Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center (GPTEC)

Founded in September 2003, GPTEC is a component of the GPTCHB (Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board) and is one of 12 tribal epidemiology centers funded by the Indian Health Service’s Division of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention to assist in improving the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

To provide leadership, technical assistance, support and advocacy for the 18 tribal nations and communities serviced by the Great Plains Area IHS in order to eliminate the disparities in health that currently exist for tribal peoples within the four-state region of South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.


The vision of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board is “that all tribal nations and communities in the Great Plains will reach optimum health and wellness through lasting partnerships with health organizations and embrace culturally significant values that are empowered by tribal sovereignty”. GPTEC strives to support this mission by progressing on the following goals:

  • Provide Great Plains Area tribes with reports of timely, accurate, and useful data on public health priorities based upon existing data sources and contribute to the effective use of these data;
  • Improve the ability of surveillance systems to measure and monitor the health status of American Indian populations through effective utilization of existing tracking or surveillance systems and/or development of new surveillance activities;
  • Support evidence-based, culturally-rooted health promotion and disease prevention initiatives in clinical and community contexts;
  • Build capacity to conduct health research in collaboration with academic institutions – including tribal community colleges and tribal schools – to maximize the benefits of well-designed, culturally appropriate, and ethical health research in Great Plains Area tribal communities; and,
  • Build and leverage effective partnerships and respond to emergent needs with training and technical assistance to contribute to the growth of public health and epidemiologic capacity and excellence within the Great Plains Area, especially within tribal communities.

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Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center
Rapid City, SD
Director: PJ Beaudry, MPH
Phone: (605) 721-1922, ext. 155


12 Tribal Epidemiology Centers