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Practice Based Generating Evidence (PBGE)

Practice Based Generating Evidence has been described as a range of treatment approaches and supports that are derived from, and supportive of, the positive cultural attributes of the local society and traditions. These services are accepted as effective by the local community (through community consensus) and address the therapeutic and healing needs of individuals and families from a culturally specific framework. 


Practice-based generating evidence models draw upon cultural knowledge and traditions for treatment and are respectfully responsive to the local definitions of wellness and dysfunction. Practitioners of practice-based evidence models have field-driven and expert knowledge of the cultural context of the community, and they consistently draw upon this knowledge throughout the full range of service provision: engagement, assessment, diagnosis, intervention, and aftercare.

Community Based Research

HIR Wellness Institute was created from the seminal work of our founder Lea S. Denny’s Master thesis research on healing historical trauma. Our core healing principles are informed by our community member voices and their experiences on the impacts of historical trauma, intergenerational trauma, and PTSE™ has had in their lives. Many in the field of trauma informed research focus on the lifetime impact of ACEs and the cycling of chronic health issues that often ensue later in life. Promising in the evolution of this body of work is the further interest in the effects of positive childhood experiences, relational health, and community support services as factors of social determinants of health and resiliency.


In our research we deepen our understanding of the impact of transgenerational trauma transmission. We do this through better understanding what is causing a family, kinship system, or community so much unwellness that they are not able to be well-caregivers. To understand this, we must understand the importance of PTSE™ and Historical Loss and Associated Symptoms of chronic inequities, injustices, racial trauma, and disease and deficit centered research. We seek to better understand our community, and provide practice based generating evidence research to inform and guide the work that we do.

What does decolonizing data and research look like for us?

HIR Wellness Institute is an Indigenous and survivor-led matriarchal organization. As part of our work to decolonize we practice Indigenous data sovereignty. We define Indigenous data sovereignty similarly to “The Indigenous World”, as the right of Indigenous peoples to own, control, access, and possess data with the inherent rights to self-determination and governance (INDIGENOUS DATA SOVERIGNTY, April 1, 2022). 

At HIR Wellness Institute we are guided by an intergenerational decision-making model of the Children’s Fire, with this as our guidance we strive to serve our community for generations to come. Data is more than numbers and outcomes, it is part of our organization’s way to story tell the heart of the work, and the needs of the community that we serve. For example, our CAMPsite™ survey informed consent talks about what we do with this information, how it is used, and why it matters as part of our decolonial work as an Indigenous and survivor-led organization. 


HIR Wellness Institute gathers information in various ways including photographs, videos, social media, and survey data. We strive to protect our relatives who visit our spaces (in-person or virtually). We do this by informing our spaces when photography or videography will be used and minimalizing our use of identifying information. In addition, all survey information gathered is de-identified in any reporting to protect the identities and privacy of our relatives.

Information gathered by the HIR Wellness Institute is used to forward our vision and mission as stated below:

Our mission:

To increase mental health accessibility and inclusivity for health justice through demonetizing the relationships between the mental health systems, and those seeking mental health services within Indigenous and historically under-invested and therefore chronically underserved communities. 


How we do this:

We liberate the practice, pedagogy, service delivery, and training of mental health by stewarding matriarchal shared-leadership of the Community Activated Medicine (CAM™) Framework™ and Intergenerational Healing Approach™. 


We seek to learn from our ancestors’ teachings and the ways of governance that worked for the global majority centuries prior to colonization, we invite our Indigenous roles into colonial spaces. Our ways are from many differing nations and our resilience has always rooted in the health and wellbeing of our communities while we thrive through social & value-based economies.


For questions regarding data we collect and how it is used, please reach out to us for further information. 


Contact: Jamie Kellicut, Chief Community Engagement Officer

What researchers are saying about our work

“Lea and her team at HIR Wellness is the epitome of community-engaged research. It is groundbreaking and innovative. The community is a part of every step of the process from the development to the dissemination. HIR Wellness Institute’s approach to research comes from empathy, healing, and understanding - the essence of community engaged work.”

- Courtney Barry, PsyD

HIR Wellness Institute Board Treasurer; Director of Interprofessional Education (IPE) for the School of Medicine; Assistant Professor; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine; Department of Family and Community Medicine; Medical College of Wisconsin

Terms & Meanings


Denny, L. S. (2016, November 13). Community Activated Medicine™ (CAM™). All Nations One Tribe. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America.

Denny, L. S. (2016). Persistent Toxic Systems and Environments. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America: HIR Wellness Institute.

Denny, L. S. (2023). Therapeutic Connection. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America: HIR Wellness Institute.

Denny, L. S. (2016). Triple Attunement. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America: HIR Wellness Institute.

INDIGENOUS DATA SOVEREIGNTY. (2022, April 1). The Indigenous World. Retrieved from International Processes and Initiatives:

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