The TEC Mission is: “To improve the health status of American Indian and Alaska Native people by identification and understanding of health risks and inequities, strengthening public health capacity, and assisting in disease prevention and control.” The TECs have much in common. The TECs share the mission of improving AIAN health by identifying health risks, strengthening public health capacity, and developing solutions for disease prevention and control. The TECs work in partnership with T/TO/UIOs and other partners to improve the health and well-being of AIAN people. This is done by offering culturally-informed approaches that work toward eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity for AIAN populations. All TECs work to fulfill their mission of improving the health of AIAN people by performing seven core functions:
- Evaluating data and programs;
- Identifying health priorities;
- Making recommendations for health service needs;
- Making recommendations for improving health care delivery systems;
- Providing epidemiologic technical assistance; and
- Providing disease surveillance.
However, each TEC is unique and vary widely in structure, staffing, and programs. The TECs also operationalize the seven core functions in different ways based on priorities and needs of the AIAN people and T/TO/UIOs they serve, as well as to the presence or absence of funding sources for additional projects and programs.
Along with support from Tribal and urban Indian leadership, there are two essential factors that make TECs work – funding and data.
Additionally, TECs are data stewards of Tribal data and trust is a huge part of collecting and working with their data. Tribes, as sovereign nations, own and control the use and dissemination of their data.