TEC News

TEC News

Community Voices: BRFSS and ACES

TEC Event, TEC News

The United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) Tribal Epidemiology Center (TEC) hosted two webinars titled “Community Voices: BRFSS and ACEs” in March 2017. The webinar provided an overview of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).


The BRFSS objective is to collect uniform data on preventive health practices and risk behaviors that are linked to chronic diseases, injuries, and preventable infectious diseases that affect the adult population.


The USET TEC staff shared how a Tribal Nation can benefit from conducting a BRFSS, how the survey is conducted, how BRFSS data can be used, and how USET can assist in the process.


ACEs are traumatic experiences occurring before the age of 18 that a person remembers as an adult.


An ACE score is a measure of cumulative exposure to adverse childhood conditions. The USET TEC staff reviewed the benefits of measuring ACEs and discussed the need to implement a comprehensive ACEs program, including training and referral processes. Resources were also shared with participants.

See the recorded webinar here.


BRFSS and ACES write up


Former UIHI Staffer Accepted to Five Graduate Schools

TEC News
Congratulations to Kyle Durrant who was recently accepted into five graduate school programs! Kyle is a former Urban Indian Health Institute Public Health Trainee (2014) at the Seattle Indian Health Board. After completing his Public Health Trainee internship Kyle worked full time as a UIHI Project Assistant.


Kyle is a descendent of the Yakama Nation and graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the University of Washington in 2014.


Kyle’s grad school applications were accepted at the Columbia University School of Nursing and the Harvard T.H. Chan, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg, Columbia Mailman, and Yale Schools of Public Health. Kyle chose to enroll at Columbia University in New York City. Through their program, he will be able to graduate with a Master of Science in Nursing, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice within five years. By the end of the program he will be a licensed Family Nurse Practitioner.

One of the goals of the Urban Indian Health Institute’s Demystifying Data grant, funded by the Office of Minority Health, is to increase the number of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) in public health professions. The UIHI provides training and mentorship opportunities to AI/AN students and early career professionals. Each spring the UIHI conducts a competitive summer internship. We are currently recruiting for the 2017 Public Health Trainee paid internship. See our website for more info and to apply.

The application deadline is April 14, 2017. Who knows, it could be a stepping stone to your own public health or health care career just like Kyle!

Kyle DurrantWe’re proud to call you one of our family members Kyle and look forward to your continued success.



2017 USET GPRA Best Practices Conference

TEC Event, TEC News
United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET) hosted the 2017 USET Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Best Practices Conference in Nashville, TN on March 14-15, 2017. This year’s conference had participation from 14 of the 26 USET member Tribal Nations. The conference focused on new and existing GPRA measures and topics such as reducing stress in the workplace, telehealth, and fitness and wellness programs.


Participants look forward to this conference every year because it is an opportunity for them to learn from and work with their peers to improve their programs.


By using feedback from previous conferences and collaborating with the Indian Health Service (IHS) Nashville Area Office and the Tribal Nation health clinics, USET is able to put together an agenda that is meaningful for the participants. The success of the conference is due to the hard work of USET and IHS staff and to the contributions and presentations from clinics in the area.





UIHI Announces Partnership with Project Inform

TEC News

The Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) is excited to announce a formal partnership with Project Inform, a national HIV and hepatitis C advocacy and education organization based in San Francisco that:

  • Encourages the development of better treatments and cures for both HIV and hepatitis C.
  • Advocates for innovative, medically-based prevention strategies.
  • Provides up-to-date, life-saving information to help people living with HIV and hepatitis C make the best choices regarding their treatment and care.
  • Presses governments to set policies and assure unlimited access to affordable health care that will one day end the HIV and hepatitis C epidemics.


The UIHI and Project Inform are working together to culturally adapt patient education materials on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a pill that prevents HIV infection in people at risk of becoming infected.


There is considerable need for PrEP patient education materials that include imagery and resources that are sensitive to the needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). The UIHI and Project Inform look forward to a long-term relationship, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of AI/ANs. We’re eager to share the materials with clinics and programs in summer 2017!



To learn more about Project Inform, please view the Project Inform Website »




Bill Hall Honored with Adeline Garcia Community Service Award

TEC News
The Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) recently honored Bill Hall with an Adeline Garcia Community Services Award at Seattle Indian Health Board’s annual community celebration. Bill is a leader for Native organizations working to eliminate HIV in Indian Country. He is well known for his involvement in HIV issues in Washington State, and is well respected throughout the HIV community for giving voice to concerns affecting all people living with HIV. He provides a personalized perspective by openly sharing his experiences as a Native man living with HIV. He is a positive, motivated leader with amazing dedication.

During his time as a member of the defeatHIV Community Advisory Board (CAB), Bill has played an important role in volunteering for all outreach events to the staff. He has written for the defeatHIV newsletter an emotional accounting of his journey as a Native man living with HIV and what a cure for this infection would mean to him. As a resident of the Cal Anderson House – the first housing dedicated to people living with HIV in the country – Bill helped secure their community room for the CAB to hold its meetings. He has also invigorated the CAB’s membership by offering to cook a full dinner with dessert every month for HIV community members, many of whom would not be able to otherwise eat. In the words of Michael Louella, CAB Coordinator, “[Bill] is so vital for our CAB that it would be impossible for me to envision our group fulfilling its mission to mobilize researchers and community to work together to cure HIV without his constant and dedicated involvement.”


Bill exemplifies the traditional Native values of giving selflessly for the betterment of his community, both Native and non-Native.


Through his connection with Michael, Bill met with UIHI’s Director, Abigail Echo-Hawk, and expressed how important this work was to the local Native community. Through his continuous dedication he is now assisting and advising UIHI on creating materials about HIV prevention and stigma reduction for American Indian and Alaska Natives. He volunteers his time to steer us in the right direction following the traditional teachings of elders before him. Because of Bill, UIHI is creating materials and shaping our HIV program to become the leading Native organization working to eliminate HIV in Indian Country.


Pictured left to right are Chris Stearns (SIHB Board Chair), William Hall (Awardee) and Esther Lucero (SIHB CEO). [Photo credit: LaVerne Wise]