Carly Camplain, PhD, JD

Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Population Health
Office: BH 217 
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Dr. Carolyn (Carly) Camplain (Comanche) is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Health Law and Policy in the College of Health at Lehigh University. She is a researcher and a lawyer focused on social and structural determinants, systemic racism, and health inequities; disparate impact of laws and policies; and Indigenous and western scientific and legal research methods and theoretical frameworks. The majority of her work is focused on two areas: (1) physical, mental, and behavioral healthcare access and utilization among Indigenous peoples while incarcerated and (2) healthcare in tribal correctional facilities. Through community-based research focused on how law and policy impact health, Dr. Camplain fosters cross-sector collaborations with communities and institutions that currently are non-existent in order to improve well-being among Indigenous people while incarcerated. Her research and collaborations have helped and will continue to produce change for healthier and more equitable communities and institutions. In particular, her work strengthens health service systems (e.g., Indian Health Services, correctional healthcare) which are currently fragmented, inefficient, and inequitable. Dr. Camplain also assists other researchers with legal and policy research on multiple topic areas.

Dr. Camplain comes to Lehigh from Northern Arizona University’s Center for Health Equity Research where she managed many large research grants including one funded by NIDCR focused on early childhood caries in Indigenous women and young children and a NIDA funded graduate certificate focused on teaching clinical-focused doctoral students how to conducted culturally centered substance use research. She has worked with Native Nations such as the Crow Nation, the Hopi Tribe, the Hualapai Tribe, and Navajo Nation; county jail populations; prison populations; and health care professionals.

Dr. Camplain is licensed to practice law in the state of New Mexico.


  • PhD, Interdisciplinary Health – Health Equity, Northern Arizona University, 2023
  • JD, Law, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, 2015
  • BS, Psychology (minor in Statistics), University of New Mexico, 2011
  • BA, Sociology, University of New Mexico, 2011

Areas of Research and Publications

Populations: Indigenous Peoples, Native Nations, people incarcerated in jail and prison
Topics: Physical, mental, and behavioral health, healthcare access, healthcare utilization, legal epidemiology, Indigenous Research Methods

Awards and Honors

IWRI INSPIRE Fellow, 2021-2023