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Episode 228 A Grassroots Approach To Public Health In Native Communities, With Dr. Julianna Reece


Public Health Epidemiology Conversations (PHEC) Podcast


A Grassroots Approach To Public Health In Native Communities, With Dr. Julianna Reece, MD, MBA, MPH


This week’s guest is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and a Board-Certified Family Medicine physician with more than 20 years’ experience in direct primary care, with the majority of her time focused on underserved populations and Native American healthcare. Her name is Dr. Julianna Reece and she first fell in love with public health when she completed an MPH before even going to medical school!


Dr. Reece is the Director of the Healthy Tribes Program with the CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in the Division of Population Health. Her recent roles include serving as the Chief Medical Officer for the Albuquerque Area Indian Health Service (IHS), as well as the Vice Chair of the Heroin, Opioids, and Pain Efforts (HOPE) Committee, a national initiative through the IHS.


In this episode of the Public Health Epidemiology Conversations (PHEC) Podcast, Dr. Reece shares some insight into Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TECs) and Tribal Epidemiology Centers Public Health Infrastructure (TECPHI), the importance of tribal sovereignty, and the key role that infrastructure plays in implementing effective solutions, as well as how culture equates with wellness, plus so much more!


Listen To This Episode Of The PHEC Podcast



Conversation Highlights

  • An introduction to today’s guest, Dr. Julianna Reece

  • What sparked Dr. Reece’s interest in public health before she even went to medical school

  • How the Healthy Tribes Program partners with Native communities to promote health, prevent disease, and strengthen cultural connections

  • Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TECs) and Tribal Epidemiology Centers Public Health Infrastructure (TECPHI)

  • Findings from the 2021 TECPHI Year 3 Progress Report

  • Why she believes that you can’t have effective solutions without infrastructure

  • Some of the exciting initiatives that Dr. Reece is working on as we head into 2022

  • How she believes culture equates with health and wellness

  • Why epidemiology is critical to the work she does, particularly in the communities she serves

  • Dr. Reece’s advice for students interested in public health careers

  • Why it is important to think outside the box


“You can have a solution to a problem that is foolproof, but without the infrastructure to be able to implement any of those efforts or activities, you’re back to square one.”Dr. Julianna Reece

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:


Dr. Julianna Reece on LinkedIn

Healthy Tribes Program

Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TECs)

Tribal Epidemiology Centers Public Health Infrastructure Program (TECPHI)

TECPHI Year 3 Progress Report

Public Health Associate Program (PHAP)

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE)



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