About the Tribal Public Health Capacity Support Project (TPHC)
In 2018, NNPHI was awarded funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Tribal Alliances and Strategic Affairs (OTASA) to uphold the mission to affirm the government-to-government relationship between CDC and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes by advancing connections, providing expertise, and increasing resources to improve tribal communities’ public health. The purpose of the project is twofold:
- To provide resources for Indian Country to optimize the quality and performance of tribal public health systems
- To strengthen and improve the capacity of tribal public health systems to effectively respond to AI/AN public health challenges.
25 organizations throughout the country are funded through this work to support capacity and maximize health system needs:
- Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
- Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board
- Bad River Band of Chippewa Indians
- Benewah Medical Center dba Marimn Health
- Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation
- California Rural Indian Health Board
- Cherokee Nation
- Chickasaw Nation
- Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
- Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
- Forest County Potawatomi Community
- Gila River Indian Community
- Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council
- Ho-Chunk Nation
- Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation
- Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe
- Lummi Nation
- Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
- Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council
- Southern Plains Tribal Health Board Foundation
- The Navajo Nation
- United South and Eastern Tribes
- Wabanaki Health and Wellness
- White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians
- White Mountain Apache Tribe
NNPHI and Seven Directions, the first national public health institute dedicated Indigenous health and wellness, partnered together to provide technical and program support to the 25 Tribal Public Health Capacity and Quality Improvement Cooperative Agreement recipients. Housed within the University of Washington, Seven Directions is committed to cultivating and sharing knowledge, connecting communities and resources, and working to achieve shared goals for future generations. Seven Directions serves as a connector and collaborator across the Tribal and Urban Indian public health systems, which are comprised of local, regional, and national networks. These networks include Tribes and Urban Indian Health Organizations (UIHOs) (local level); Indian Health Boards/Inter Tribal Councils and Tribal Epidemiology Centers (regional level); and other national organizations serving Tribes, UIHOs and communities.
The first year of the project was primarily to support grantees in learning the details and requirements related to receiving federal funds. In the following years, Seven Directions launched an Indigenous Community of Practice called Gathering Grounds, which serves as a source of learning and networking among tribal organizations and 1803 recipients through hosting webinars and sharing resources; created a technical assistance program to provide support and assistance around multiple priority topic areas (e.g., quality improvement, communications); and helped NNPHI and CDC coordinate annual meetings for the recipient organizations.
The project continues to expand its reach while pivoting to face the ever-changing demands placed on tribal public health systems from COVID-19. Nevertheless, the following activities have been achieved:
- Annual meeting for recipients, featuring key topic presentations, recipient presentations on current work and successes/challenges, and breakout discussions.
- Gathering Grounds, which consists of a webinar series and other learning opportunities, and Seven Directions’ event, Our Nations, Our Journeys.
- Technical assistance available to recipients in the focus areas of data infrastructure, communications, accreditation, performance management/quality improvement and grant writing.
- Mini-grants provided to recipients to increase the capacity of recipients to respond to public health emergencies.
- Scholarships offered to recipient organizations to attend the the Public Health Improvement Training (PHIT)
- Gathering Grounds: An Indigenous Community of Practice