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Public Health Epidemiology Conversations Podcast

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

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.

Tribal Epidemiology Centers Website Resources

Website Home Page:

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

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!


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