Epidemiology is the study of the trends, causes and distribution of health and disease conditions in defined populations. Epidemiologists assist with and advise on research study design, data collection, design survey instruments, conduct statistical analyses of data and assist with interpretation of study results. In order to do this, epidemiologists use techniques from a combination of scientific disciplines including biology, social sciences and statistics.The California Tribal Epidemiology Center (CTEC) was established in 2005 to assist in collecting and interpreting health information for American Indian Alaska Natives in California. CTEC receives core funding from the Indian Health Service and operates on other grants and contracts to provide a full complement of staff. Our mission is to work directly with tribes and tribal health programs to monitor the health status of Indian people in California, and develop effective public health services that respect cultural values and traditions of our communities. CTEC is one of 12 IHS Division of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention (DEDP)-funded Tribal Epidemiology Centers that provide epidemiologic support to each IHS region and often partner with local IHS area offices to provide these services. CTEC aims to align its activities with the strategic plan of its parent organization, the California Rural Indian Health Board.
Our mission is to improve American Indian health in California to the highest level by engaging American Indian communities in collecting and interpreting health information to establish health priorities, monitor health status, and develop effective public health services that respect cultural values and traditions of the communities. CTEC has Data Sharing Agreements with 23 tribal health programs that serve 84 tribes throughout California. CTEC services are available to all tribes in California.
- Maintain communication and obtain input from the California Tribal Epidemiology Center (CTEC) Advisory Council, California Rural Indian Health Board (CRIHB) Board of Directors, California Area Office (CAO) Indian Health Service (IHS), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) populations.
- Obtain access to data and assist Indian Health Programs (IHPs) in public health activities that are needed to address the AIAN public health priorities.
- Produce community health profiles (CHPs) for AIAN populations that address two public health priorities.
- Conduct a Tribal Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS).
- Participate in data, research, epidemiology and public health forums and committees.
- Develop and maintain outbreak response capacity, which is coordinated with the response efforts by Local Health Departments, CDPH and IHS.
- Align CTEC activities to reflect and support IHS Priorities as delineated by the Office of the IHS Director.