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Tribal Chronic Disease Prevention

Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Indian Country

Background

American Indians and Alaska Natives are as diverse as the places they come from, with unique cultures, languages, histories, arts, and rituals. Yet all share a deep connection to lifeways that can sustain health and wellness. While fraught relationships with the US government have compromised lifeways, culture, and health and wellness, American Indians and Alaska Natives have persevered and sustained themselves and much of their cultures. However, poorer health and social outcomes and lower life expectancies than other racial and ethnic groups in the United States are a reality for many American Indians and Alaska Natives.

woman standing outside

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works with and supports American Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, tribal organizations, and tribal epidemiology centers to promote health, prevent disease, reduce health disparities, and strengthen connections to culture and lifeways that improve health and wellness.

Our Work with Tribes and Tribal Organizations

CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) supports public health approaches to improve the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives through four action areas or domains: epidemiology and surveillance, environmental approaches, health care system interventions, and community programs linked to clinical services. By working with Native people, governments, and organizations, NCCDPHP seeks to support and reinforce healthy behaviors and practices.

  • Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC): CDC’s largest investment to improve health among American Indians and Alaska Natives, GHWIC is a $78 million initiative that started in 2014 and continues through 2019, and supports tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal epidemiology centers (TECs).
  • Tribal Epidemiology Centers Public Health Infrastructure: This 5-year program, launched in September 2017, seeks to increase the capacity of TECs to deliver public health functions to and with the tribes/villages in their Indian Health Service Area.
  • Tribal Practices for Wellness in Indian Country: This 3-year Notice of Funding Opportunity supports tribal practices identified by tribal health leaders that build resilience and connections to community, family, and culture.
  • Additional Investments: The center makes additional investments to prevent and control cancer, commercial tobacco use, and build public health capacity and infrastructure in Indian Country.

Additional Resources

This booklet was developed upon request of CDC’s Tribal Advisory Committee. It profiles all of the work CDC does in Indian Country as part of our broad portfolio to improve health and protect against health threats.

Publications From NCCDPHP Authors on American Indian and Alaska Native Health

Bauer UE, Plescia M. Addressing disparities in the health of American Indian and Alaska Native people: the importance of improved public health data. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(S3):S255-257. PubMed abstract.

Espey DK, Jim MA, Cobb N, Bartholomew M, Becker T, Haverkamp D, Plescia M. Leading causes of death and all-cause mortality in American Indians and Alaska Natives. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(S3):S303-311. PubMed abstract.

Espey DK, Jim MA, Richards TB, Begay C, Haverkamp D, Roberts D. Methods for improving the quality and completeness of mortality data for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(S3):S286-294. PubMed abstract.

White MC, Espey DK, Swan J, Wiggins CL, Eheman C, Kaur JS. Disparities in cancer mortality and incidence among American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(S3):S377-387. PubMed abstract.

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