The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA) is a 501c3 non-profit Tribal organization in Phoenix, Arizona (AZ) that was established in 1952, to provide a united voice to Tribal governments in AZ. ITCA’s Board of Directors consists of the highest elected officials for 21 of the 22 Tribes in AZ. The ITCA Health and Human Services (HHS) Program supports Tribes in their efforts to improve the quality of life for their populations. We do this through ongoing monitoring of health and human service policies, analysis, and information dissemination. We work within a supportive role to convene leadership to address state and federal matters and by providing training and technical assistance to the Tribes’ health and social services programs. The ITCA Tribal Epidemiology Center (TEC) serves Tribes and Bands across the Phoenix-Tucson Indian Health Service (IHS) Areas, which includes Tribes in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah (2018 IHS Active Users total 205,115). ITCA TEC improves public health and epidemiologic capacity by assisting Tribes with health surveillance, research, and program evaluation for Tribes to utilize in planning and policy decisions in order to improve community health and wellness.
Data from AZ, NV, and UT indicate that chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke are more prevalent, and often more deadly among American Indians (AI) at earlier ages compared to other race/ethnicity groups. According to the CDC’s National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017, AI diabetes prevalence rates were the highest (15.1%) among the Nation’s population. Moreover, the prevalence rates for diabetes among AI populations were as high as 22.2% in certain areas of the Southwest. A variety of data indicate that the prevalence of chronic conditions is higher among AI as compared to other groups living in AZ, NV, and UT.
The overall purpose of the GHWIC project is to provide comprehensive support that includes technical assistance, training and resources to prevent chronic diseases among Tribes/Villages/Urban Indian Organizations (T/V/Us) in the Phoenix-Tucson IHS Areas. ITCA intends to partner with 12 Tribes in AZ, UT, and NV, which encompasses a total population of 57,026. The project will include partnerships with the state departments of health, the Inter Tribal Council of Nevada, Utah Indian Health Advisory Board, and the University of Arizona to provide resources to Tribal partners and T/V/Us.
As a Component 2 organization, ITCA plans to implement Component 1 strategies over the 5 year grant time frame. In Years 1-2, partnering Tribes will form community health coalitions and conduct a Policy, Systems and Environment (PSE) assessment using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Community Health Assessment Group Evaluation Tool (CHANGE Tool). Utilizing the CHANGE Tool, ITCA will identify areas of training and technical assistance (TA) needed by Tribal partners. The ITCA will create a Chronic Disease Prevention Working Group to provide on-going TA to partnering Tribes and area T/V/Us throughout the 5 year time frame, and will initiate a Social Network Analysis to strengthen Tribal, state, and other health organizational partnerships during the grant cycle. In Years 2-5, partnering Tribes will develop and implement Tribal Community-Based Action Plans from the results of the CHANGE Tool. ITCA will provide on-going targeted and tailored TA, specifically to partnering Tribes and overall TA to T/V/Us on culturally appropriate evidence-based health programs and policy development. ITCA TEC will provide on-going program evaluation support. Results and lessons learned will be disseminated to other T/V/U’s, CDC and partners. These strategies and activities are linked to measureable short-term and intermediate outcomes that will lead to an increased number of area T/V/U’ s implementing chronic disease prevention activities within their communities.