IHS Epidemiology Program Cooperative
The Epidemiology Program for American Indian/Alaska Native Tribes and Urban Indian Communities (“the Epi Cooperative Agreement”) is the cornerstone program of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center (GLITEC). Through this program, GLITEC is able to support IHS facilities, Tribes, and urban Indian communities across the Bemidji Area (Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Chicago) on a variety of subjects. Communities are encouraged to reach out to see how GLITEC can provide support.
The Epi Cooperative Agreement is a cooperative agreement between the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc. that establishes the foundation for GLITEC. The Epi Cooperative Agreement is renewable every five years. GLITEC was established through the first cooperative agreement in 1996, and was one of the first few Tribal Epidemiology Centers established.
Through the Epi Cooperative Agreement, GLITEC provides supports communities using a structure established through the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHICIA) (part of the Affordable Care Act). IHICIA names seven core functions for Tribal Epidemiology Centers to fulfill:
- Collect data relating to, and monitor progress made toward meeting, each of the health status objectives of the Service, the Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations in the Service area;
- Evaluate existing delivery systems, data systems, and other systems that impact the improvement of Indian health;
- Assist Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations in identifying highest-priority health status objectives and the services needed to achieve those objectives, based on epidemiological data;
- Make recommendations for the targeting of services needed by the populations served;
- Make recommendations to improve health care delivery systems for Indians and urban Indians;
- Provide requested technical assistance to Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations in the development of local health service priorities and incidence and prevalence rates of disease and other illness in the community;
- Provide disease surveillance and assist Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian communities to promote public health.
In fiscal year 2020, there are four funding streams that comprise the Epi Cooperative Agreement:
- Core. Through the core, GLITEC conducts numerous activities including developing data reports, providing technical assistance, assisting with evaluation, helping with community health assessments and data requests, supporting public heath accreditation, and many others.
- Meth and Suicide Prevention Initiative/Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (MSPI/DVPI). Through MSPI/DVPI, GLITEC provides technical assistance related to evaluation for the awardees of MSPI and DVPI funding within Bemidji Area Tribal communities
- National Institutes of Health (NIH). Through the NIH component, GLITEC works to promote childhood immunization through creation of videos as well as disseminating data through a factsheet series
- Through this funding, GLITEC conducts surveillance, technical assistance, education, and assessment activities related to HIV, Hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted infections.