Research development

WSU nursing researcher leaves legacy of research development appropriate for Native American communities – The Daily Evergreen

Randall received his doctorate from WSU College of Nursing in 2018, contributed to the good development of research

After waging a year-long battle with myeloid leukemia, former WSU student Leslie Randall died March 1, leaving behind a legacy of Indigenous medical research and education advocacy.

Leslie earned a doctorate in nursing in 2018. Her research focused on Indigenous maternal and child health.

As a mother and member of the Nez Perce tribe, Leslie has focused on maternal and child health in Indigenous communities, said Roberta Paul, director of Indigenous health studies at WSU.

Leslie dropped out of high school, then earned her GED and a scholarship to St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, her husband Liam Randall said. Leslie did not complete her education and returned to the Nez Percé Reservation in Idaho.

Leslie was a single mother when she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1988 from Eastern Oregon University, Liam said. Later that year, Leslie and Liam were married. They had a son together in 1992.

During her doctoral studies, Leslie focused her research on Indigenous women because she found that researchers and medical professionals often overlooked women in Indigenous communities, Liam said. Leslie’s thesis was titled “My story, your story, our story: Grief and loss of a child in a tribal community.

“His thesis was very heartfelt,” Paul said. “She lost a child and her research focused on other women and men on our reservation who had dealt with the loss of a child.”

Leslie’s eldest son died in 2009, which heightened her interest in maternal health care, Paul said.

Leslie worked in Arizona on the Navajo Indian Reservation as a labor and delivery nurse, Liam said. Leslie has also worked in healthcare in Hawaii, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.

Leslie co-founded the Native Research Network in 1997. The organization created a research community for Native Americans across the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Canadian First Nations. Liam said Leslie worked as co-chair for seven years.

“She would advocate for students who want to go into nursing or health care,” he said. “She had an extensive network of associates and colleagues across the country.”

Leslie also worked in the education department with the Nez Perce tribe’s program called Students for Success, Liam said.

“At the time Leslie graduated, there were only about 20 Native Americans [doctorate students in nursing] across the United States,” Paul said.

paul said Leslie was an excellent researcher and contributed to the development of appropriate research protocols in Native American communities.