Dr. Michael Trujillo


Michael H. Trujillo, MD, MS, MPH is presently the Associate Dean and professor for the Outreach & Multicultural Affairs program of the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix.

Research Interests 

Michael H. Trujillo, MD, MS, MPH is presently the Associate Dean and professor for the Outreach & Multicultural Affairs program of the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix. That program office serves to increase the ethnic and cultural diversity of the college’s student body and faculty, and, in general, the healthcare workforce. Dr Trujillo oversees and supervises the program to interact with community organizations, create partnerships with national and local organizations, develop recruitment and retention initiatives and programs that target underrepresented students, and mentor students. In addition, the program represents and advises the College with regard to policy formulation and issues related to diversity, health disparities, and professional workforce development. Further, Dr Trujillo is engaged in the admissions activities for the College, curriculum development in areas of cultural competency and diversity, and in the interdisciplinary education and training program. Dr Trujillo also serves on the University of AZ Human Subjects Protection Program in Tucson as an Institutional Review Board (IRB) member and he is also a member of the President’s “University Committee on American Indian Affairs”. In Phoenix, he is also an Adjunct Professor and Co-Director in the new Public Health Practice MPH program for the College of Public Health. He is also an Associate Investigator at the University’s Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson. In addition, Dr Trujillo remains as a part-time consultant for the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). He assists TGen to engage Indian communities in the development of applied community-based participatory research partnerships that will not only increase scientific understanding of the genetic basis of disease, but also lead to improvements in clinical care and treatment. In this effort, new partnerships and new alliances have developed that affect research strategies that will reduce the burden of health disparities and create new opportunities to improve health outcomes for American Indian tribes in AZ. TGen’s areas of research focus include oncology, neurogenomics and metabolic disorders. Its research combines cutting-edge technology and bioinformatics with basic science to sift through the human genome that play a role in disease development and progression. Dr Trujillo was the TGen’s Executive Director for Program Development & Community Outreach from October 2006 to October 2008. From November 2008 until June 2010, Dr Trujillo was the Health Research Director for the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc (ITCA) in Phoenix, AZ. There, he assisted the Executive Office of ITCA in managing, coordinating the various health care initiatives, projects and grants, and extended collaboration with Federal, non-Federal, state, community and American Indian tribal organizations and programs. ITCA provides member tribes with the means for action on matters that affect them collectively or individually, to promote tribal sovereignty and to strengthen tribal governments. It provides technical assistance and training to tribal governments in program planning and development, research and data collection, resource development and management and evaluation. It facilitates participation of tribal leaders in the formulation of public and health policy at all levels. The goal of ITCA and its commitment to the member tribes is to ensure the self-determination of Indian tribal governments through their participation in the development of policies and programs which affect their lives. Dr Trujillo also holds academic appointments at the Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe, AZ as Clinical Professor at the Center of Metabolic Biology, and as Professor of Practice at the 4 New Directions in Native Health CLE Conference ASU School of Public Affairs. Dr Trujillo continues his academic relationship with the University of Minnesota as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Public Health. Dr Trujillo is also consultant for the Salt Lake City, UT VA Regional Medical Center to implement health care services, including telemedicine, in rural areas in several western states through a national VA rural clinics initiative from the VA Central Office in Washington, DC. He is also a consultant for American Indian programs of the Banner Health Care system’s Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, AZ. In addition, he has continued as a part-time consultant for the Cancer Research & Treatment Center at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. Until the beginning of 2010, he was also a consultant for the nationwide “Spirit of Eagles” cancer outreach program to American Indian tribes and communities at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Dr Trujillo previously served as the Director of the Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in Rockville, MD. In March 1994, Dr Trujillo was the first Presidential appointed Director of the IHS with Senate confirmation. As Director, he was an Assistant Surgeon General/Rear Admiral (08) in the US Public Health Service (USPHS). He served two confirmed four year terms as the national IHS Director. In June 2002, he was appointed to the Office of the Surgeon General, DHHS, where he was involved in nationwide initiatives to improve the health status and disparities in health care of minority and underserved populations. In May 2003, he retired after serving 29 years as a USPHS Commissioned Corps Officer and having served in several agencies of the DHHS and Bureau of Prisons (BoP) of the Department of Justice. During his Commissioned Corps career, he served in various clinical and management positions in many locations throughout the US in both federal Departments. While serving as the Director of the IHS, Dr Trujillo led the effort that resulted in unprecedented tribal participation and collaboration in the IHS and within the DHHS. He headed an IHS budget expansion of over one billion dollars to the Agency, tribes and urban Indian programs to be over 5 billion dollars and more than 15,000 employees. He directed the Agency in developing the expansion for tribes to manage their own health care programs through the new SelfGovernance compacting process. He led the Agency’s headquarters reorganization with participation of tribal and urban Indian program leadership; and, he directed the development of a business plan for the Agency, as well as initiated numerous collaborations and partnerships with professional organizations, foundations, academic institutions and medical schools. He greatly strengthened the relationship and reputation of the IHS with Congress and with its authorizing and appropriation committees. In addition, Dr Trujillo participated in the DHHS’s international activities and was a Department representative to both the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization. He fostered the Agency’s initiatives across other federal departments, and participated in numerous White House activities and initiatives for American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and other underserved populations. He co-authored and co-directed the Department’s new tribal consultation policy and initiative with AI/AN tribes. He strengthened the IHS research initiatives with academic research institutions and medical centers and with the NIH. Dr Trujillo maintained that tribal leaders and communities must be an equal partner in any conducted research and that research programs must meet tribal approval and be culturally appropriate. Throughout his tenure, he emphasized that traditional AI/AN healing ceremonies and practices are an integral part of AI/AN health care programs. He emphasized that the IHS was “to serve” AI/AN people nationwide and that it was only a part of a larger Indian health care system, the “I-T-U” (IHS/tribal/ urban programs). He brought a new vision and “transparency” of operations to the Agency and involved tribal officials and urban Indian leaders nationwide in the Agency’s management programs and policy and budget formulation and evaluation processes.