Effective public health preparedness and response (PHPR) requires a systems approach fully integrating all sector partners. However, preparedness activities often take place in silos, resulting in ineffective multijurisdictional emergency responses. Furthermore, although strengthening PHPR is a shared responsibility among federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, public and private organizations, integration of tribal public health partners is often lacking or far from ideal. Tribal populations include individuals considered at-risk or vulnerable, including but not limited to persons with chronic diseases or disabilities, elderly community members, and residents of remote and isolated areas. Supporting and sustaining an effective tribal and multijurisdictional response network will require determining which Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (PERRC) and Learning Center (PERLC) research, training, and technical assistance products can effectively be used, as well as how to adapt these products for effective tribal use.
This proposal will determine specific tribal and multijurisdictional PHPR needs, and adapt PERRC and PERLC products to meet these needs and support the transfer of PERRC and PERLC research outcomes and promising practices into the field. These activities will provide validated models for improving health security nationally. The proposed activities fall within Sub-project 3, as defined in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) Request for Proposals (RFP). The specific aims of our proposal are as follows:
Aim 1a: Conduct a tribal needs assessment to validate existing knowledge, skills, and preparedness and response gaps.
Aim 1b: Conduct a state and local needs assessment to validate existing collaboration gaps to bridge tribal partner intersections with state, local and territorial public health departments.
Aim 2a: Provide targeted tribal evidence-based interventions using cultural frameworks for public health application to improve tribal readiness and capacity.
Aim 2b: Provide targeted state and local evidence-based interventions to improve the integration of tribal partners.
The needs assessments in Aims 1a and 1b will guide the selection of PERRC and PERLC products most appropriate to meet these needs. These products will be adapted for tribal use in Aim 2a and Aim 2b for effectively integrating tribal populations into regional multijurisdictional response efforts. The relation of the aims within a tribal and multijurisdictional response network is illustrated in Figure 1.
The Mountain West Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (MWPERLC) has extensive experience working collaboratively with tribal public health practitioners. Given our proven ten year track record for successfully developing, initiating, implementing and evaluating innovative and sustainable tribal preparedness activities, we are well positioned to spearhead efforts for enhancing preparedness and the wellbeing of American Indian communities.