TEC News

TEC News

USET TEC Success Story: November 2017

Success Stories, TEC News
Starting to Quit By: Angela Snell


Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PBCI) Tribal Nation was able to focus on their tobacco cessation program due to the CDC Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) grant. PBCI utilized the funding from the GHWIC to conduct a community health assessment. Through this assessment, Tribal Council could hear from Tribal citizens their desire for smoke-free buildings and protection from secondhand smoke. Policies were approved and changes made to prohibit smoking within 100 feet of the Health Center.


Every year, about 3,000 adult nonsmokers die from lung cancer and 35,000 from coronary heart disease nationwide. People exposed to secondhand smoke (the smoke that comes from the burning end of tobacco and exhaled smoke from smokers) greatly increase their risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, ear infections, pneumonia, croup, and sore throats. People can be protected from the harms of secondhand smoke by having smoke-free buildings and not allow smoking within 100 feet of the buildings.


Because Tribal Council knew they had the support of their Tribal citizens, Tribal Council passed a resolution to not allow smoking within 100 feet of the Health Center. The Health Center has designated smoking areas by the placement of picnic tables on each side of the building that are 100 feet away from the building. The picnic tables have been secured in place so that they cannot be moved. The GHWIC staff are now working to expand the smoke-free policies to the entire reservation.

The Health Department is also working on their Tobacco Cessation program. Approximately ten patients a month are being referred to the tobacco cessation program.


Thanks to the CDC’s GHWIC funding, the PBCI health department conducted a community health assessment in 2016. A key component of the assessment was the development of surveys that asked if their Tribal citizens were in favor of having smoke-free buildings and not allowing smoking within 100 feet of those buildings. 82% of the respondents were in favor of smoke-free buildings and not allowing smoking around those buildings. This illustrated to the Tribal Council and Tribal leaders that their citizens did not want to be exposed to secondhand smoke and were in favor of policies that would protect them.


The PBCI health department’s goal is to continue the work in making more buildings with a 100 feet perimeter that is smoke-free. The success of policy change is encouraging and the dream is to one day have a smoke-free reservation. The PBCI health department will continue to educate the community about the harmful nature of commercial tobacco and assist smokers in quitting.

Toria Reaves, Epidemiologist
711 Stewarts Ferry Pike
Suite 100
Nashville, TN 37214

Smoke Free Zone – Thank You for Not Smoking

Poarch Creek Indians

Kay Thomas

“Through our Community Health Assessment that was sent out to the Tribal community, 82% said they would like to see a smoke-free facility on the Tribal reservation. I hope that one day we can have a smoke-free campus.”
– Kay Thomas, Health Educator
Poarch Band of Creek Indians Health Dept.

Say Yes, Say No




Free, Online Trainings in Health Literacy

TEC News, Training

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers some excellent resources for free, online training in health literacy.

Check out the following links to learn more:

MSPI and DVPI Grantees Meet in Billings to Kick Off the New Grant Year

TEC News
On September 11, 2017, representatives from the Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) and Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI) projects across Montana and Wyoming met in Billings to share stories of their projects, connect with each other, and gain insight from their Area Project Officer and Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center (RMTEC) data support consultants.


The work in Billings Area emphasizes collaboration not only between all the different programs, but between the RMTEC data support team and the IHS Program Officer.


The day began with a blessing of tobacco from Mike Geboe, one of the staff of the Center for Health Education, Equity, and Research (CHEER) who assists with data consultation on behalf of RMTEC. Featured speakers throughout the day included Ms. Dorothy Dupree, IHS Area Director, who spoke of the importance of centering cultural practices in programs and sharing with each other what is learned. Elsie Joe, Area Project Officer, provided guidance on programmatic forms and reports. Dr. Anne Merewood, Director of CHEER, provided a presentation encouraging grantees to think critically about what “evidence-based” means and why it’s important to establish new evidence base from native country for native use. Kirsten Krane, Program Manager with CHEER, reviewed the Local Data Collection Plan (LDCP) and introduced tools to help track the data for the LDCP throughout the year. Mike Andreini, Director of RMTEC, closed the day with words of encouragement.

Programs shared insights with each other about their individual programs and initiatives throughout the day.

Billings Area MSPI and DVPI grantees assembled for a group photo at the Meeting on Sept 11, 2016.Billings Area MSPI and DVPI grantees assembled for a group photo at the Meeting on Sept 11, 2017.

Kirsten Krane leading LDCP discussion at Billings Meeting on Sept 11, 2016 with Billings Area MSPI and DVPI grantees.Kirsten Krane leading LDCP discussion at Billings Meeting on Sept 11, 2016 with Billings Area MSPI and DVPI grantees.

ANEC Success Story: October 2017

Success Stories, TEC News
Improving Patient-Provider Communication

Clear and effective communication is important in the health care setting. The “Teach-back” method is an evidence-based strategy health care providers can use to ensure information is explained clearly and to gauge patient understanding. Through the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) grant the Alaska Native Epidemiology Center (ANEC) is promoting use of the “Always Use Teach-back” online training module.


The module is part of the “Always Use Teach-back” toolkit, a free, interactive, web-based training resource for health care providers.


In October, 2016, ANEC staff received permission from the creators of “Teach-back” and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) leadership to add the training to HealthStream, ANTHC’s employee training system. Four organizations in addition to ANTHC use HealthStream as their employee training platform, and can now offer or assign the “Teach-back” training to staff.

One of the ANEC GHWIC Tribal Health Organization (THO) subawardees is using the HealthStream training as part of a larger organizational effort to incorporate the “Teach Back” method into clinical practice. The THO added the training module to their new hire orientation and also required all clinical staff to complete it during the annual staff training period.

ANEC Teach Back

More information on the “Always Use Teach-back” training toolkit is available here: http://www.teachbacktraining.org/

10 Elements of Competence for Using Teach-back Effectively (PDF)