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Tribal Epidemiology Toolkit - Best Practice Collaborations

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Background and Introduction
Data Collection
Data Linkage
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Communication Resources/Tools


This section provides a few examples of tribal-state collaborations to improve the quality of AIAN data and to make it more readily available to tribal authorities. Undoubtedly, there are additional examples not represented here.
  • The Albuquerque Area Southwest TEC partnered with the University of New Mexico, New Mexico Department of Health and New Mexico Public Education Department to increase representation of American Indian youth in the biennial New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency (YRRS) survey.
  • The South Dakota Tribal Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (SD Tribal PRAMS) was a tribally-driven surveillance system implemented in collaboration with all South Dakota tribes. The Northern Plains TEC managed the project and worked with health agencies in South Dakota and North Dakota, the IHS and the CDC.
  • The California TEC and California Breathing—an asthma control program housed in the California Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Investigations Branch—implemented the comprehensive Tribal Asthma Survey Project. The project, conducted in 2009-2010, collected data to gauge the prevalence of self-reported asthma among AIANs in California and to examine the link between housing conditions and asthma. (Nationally, asthma prevalence is 25% higher among AIANs than among whites.)
  • To ensure comparability of data across multiple sources, the Alaska TEC provided geographic information to the state to inform a series of statewide and regional Alaska Native health status reports. Specific health indicators—including suicide deaths, rates of low birth weight and diabetes—were selected by the Alaska Tribal Health System as key issues for Alaska Native populations. This assists regional tribal health organizations with program design, implementation and monitoring as well as policy development.
Additionally, many national organizations have established AIAN committees to boost collaboration with tribes and tribal organizations. Among these are the CSTE Tribal Epidemiology Subcommittee, the American Public Health Association AIAN/NH Caucus, and an upcoming National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) forum addressing AIAN issues.

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