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 Arizona1. The ITCA Tribal Epidemiology Center (ITCA TEC), established in 1996, provides public health services, including data collection, management, analysis, and training and technical assistance (T/TA) in reporting, grant writing, strategic planning, and program evaluation for 48 tribes and bands in the Indian Health Service (IHS) Phoenix and Tucson Service Areas2. Geographically, the ITCA TEC service area includes tribes and bands in Arizona (AZ), Nevada (NV), and Utah (UT) (Map Appendix 11).
The overall purpose of the project is to provide leadership, T/TA, and funding to build public health capacity of the ITCA TEC and the tribes in the IHS Phoenix and Tucson Service Areas. The proposed project will leverage existing partnerships with the ITCA Health and Human Services Department and the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) project, Arizona Department of Health Services, Inter Tribal Council of Nevada, Blue Stone Strategy Group, Utah American Indian Health Advisory Board, Utah Department of Health, University of Arizona, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TEC-Consortium). In order to build public health capacity, ITCA TEC will strengthen partnerships with the CDC and other organizations as needed.
ITCA TEC would like to be considered for a Component A project that will assist with building tribal public health workforce development, strengthening health surveillance capacity, and bolstering the capability to assess and respond to tribal public health needs. Tribal Health Directors (THDs) understand the public health capacity needs for their communities. From a 2017 survey of THDs in the area, THDs requested training to analyzing data in Excel, EpiInfo, and SurveyMonkey (45%, 30%, 20%), visual presentation of data, strategic planning (40%), grant writing (30%), and disease outbreak (15%) workshops from ITCA TEC3. The more recent survey of THDs (2021) mirror these requests, especially grant support and overall technical assistance. Over half of THDs that responded indicated a need for T/TA for local data collection, reporting, and data quality improvement. The largest and most recent health surveillance effort in 2022 included the development of a regional and 44 attempted tribal-specific community health profiles (CHP) using secondary data sources. This effort highlighted that existing secondary data is largely inadequate to plan, implement, and evaluate health promotion disease prevention programs. Public health capacity at the local level should focus on collection of quality timely data in order to understand and respond to tribal public health needs. The ITCA TEC will also focus on communication and outreach to improve awareness of itself and build partnerships with more of the tribes it serves.