TECPHI

TECPHI

Tribal Epidemiology Centers Public Health Infrastructure Program

In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion funded a new 5-year cooperative agreement called the Tribal Epidemiology Centers Public Health Infrastructure Program (TECPHI).

TECPHI seeks to increase the capacity of Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TECs) to deliver public health services to and with the tribes, tribal organizations and urban Indian organizations (T/TO/UIO) they serve. TECPHI supplements funding that TECs receive from other sources, including the Indian Health Service, and will expand the capacity of TECs to perform their seven core functions.

TECPHI intends to contribute to reductions in chronic diseases and risk factors, reductions in disparities for AI/AN health outcomes, and improvements in overall health and wellness through increased public health infrastructure and capacity.

 

Public health infrastructure is the foundation that enables the public health system to function, including a workforce trained in public health core competencies, information and data systems for rapidly assessing and communicating information, and the ability to respond to public health needs in a culturally responsive and relevant way.
TECPHI intends to increase TECs’ ability to respond to the health priorities of T/TO/UIOs, increase TEC and tribal workforce capacity, expand culturally-centered information dissemination, and increase TECs’ ability to work in consultation with tribes that honor their sovereignty over data collection, ownership, and systems.

 

Public health capacity is the ability to perform essential public health functions and respond to ongoing public health needs.
TECPHI intends to expand TECs’ ability to perform the seven core functions, and to provide the highest quality public health support to the T/TO/UIOs that they serve.

 

Approach All 12 of the TECs were funded under the TECPHI program. Each of the TECs’ projects are unique, however they all feature three key strategies to contribute to reductions in chronic diseases and risk factors, reductions in disparities in health outcomes, and improvements in overall health:

  1. Strengthen public health capacity and infrastructure
  2. Implement activities to improve effectiveness of health promotion and disease prevention; and
  3. Engage in sustainability activities.

 

Activities TECPHI awardees are engaging in a variety of activities. Some of the featured activities from Year 1 (2017-2018) are highlighted below:
 
Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TECs) are providing ongoing and enhanced technical assistance to T/TO/UIOs. Activities include the exchange and/or the provision of resources, information, training, data access, collection, and management, program development, implementation, maintenance, evaluation, and identification of health priority areas. Technical assistance may include site visits, presentations, data requests, evaluation assistance, etc.
TECs are hiring staff to increase capacity and in addition they are supporting staff in attending professional development training to ensure a high level of epidemiological skills and public health competencies. Other activities include supporting interns, student practicum placements, and developing workforce development tools such as staff training modules and internship curricula.
TECs are providing trainings to the tribal workforce on a range of public health topics to build core public health competencies. Training topics include surveillance, epidemiology, quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, grant writing, and grant management.
TECs are increasing access to data and enhancing capacity in data analysis. Activities include: updating tribal registries; creating linkages with major state and hospital registries; oversampling the AI/AN population in various population health surveys; expanding surveillance reach to rural populations; identifying data gaps; increasing the number of data sharing agreements; and developing new databases to complement existing data systems.
TECs are providing grant writing training and support to enable T/TO/UIO and other TECs to increase the number of successful grant applications. Training topics include grant writing, grant management, grant reporting, evaluation, and how to effectively partner and leverage resources. Grant writing support includes identifying appropriate grants to apply for, providing data for grant applications, and other assistance in the preparation and review of grant applications.
TECs are producing a variety of publications to disseminate high quality, current, and culturally representative data to the public. The purpose of these publications are to increase awareness of health status and needs, and to communicate progress on public health initiatives. Publications include evaluation or programmatic fact sheets and reports, published manuscripts or articles, pamphlets, brochures, and other works like online publications or digital stories.
TECs are cultivating partnerships with T/ TO/UIOs and other TECs to expand data sharing and access, contribute to state and federal initiatives, increase communication, and share best practices among health and non-health sector partners on chronic disease prevention and other priority areas.
TECs are conducting, or supporting T/TO/UIOs to conduct, community health assessments to identify community health status, strengths, resources, needs, and health priorities.
TECs are implementing communities of practice with T/TO/UIOs and other TECs to facilitate knowledge-sharing, problem-solving, and communication. A community of practice is a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.
TECs are developing or enhancing data management systems to improve data collection, public health surveillance and monitoring, quality assurance, and accessibility of data by T/TO/UIOs.
TECs are utilizing a subawardee model to provide funds to T/TO/UIOs to increase capacity and infrastructure to conduct community health assessments, assemble/ enhance coalitions, develop strategic plans for health promotion disease prevention activities, improve data quality, and receive targeted technical assistance and training. Subawards range from mini-grants to larger, long-term projects.
TECs are providing technical assistance to T/TO/UIO to develop local public health priorities and health improvement agendas. Activities include assembling advisory committees, evaluating availability and quality of data, conducting surveillance, collecting data for planning and monitoring, and understanding disease incidence and prevalence rates.
TECs are working collaboratively with T/TO/UIO and other TECs on specific projects to enhance services and to leverage resources. Projects include joint training delivery, publications, site visits, quality improvement, and technical assistance.
TECs are expanding their web and online presence to enhance user experience and increase availability and reach of online resources, information, training, and communication.

 

TECPHI Projects Click on each of the TECs below for a description of their project and activities:

TECPHI-ANECProject Title:
Building Public Health Infrastructure for Alaska Native People

Project Summary:
During Year 1, in collaboration with Alaska Native tribal health organizations (THOs) and other statewide and external partners, the Alaska Native Epidemiology Center (ANEC), will work to build public health capacity and infrastructure by:
• Updating and enhancing the production process for creating Alaska Native health status fact sheets;
• Submitting at least one manuscript for publication;
• Providing technical assistance (TA) to THOs;
• Assessing and increasing access to data sources related specifically to injuries, maternal child health (MCH), and chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease;
• Educating and disseminating information on the 25 Leading Health Indicators, health priorities, and strategies from the Healthy Alaskans 2020 State Health Improvement Plan;
• Assessing capacity to provide more comprehensive evaluation services for THOs;
• Increasing staff expertise related to TEC core functions;
• Supporting workforce development with training opportunities and scholarships;
• Identifying public health priorities by conducting community health assessments (CHA), or using previous CHAs or other available data;
• Cultivating multi-sector collaborations at Area tribe, state, and federal levels; and
• Implementing activities to improve the sustainability of tribal public health efforts.

Estimated number of people to be served as a result of this award: 166,146

TECPHI-AASTECProject Title:
Strengthening Tribal Public Health Infrastructure for Chronic Disease Prevention & Management Program

Project Summary:
In partnership with the Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board, Inc. (AAIHB), the 27 Albuquerque Area Tribes, and external partners, the Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center (AASTEC), will work to build public health capacity and infrastructure by:
• Establishing a Tribal Data Users Workgroup to identify tribal data priorities and improve data capacity;
• Creating a regional Native Wellness Think Tank to identify chronic disease priority areas and related best practices;
• Enhancing tribal data quality and public health surveillance systems;
• Distributing sub awards to Area tribes to implement community health assessment activities;
• Providing training opportunities for tribal partners to build sustainable public health capacity in the domains of epidemiology, community health assessment, strategic action planning, indigenous statistics and methodologies, public health program planning, implementation, and evaluation, grant writing, and evidence-based best practices for chronic disease prevention/management;
• Providing data-related and evaluation technical assistance to determine local health priorities; and
• Providing student internships with a structured 12-week curriculum.

Estimated number of people to be served as a result of this award: 104,000

TECPHI-CTECProject Title:
California Tribal Epidemiology Center Building Public Health Infrastructure Initiative

Project Summary:
In collaboration with 74 of the 109 California tribes (67% of tribes), the California Tribal Epidemiology Center (CTEC), housed within the California Rural Indian Health Board (CRIHB), will work to build public health capacity and infrastructure by:
• Enhancing adult and youth Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) data, including oversampling of AI/AN data that will be comparable to data from other populations;
• Conducting Community Needs Assessments with Tribal and Urban Indian health programs to identify local chronic disease health concerns and priorities;
• Increasing CTEC staff statistical capacity to prioritize and report on surveillance data; and
• Providing data, evaluation, and grant writing training and technical assistance to California Indian health programs, tribes, and current CDC-funded CRIHB program sites.

Estimated number of people to be served as a result of this award: 192,211

TECPHI-GLITECProject Title:
Bemidji Area Thriving (BAT) Project

Project Summary:
In collaboration with 34 Tribes, four urban Indian areas, and three IHS Service Units in the Bemidji IHS Area (Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Chicago), the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center will work to build public health capacity and infrastructure by:
• Providing grant writing training and technical assistance for Bemidji Area communities;
• Providing evaluation training and technical assistance for Bemidji Area communities;
• Actively participating in the TECPHI Community of Practice;
• Producing at least one ad hoc Area-level data report each year to examine a specific topic on AI/AN health in greater depth;
• Developing and implementing the Bemidji Area Childhood Immunization Project (BACIP);
• Supporting Bemidji Area communities in developing scientific publications and presentations on chronic disease prevention and other health priority areas; and
• Increasing GLITEC staff capacity through professional development opportunities.

Estimated number of people to be served as a result of this award: 340,000

TECPHI-GPTECProject Title:
Building Public Health Infrastructure in Tribal Communities to Accelerate Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Indian Country

Project Summary:
In collaboration with 17 Tribes and 1 Service Area in serving the Great Plains IHS Area (South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa), the Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center (GPTEC), housed within the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board (GPTCHB), will work to build public health capacity and infrastructure by:
• Expanding the Data Coordinating Unit, including digital assets, data products, and services;
• Expanding the Great Plains Area Data Workgroup;
• Expanding the Tribal Public Health Liaison program to enhance tribal-level public health practice and support workforce development;
• Developing tracking and response procedures for response to requests for technical assistance;
• Providing funding and technical assistance in support of Tribal Public Health Projects;
• Creating a Tribal Health Evaluation Toolkit and providing training and technical assistance;
• Preparing publications for the promotion of tribal public health practices;
• Building capacity for mapping Great Plains health systems, plans, and policies; and
• Conducting site visits to tribal partners throughout South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.

Estimated number of people to be served as a result of the award of this grant: 179,400

TECPHI-ITCA-TECProject Title:
Building Public Health Infrastructure in Tribal Communities

Project Summary:
In collaboration with 44 Tribes, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Tribal Epidemiology Center (ITCA TEC), housed within Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA), will work to build public health capacity and infrastructure by:
• Establishing Memorandums of Agreement, funding, and advanced training and technical assistance to eight tribes;
• Coordinating a Public Health Working Group open to all Area tribes;
• Reviewing Area Community Health Assessments for health indicator identification, prioritization, and local data quality improvement;
• Conducting evaluation of data sources used for Tribal public health;
• Developing health profiles, health improvement plans, and other needed tribal health reports and presentations;
• Coordinating strategic planning training and grant writing training for all Area tribes; and
• Developing Annual and Final Reports for partners.

Estimated number of people to be served as a result of this award: 446,700

TECPHI-NECProject Title:
Navajo Nation: Public Health Infrastructure

Project Summary:
In collaboration with the Navajo Nation extending across Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, the Navajo Epidemiology Center (NEC), housed within the Navajo Department of Health (NDOH), will work to build public health capacity and infrastructure by:
• Implementing an Indicator-Based Information System (IBIS) for public health on the Navajo Nation for data collection and health status surveillance and monitoring;
• Organizing a Navajo Nation Health Data Symposium (NNHDS) with tribal partners to identify key data indicators and use and access of IBIS;
• Assessing the needs and resources of the System and Area;
• Cultivating multi-sector collaborations; and
• Providing technical assistance, including site visits, throughout the Area.

Estimated number of people to be served as a result of this award: 100,000

TECPHI-NWTECProject Title:
Improving Data and Enhancing Access-Northwest (IDEA-NW)

Project Summary:
In collaboration with the 43 federally recognized tribes of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, the Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center (NWTEC), housed within the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB), will work to build public health capacity and infrastructure by:
• Expanding NWTEC’s access to linkage-corrected datasets that can be used to assess community health and AI/AN health disparities;
• Organizing technical and project staff into workgroups to improve coordination on priority issues, including a Biostatistical Core and Maternal and Child Health Workgroup;
• Expanding training, technical assistance, and epidemiology services to improve Tribes’ access and utilization of health data for community health improvement activities;
• Developing an electronic monitoring system to improve the collection and reporting of evaluation data; and
• Providing grant writing training and technical assistance among Portland Area Tribes.

Estimated number of people to be served as a result of this award: 353,000

TECPHI-OKTECProject Title:
Southern Plains Tribal Health Board Public Health Infrastructure Project

Project Summary:
The Oklahoma Area Tribal Epidemiology Center (OKTEC), housed in the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board (SPTHB), serves the 43 federally recognized tribes in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The Public Health Infrastructure Project aims to build and strengthen public health capacity and infrastructure within tribal communities, as well as, increase the internal capacity of the OKTEC to assist the tribes they serve by:
• Integrating OKTEC staff with the Cherokee Nation Public Health Services project to provide infrastructure and expertise for tribal partners who are interested in accreditation;
• Enhancing training and technical assistance for area tribes surrounding public health;
• Increasing the chronic disease prevention education and training opportunities for the Kansas tribes;
• Initiating an Inter-Tribal Oral Health Community of Practice (ITOHCoP) to build a network of tribal oral health stakeholders;
• Collaboratively working with Oklahoma City Indian Clinic to improve colorectal cancer screening processes and outcomes, and sharing the experience and knowledge with area tribal clinics;
• Implementing and evaluating Wellness Around Traditional Community Health, a public health program for 2-5 year olds in tribal early childhood education facilities, which is centered around improving nutrition and physical activity among Native youth; and
• Providing grant writing training and technical assistance to area tribes.

Estimated number of people to be served as a result of this award: 877,475

TECPHI-RMTECProject Title:
Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center – Public Health Infrastructure (RMTEC-PHI)

Project Summary:
In collaboration with 10 Tribes located in Montana and Wyoming, the Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center (RMTEC), housed within Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council (RMTLC), will work to build public health capacity through:
• Increasing access to local, state, and national surveillance systems and datasets;
• Creating an inventory of existing disease surveillance datasets, variables, and identifying gaps;
• Establishing Rocky Mountain Community of Practice (RMCoP), a group of public health professionals to help steer the project;
• Identifying public health priorities of the Tribes;
• Providing technical assistance to Tribes in Montana and Wyoming on their health priority areas;
• Increasing staff capacity through trainings and other professional development opportunities;
• Building capacity to develop periodic reports that reflect topics of interest to the Tribes;
• Establishing a structure to strengthen the collaborative process around grant writing training and support with Tribes; and
• Strengthening partnerships with Tribes to better address and respond to their health priority areas.

Estimated number of people to be served as a result of this award: 77,000

TECPHI-USET-TECProject Title:
USET Community Health Infrastructure Project (CHIP)

Project Summary:
In collaboration with 27 of the 30 federally recognized Tribal Nations within the (IHS) Nashville Area that encompasses 13 States, the United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET) Tribal Epidemiology Center (TEC), will work to build public health capacity and infrastructure by:
• Conducting Tribal Public Health Infrastructure Assessments (TPHIA) to evaluate and increase IHS Nashville Area-wide public health infrastructure and capacity at both the USET TEC and Tribal Nation level;
• Coordinating with IHS Nashville Area Tribal Nations to identify infrastructure, public health assets, and deficits to design, implement and grow health promotion and disease prevention (HPDP) programs;
• Producing and sharing reports detailing the results of the TPHIA with appropriate partners;
• Addressing the needs identified by the TPHIA by planning and implementing HPDP programs, infrastructure, technical assistance, and public health knowledge/communication;
• Using the results of the TPHIA, to identify and apply for resources and funding opportunities to improve the sustainability of this project within both the USET TEC and Tribal Nations;
• Identifying and recruiting IHS Nashville Area Tribal Nations that could benefit from a TPHIA to further define their public health needs; and
• Assisting identified IHS Nashville Area Tribal Nations in completing their own TPHIA to eventually improve each Tribal Nation’s health policies, systems, and environments (PSE).

Estimated number of people to be served as a result of this award: 85,440

TECPHI-UIHIProject Title:
Building Resilience and Action to Nurture Community Health (BRANCH)

Project Summary:
In collaboration with 62 urban American Indian and Alaska Native serving organizations, the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) will reclaim traditional values of data, evaluation, and research to strengthen public health capacity, address health disparities, and promote health resilience in urban Indian communities.

The UIHI BRANCH initiative will provide urban Indian health organizations with:
• Technical assistance in the areas of grant writing, indigenous evaluation, data collection, and data usage.
• Trainings on topics like epidemiology, evaluation, and grants; cultural knowledge systems; indigenous methodologies; chronic disease prevention and addressing disease states.
• Funding for four competitive community grants per year, focused on indigenous approaches to chronic disease prevention and management.
• Increased access to reliable and quality data on the health status of urban Indian communities.
• Formalized internships to train and encourage an American Indian and Alaska Native public health workforce.

Estimated number of people to be served as a result of this award: 1,500,000

TECPHI-NCCProject Title:
Building Tribal Public Health Infrastructure Component B

Project Summary:
In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and twelve TECPHI Component A Awardees (CAA), the Network Coordinating Center, housed within the Alaska Native Epidemiology Center (ANEC), will work to build public health capacity and infrastructure by:
• Establishing an ongoing network of CAA funded organizations and partners;
• Establishing a coordinated, collaborative community of practice to facilitate knowledge-sharing, problem-solving, and communication across the network;
• Engaging the network of CAA organizations and CDC in preparing meetings for the project;
• Coordinating collaborative activities to optimize the ability of the network of CAAs to strengthen public health capacity and infrastructure;
• Developing and maintaining an internal and external website for the network;
• Developing and implementing a plan for tracking and disseminating network-related publications, presentation, products, and other materials;
• Creating a plan to sustain program efforts after grant period ends;
• Developing and implementing an evaluation plan to coordinate monitoring of TECPHI accomplishments and outcomes; and
• Providing technical assistance to CAAs on program evaluation and quality improvement activities.

For a full print-friendly description of the TECPHI program, click here to download a PDF (8MB)
(Print as a booklet for best results).

Visit CDC’s TECPHI page here: https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/tribal/tecphi.htm