Interview with Wyatt Pickner and Crisandra Wilkie, Urban Indian Health Institute
On this episode, you’ll meet Wyatt Pickner and Crisandra Wilkie and hear about their journeys into public health. You’ll also learn about the Urban Indian Health Institute in Seattle WA, which is just one of 12 partner Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TECs) 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 throughout the United States.
This episode is part of a special sponsored series of episodes. You’ll learn about the Tribal Epidemiology Centers, through my interviews with public health professionals working with the community at each of the centers.
About Wyatt Pickner
My first guest on this episode is Wyatt Pickner. Wyatt (Hunkpati Dakota) was born and raised in South Dakota. Since 2012, Wyatt has worked with Indigenous communities on public health research projects related to cancer, emergency department use and care, mental health, and police violence, as well as helping to build research infrastructure and capacity.
Currently, Wyatt is a Program Manager at the Urban Indian Health Institute, in Seattle, WA, where he oversees multiple national level projects including survey’s to assess the health and well-being of American Indian/Alaska Native communities, and an urban Indian Census campaign.
Wyatt joins me to share his journey into public health, and more about his work at the Urban Indian Health Institute.
About Crisandra Wilkie
My second guest on this episode is Crisandra Wilkie, who will share her work and perspective as well. Crisandra is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and is also from the Klamath Tribes. She is an epidemiologist with the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI). She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Cell Biology from the University of Kansas. Crisandra went on to graduate with a Master of Public Health with a focus in epidemiology from the University of Kansas Medical Center.
She has worked with Indigenous communities since 2014, on projects relating to cancer, health literacy, and tobacco cessation. At the UIHI, her focus includes the creation of community health profiles specific to the urban Native communities that they serve as well as work on the Opioid Overdose Response Supplement.
Crisandra joins me to share her journey into public health, and more about her work at the Urban Indian Health Institute.
Listen to the Podcast Episode
Tribal Epidemiology Centers
Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TEC) are Indian Health Service (IHS), division funded organizations who serve American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Tribal and urban communities by managing public health information systems, investigating diseases of concern, managing disease prevention and control programs, responding to public health emergencies, and coordinating these activities with other public health authorities.
Tribal Epidemiology Centers provide various types of support and services due to the variation of the TECs organization structure, divisions, Tribal populations, and their mission and goals. There are currently 12 Tribal Epidemiology Centers in the United States.
Each month, one of the Tribal Epidemiology Centers will be featured here on the podcast. The purpose is to raise awareness throughout the public health community of the amazing and important public health work that is being done at each of the centers.
In this episode, we will feature the Urban Indian Health Institute in Seattle WA.
Urban Indian Health Institute
Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) is leading the way in research and data for urban American Indian and Alaska Native communities. As a Public Health Authority and one of 12 Tribal Epidemiology Centers in the country—and the only one that serves Urban Indian Health Programs nationwide—UIHI conducts research and evaluation, collects and analyzes data, and provides disease surveillance to strengthen the health of American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
Their mission is to decolonize data, for indigenous people, by indigenous people.
UIHI recognizes research, data, and evaluation as indigenous values, and by doing so, we are able to produce the best and most accurate data to strengthen the health of Native people.