173872 An innovative tribal/community partnership process for substance abuse prevention with Alaska Native and American Indian people in Anchorage, Alaska

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Laurie J. Helzer, MPH , Research Department Executive and Tribal Services, Southcentral Foundation Alaksa Native Medical Center, Anchorage, AK
Clarice Stewart, MFA , Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc., Anchorage, AK
Cristy Allyn Willer, MA , Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc., Anchorage, AK
Adriene Active, BSW , United Way of Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Spero M. Manson, PhD , American Indian and Alaska Native Programs, University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO
Antoinelle Thompson, BS , Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage, AK
Ruth A. Etzel, MD, PhD , Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Washington, DC
Diane DiSanto, MSW , Muncipality of Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Since 2004, SAMHSA/CSAP has funded 60+ State Epidemiological Outcome Workgroups for using epidemiologic data to enhance substance abuse prevention. In 2006, the Anchorage area was one of five tribal communities funded to engage in data-guided assessment and planning for substance abuse prevention. The Cook Inlet Tribal Council, United Way, Municipality of Anchorage, and Southcentral Foundation launched a new partnership based on this deliberate approach to systematically use data to guide and enhance substance abuse prevention decisions. This tribal/community partnership to address data-guided substance abuse prevention for Native people represented the first of its kind.

This session will describe and frame how the unique nature and context of this community informed the group's membership/structure, collaborative process, and making of key, shared decisions. Unlike other states, there is no single tribal government locus of control for Alaska Native people; the population is not characterized by “membership” in a single tribe, but rather by heritage; and many distinct Alaska Native and American Indian groups live in Anchorage. Challenged by relatively little epidemiologic data on behavioral health issues among Native people in Anchorage, our tribal/community advisory committee and project planning team have been able to make decisions about proxy data, complete a baseline needs assessment, and develop an infrastructure for building local data to describe needs and strengths of Native people. This process has led to new strategic partnerships and to an important paradigm shift from individual behavioral based/treatment approaches to population-based public health methods for prevention in our community.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe step one of SAMHSA's State Prevention Framework 2. Articulate lessons learned from building a successful tribal and community partnership. 3. Describe the process that tribal epidemiology workgroups used to determine the most salient substance abuse problems in their community.

Keywords: Alaska Natives, Substance Abuse Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I led the tribal epidemiology workgroup through this process.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.