Supporting indigenous self-determination: Communal creation of a best practice for community health assessment
PURPOSE: To increase the capacity of health professionals and grassroots health advocates from tribal and off-reservation American Indian (AI) communities to proactively develop and implement sustainable health planning efforts informed by a community health assessment (CHA). BACKGROUND: Indigenous communities worldwide are asserting their right to self-determination in local health matters. CHA is a process that engages with community members and academic, private and public agencies to systematically collect and analyze health-related data within a local and cultural context. CHA data can inform community decision-making, drive prevention initiatives, and identify priority health concerns for future health planning. METHODS: The University of New Mexico's Center for Native American Health (CNAH) collaborated with academic and community partners to develop a series of three linked workshops for teams of health professionals and grassroots health advocates from AI communities. The workshops included keynote presentations by tribal leaders, panel discussions, hands-on technical training, facilitated discussions, networking activities and action planning to build skills in primary and secondary data collection/analysis, engaging tribal leadership and community members, leveraging community resources, and assessing health workforce readiness. RESULTS: A cohort of 9 teams representing 8 tribal communities and 1 off-reservation AI program participated in a series of 3 linked workshops spanning nine months. The workshops support self-determination by encouraging teams to establish a CHA vision and process that is locally-relevant, builds upon community strengths and reinforces cultural core values. Evaluation indicated a high rate of participant satisfaction and successful application of skills gained from the workshops.
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Identify strategies for engaging indigenous communities and academic, public and other community partners in sustainable health planning; Describe how collaborative health planning supports indigenous self-determination; Evaluate indigenous community health assessment practices for community participation and cultural-centeredness
Keyword(s): Community Health Assessment, American Indians
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Project Manager for the Community Health Assessment Workshop for Tribal Communities since its inception in 2012. I have been directly involved in multiple aspects of the project including planning, implementation, participant recruitment, evaluation and dissemination.
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.