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Episode #163 Tribal Epidemiology Centers, Resources & COVID-19 Response

Updated: Oct 12


Tribal Epidemiology Centers, Resources & COVID-19 Response


I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with the Tribal Epidemiology Centers to bring you special sponsored episodes, focused on the public health of American Indians and Alaska Natives. On this episode, I’d like to take some time to share a bit more about the organization, share several resources, including their response to COVID-19.


Listen To The Episode



What Are Tribal Epidemiology Centers?


Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TECs) are housed in organizations who serve American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribal and urban communities.

They manage 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.


What Authority Do The Tribal Epidemiology Centers Have?


TECs have the authority to conduct public health activities on behalf of AI/AN tribes and people. TECs are public health authorities. TECs add one more layer to the United States public health infrastructure: Federal, state, local… and now Tribal!


Featured Podcast Episodes


There are 12 TECs in the United States. Each TEC is designated to serve the federally recognized tribes within one of the 12 Indian Health Service (IHS) administrative areas. 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.


So far, we have featured 6 of the 12 TECs here on the podcast.


Episode 137: Interview with Emily Good Weasel, MPH, Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center


Episode 141: Interview with Wyatt Pickner and Crisandra Wilkie, Urban Indian Health Institute


Episode 145: Interview with Antoinette Medina, California Tribal Epidemiology Center


Episode 150: Interview with Jonathan Davis, Arizona Tribal Epidemiology Center


Episode 154: Interview with Tommy Ghost Dog and Celena McCray, Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center


Episode 158: Interview with Chris TallBear, Oklahoma Tribal Epidemiology Center


Tribal Epidemiology Centers Website Resources


Website Home Page: TribalEpiCenters.org

Video: What Are Tribal Epidemiology Centers?

This video will be featured in the American Public Health Association's Film Festival.


Learn about:

  • Each TEC

  • 7 Core Functions

  • History

  • Success Stories

  • Public Health Infrastructure Program

  • Employment - including volunteer opportunities

  • Additional Resources


Tribal Epidemiology Centers Response To COVID-19


Also available on their website are several excellent resources that explain how each of the TECs are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing the needs of each of their communities.


Webinar:

TRIBAL EPIDEMIOLOGY CENTERS: CRITICAL RESOURCES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

  • Hosted by National Congress of American Indians

  • During this webinar, Tribal Epidemiology Centers directors describe their critical work and resources for tribal nations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Meeting Notes available for download.


Webinar:

TRIBAL EPIDEMIOLOGY CENTERS COVID-19 RESPONSE

  • The Directors of the 12 Tribal Epidemiology Centers conducted a roundtable discussion describing the roles of the Centers in Indian Country COVID-19 response efforts.

  • Provides a description of the Tribal Epidemiology Centers, who they serve, and their seven core functions.

  • Provides an overview of the work that the Tribal Epidemiology Centers are currently doing for COVID-19 response efforts.

  • Includes descriptions of the types of data the Tribal Epidemiology Centers work with, established protocols Tribal Epidemiology Centers use when working with Tribal data, and Tribal data sovereignty.

  • Excellent transcripts, notes, including the Q&A session are available for download.


COVID-19 Resources

This is an excellent hub, serving as a central resource where the community can find the latest updates and guidance.


Connect With The Tribal Epidemiology Centers


Follow the Tribal Epidemiology Centers (@tribalepicenters) on Instagram, and especially watch for their activities during the APHA annual meeting this year.


When you engage with them, mention that you heard about them on the podcast!


Action Steps


Subscribe to the Public Health Epidemiology Careers Podcast.


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