Success Stories

Success Stories

NWTEC Success Story: Defining State Health Priorities

Success Stories, TEC News

NWTEC Assists with Involvement of AI/AN People in Defining State Health Priorities

The Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center (NWTEC) partnered with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to gather input on top health issues that are most important to American Indian/Alaska Native residents of Oregon. Feedback from residents helped informed a community-based steering committee at OHA pick the top five priorities in February 2019 for Oregon’s 2020-2024 State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP).

 

A total of 215 survey responses were collected in a two-month period, which provided an oversampling of AI/AN residents when combined with responses to a similar survey created by OHA.

 

Over 95% of respondents from NWTEC’s survey indicated that they were enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe, with 60% of these respondents being enrolled members of an Oregon tribe. Respondents also represented a degree of geographic variance, as over half of Oregon’s counties were represented. Although health priorities could shift slightly when analyzing results by demographic characteristics, the top priorities remained relatively stable across the board. These top priorities selected were:

  1. Safe, affordable housing
  2. Access to mental health care
  3. Substance use
  4. Adverse childhood/life experiences (ACE/ALEs), trauma, and toxic stress
  5. Living wage
  6. Obesity
  7. Suicide

These priorities of AI/AN residents closely match the five priorities that were selected by OHA’s steering committee, which includes:

  1. Behavioral health (substance use, suicide, and access to mental health care)
  2. Economic drivers of health (food insecurity, housing, transportation, living wage)
  3. Adversity, trauma, and toxic stress (ACE/ALEs)
  4. Equitable access to care
  5. Institutional bias across private and public entities

Since AI/AN people were underrepresented in the community input that OHA used to write the current health plan (2015-2019 SHIP), targeted outreach by NWTEC and community participation helped insure that Native voices were clearly heard during the planning process.

If you have any questions or would like more information about NWTEC or Oregon’s SHIP process, please contact Taylor Ellis at tellis@npaihb.org.

NWTEC Health Priorities graph
NWTEC Health Priorities chart

 


 

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AASTEC Success Story: Tribal PRAMS Project

Success Stories, TEC News
In May 2018, the Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center (AASTEC) launched the Tribal Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) – a new tribal public health surveillance system designed to learn more about the experiences, attitudes and behaviors of new American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) mothers before, during, and after their pregnancy. Key topics on the survey include prenatal and preconception care, breastfeeding, substance use, stress and stressors, health insurance coverage, and infant health care and safety.

 

Tribal PRAMS is a collaboration between AASTEC, the Navajo Tribal Epidemiology Center, and the New Mexico Department of Health.

 

Tribal Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)


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The survey is complimentary to the existing New Mexico PRAMS, where the majority of new AI/AN mothers not selected for participation in this state-sponsored surveillance system, are invited to participate in Tribal PRAMS. The survey instrument consists of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention PRAMS core survey questions, the NM-state specific PRAMS questions, and a Tribal addendum, which includes questions about breastfeeding, injury prevention, language, and cultural activities. Survey administration is multimodal, where participants can complete the survey by mail, online, or telephone.

The overarching goal of Tribal PRAMS is to strengthen the availability of high quality, AI/AN-specific data that can be used by tribes and tribal health programs to:

  • Understand the health status and specific needs of AI/AN mothers and their babies throughout New Mexico
  • Monitor trends in the health status of AI/AN perinatal women and their infants over time
  • Develop and/or enhance health programs and clinical care for AI/AN perinatal women and their infants
  • Inform tribal maternal child health policy development

For more information on Tribal PRAMS, please contact Sheldwin Yazzie shyazzie@aaihb.org or Ayanna Woolfork awoolfork@aaihb.org

 

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UIHI Success Story: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Report

Success Stories, TEC News
Report provides snapshot of crisis in urban Native communities

Analysis of data in 71 U.S. cities points to much larger problem, inaccurate data

In November 2018, Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI), a division of Seattle Indian Health Board, released the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) report. This snapshot of data from 71 U.S. cities identified 506 cases of MMIWG and detailed significant challenges in collecting data on the total number of missing or murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives residing in off-reservation areas and outside rural villages. UIHI intends to provide the report as a resource for urban Indian organizations, tribal governments, and legislators.

 

“This report provides a necessary snapshot of the epidemic and is a call-to-action to protect Native women and girls.”

 

– Abigail Echo-Hawk, Director of UIHI and co-author of the report.

 

Annita Lucchesi (Southern Cheyenne descendant), doctoral student and creator of an extensive MMIWG database, co-authored the report with Echo-Hawk. In the course of her research, Lucchesi found some significant issues: a lack of available data on urban Indians, the need for non-tribal law enforcement agencies to coordinate with tribal nations regarding their members and to share data on MMIWG, the racial misclassification of these cases, and inadequate funding for research on violence against urban American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls.

The report has been circulated by major local, national, and international media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR (National), CBC News, The Seattle Times, KUOW, and King 5 News. The communications team shared the report and related information on social media which increased engagement exponentially—it reached over 400,000 people and helped UIHI’s follower base grow by over 2,000 across all social media channels. This report has also been shared by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Juana Majel-Dixon (Pauma Band of Mission Indians), Executive Board Member and Recording Secretary of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in a press event in Washington, D.C.

The researchers also note that Urban Indian organizations need this information to better inform programming and to advocate for change. They also note that this issue is more than just data. For more information and to view the report, visit the UIHI website.

 

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USET TEC Success Story: NIHB Annual Heroes in Health Awards Gala

Success Stories, TEC News
2018 Area Impact Award Winner

The United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) Tribal Epidemiology Center received a National Indian Health Board “Area Impact Award” for the support and technical assistance that it provides to USET Member Tribal Nations.

 

“Honors an individual or organization whose work has contributed to improving American Indian/Alaska Native health care or affected change on an area or regional basis.”

 


 

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2018 Area Impact Award Winner
2018 Area Impact Award Winner

ANEC Success Story: Alaska Native Tumor Registry

Success Stories, TEC News
ANTR Awarded First-Place by SEER Program

Cancer is the leading cause of death among Alaska Native people. Many cancers can be prevented. To understand the unique pattern of cancer among Alaska Native people, Dr. Anne Lanier and colleagues established the Alaska Native Tumor Registry (ANTR). The ANTR has been collecting cancer data for Alaska Native people since 1969. Since this time, these data have been used to help Alaska Native tribal health organizations understand the burden of cancer in their communities. The data have also been used in over 100 scientific publications, and 9 five-yearly reports. Our most recent five-year picture of cancer among Alaska Native people was published in 2015. Our Executive Summary of this report has been very useful to tribal health leaders in understanding this public health issue.

The ANTR is a population-based central cancer registry. This means we collect information from all over Alaska, not just from one hospital. We are funded by, and a member of, the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program. This program, which includes 17 other registries nationwide, is known for its high-quality cancer data collection. Each year, the SEER program assesses the quality of data submitted by each of its registries. This year, we were pleased to be awarded a First-Place Award by the SEER Program for data quality. This means that we achieved all 14 of the data quality metrics established by SEER as benchmarks for having high quality data. This is the first time in ANTR’s history that we have been awarded a first-place award!

Members of the Alaska Native Tumor Registry display their SEER Program first-place award.


 

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