TEC News

TEC News

Summer Research Training Institute for American Indian & Alaska Native health professionals

TEC News, Training

The Summer Research Training Institute curriculum is designed to meet the needs of professionals who work in diverse areas of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) health. Almost anyone who works in Indian health can take advantage of this skill-building opportunity – from administrators to community health workers, physicians, nurses, researchers, and program managers. Because our courses emphasize research skills, program design, and implementation, those professionals who seek training opportunities related to research will find relevant courses in this program. American Indian and Alaska Native health professionals and health science students are strongly encouraged to attend. We also seek American Indian and AlaskaNative students and participants from other professional areas who are interested in Native health issues.

June 13 – June 30, 2022

All courses will be virtual. All times are listed in Pacific Standard Time.

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Weaving Success: Evaluation in Indian Country

TEC News, Training

This course covers evaluation methods that honor Native peoples’ values and ways of knowing, learning and being. After completing this course, learners will be able to evaluate the impact of their programs on the health of their patients and the overall community.

This course consists of five sequential modules that build on each other and must be attended in order. They will cover evaluation definition and purpose, identifying and engaging invested partners, needs assessment, types of evaluations, data collection and analysis and more. The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center (GLITEC) created this course in order to support American Indian/Alaska Native communities in their efforts to improve the health of their people.

Who Should Register
Physicians, RNs, APRNs, LVN/APNs and all staff who manage or work on programs in Tribal health clinics and agencies.

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GPTEC: A look at tribal health and those working to improve it

TEC News, TECs in the Media
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RAPID CITY, S.D. — Tinka Duran has been with the Great Plains Tribal Leader’s Health Board for 14 years, and was recently named the senior director of the Great Plains Epidemiology Center. Duran, member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, holds her degree in Social Science from Oglala Lakota College and a master’s in public health from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She says the knowledge and partnerships made through those years with Great Plains have set her up well for the challenge.

By Darsha Nelson
February 9, 2022

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ANEC Success Story: Augmented Reality – Substance Use Neurophysiology and Data Visualization

Success Stories, TEC News
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The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) is the largest, most comprehensive tribal health organization in the United States. The organization puts creativity and innovation at the forefront of its programming to serve over 160,000 Alaska Native and American Indian people across a vast geographic area.

In 2017, Alaska’s governor declared the opioid crisis a statewide disaster. This prompted coordinated and collaborative action among many state, tribal, and federal agencies. Alaska’s Statewide Opioid Action Plan was finalized in 2018 and outlined priorities for addressing stigma, educating communities, and reducing the risk of substance misuse.

Behavioral health program staff and epidemiologists at ANTHC joined forces to put the strategic plan into action. Staff conducted community health assessments and identified stigma towards individuals with a substance use disorder and a lack of engaging education about opioids’ effects on the brain as the top priorities in communities. Attention turned to technologies that could provide a realistic, interactive learning experience that would be different from any other education currently being offered by the state. ANTHC’s Telehealth Technology Assessment Center, a leader in telehealth technology, made pilot testing with their augmented reality glasses readily accessible.

ANTHC staff facilitated a collaborative storyboarding process, which involved content review by physicians. They ultimately developed what might be the most creative of their educational approaches to-date: an augmented reality learning experience that incorporates culturally appropriate images and references with straightforward explanations of neurophysiology. When patients put on a pair of mixed reality glasses, they are transported to a campfire, complete with the sound of crackling firewood. Information is presented like a story. Users can select different chapters ranging from the epidemiology of opioid use in Alaska, to different brain functions, to the effects of opioids on the brain. 3D images provide immersive, sensory experiences throughout each chapter of this new curriculum. For example, the image of a towering bear shows patients how the brain makes decisions under stress. ANTHC staff also worked with local language experts during the summer of 2021 to translate materials into the Yup’ik language, which will make the education even more accessible to patients.

This technology has checked off all boxes for ANTHC staff. It filled the program gaps identified at the initial assessment phase of this project and has also been a surprisingly cost effective and practical option. The lenses are cheaper and much more transportable compared to ANTHC’s other educational offerings like giant anatomical inflatables, which are expensive and pose significant logistical challenges. The project has garnered positive feedback in its current pilot stage and proven immense potential for future use. Providers who were involved in testing stated that they “would use this with patients in a heartbeat” and that the presentation of material was “the best explanation [they’ve] ever seen.”

Enthusiasm for this form of education has also led to conversations about expanding content beyond opioid use to topics such as other types of substance use and adverse childhood experiences. ANTHC staff hope to expand to different platforms as the technology improves, such as smartphones or webpages, to make the educational experience accessible to the entire tribal health patient population and ultimately improve substance use literacy across the Alaska health system. Simply put by Program Manager Jackie Engebretson, “It’s great to have the opportunity for Indian Country to have something so cutting edge.”

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CDC – Population Health Training in Place Program (PH-TIPP)

TEC News, Training

PH-TIPP provides formal training in policy analysis and development as well as program evaluation. During this 1-year, on-the-job professional development opportunity, participants will engage in a training experience using projects from their day-to-day work. PH-TIPP training uses evidence-based approaches to help participants develop and enhance their population health and data modernization skills and add value to their organizations.

PH-TIPP participants are in leadership and management roles in their organizations. All learners have an MPH or equivalent coursework and many have additional training as physicians, veterinarians, nurses, or allied health professionals.

How PH-TIPP Benefits Participants, Supervisors, and Organizations:

  • Participants receive formal mentoring and training from experts both internal and external to CDC while staying in their current jobs.
  • Supervisors can support the professional development goals of their employees at little cost to the organization
  • Organizations can more effectively apply population health practices to protect and improve the health of their communities

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