indians through research, service, education, and philanthropy. The Center has met with considerable early success, garnering over $20 million through 18 peer-reviewed health research grants and contracts, largely from NIH and CDC; providing well-paying jobs for 40-50 reservation-based tribal members; and injecting over $5 million into impoverished reservation communities. Dr. Henderson is intensely interested in the so-called social determinants of health. He is married to his beautiful wife, Patricia, and together they have two beautiful children.