top of page
ARK Home About Bakckground-01_edited.png

Public Health Epidemiology Conversations Podcast

Episode #306 Epidemiology For Tribal Communities, With Erik Ohlrogge, MS

On This Episode Of The Public Health Epidemiology Conversations (PHEC) Podcast

There is not enough data and information to make effective health decisions for Tribal communities in America. Joining us today is an epidemiologist at the forefront of trying to solve that problem. Erik Ohlrogge is the Program Director at Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center, which supports tribal communities in their efforts to improve health by assisting with data needs through community-based research, partnership development, technical assistance, and education. In this episode, Erik shares what the company focuses on, the populations they serve, how he ended up there, and what his role at the organization entails. We discuss the challenges they face in their mission, before Erik describes his definition of epidemiology and why he is glad his career went slightly off course. Finally, our guest shares some advice about staying curious and asking questions for students pursuing a career in public health. To hear all this and more, tune in now!

Meet Erik Ohlrogge

Erik Ohlrogge (he/him) is a program director and epidemiologist at the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center (GLITEC) in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin.

GLITEC is a program of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC) which is driven to enhance the quality of life for all Native people. Since 1996, GLITEC has served the 34 federally recognized Tribes, four urban Indian communities, and three Indian Health Service (IHS) service units within the Bemidji IHS Area across Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Chicago, Illinois.

Erik’s current work prioritizes leading programs that support public health data, capacity, and leadership in and across a variety of projects. As part of this, he works to understand how context affects health and how to implement programs that create equitable opportunities for health. For example, he supports environmental health work in Tribal education agencies and childcare facilities as well as public health surveillance programs. He also works on supporting Tribal public health and building public health infrastructure within Tribal communities to accelerate disease prevention and health promotion.

Erik received a Master of Science in Global Health from the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam in 2019. He attended Luther College for his undergraduate degree where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology in 2016. He previously worked at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as a team lead for the Wisconsin COVID-19 Response Team and as a Wisconsin Population Health Service Fellow.

Listen To This Episode Of The Public Health Epidemiology Conversations (PHEC) Podcast

Conversation Highlights

  • An introduction to today’s guest, Erik Ohlrogge, and what his current work focuses on

  • What made Erik ‘fall into’ public health and led him to where he is today

  • How he ended up working at the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center (GLITEC)

  • Erik’s current role and the specifics of what he’s responsible for on a day-to-day basis

  • The organization’s main focus and the populations they serve

  • Some of the challenges that GLITEC faces in its mission

  • What epidemiology means to him when it comes to the community he serves

  • Some advice for students interested in a career in public health

  • Erik absence of regret in changing his path from pre-med to public health

“[Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center doesn’t] necessarily have one focus because we’re predominantly community-driven – [and] responsive to what community needs are.” — Erik Ohlrogge

Keep In Touch

Podcast Links

Listen to the Public Health Epidemiology Conversations Podcast (PHEC Podcast) in Spotify.

Listen to the Public Health Epidemiology Conversations Podcast (PHEC Podcast) in Google Podcasts.

Listen to the Public Health Epidemiology Conversations Podcast (PHEC Podcast)on other podcast platforms.

Like This Episode?

Click links below to share this episode with your network!

Comment below with your favorite takeaway!

Public Health Consulting To Support You

DrCHHuntley LLC is a public health consulting firm that specializes in epidemiology consulting, supporting large nonprofit organizations in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida that serve Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). We also provide nationwide public health consulting and epidemiology consulting support to BIPOC organizations across the United States.


bottom of page