Data and statistical information are critical to the public health mission of the Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center. There are many different uses of data. The public health science of epidemiology relies on data to understand patterns of sickness and health in tribal communities. Data are also used to support the public health function of assuring that persons have access to appropriate health care and for assessing the effectiveness of that care. Finally, public health data may be used to inform the development and implementation of tribal, state, regional, and national health policies. Statistics are the set of tools that make it possible to analyze, study, and interpret data.
GPTEC is committed to helping area tribes access health data in a way that is culturally appropriate and respects tribal sovereignty. The following activities advance this goal:
- Provide Great Plains Area tribes with reports of timely, accurate, and useful data on health priorities
- Support the GPTEC mission, objectives, and activities across strategic focus areas
- Consult with tribal programs and GPTCHB staff on data management issues
- Provide leadership to other public health agencies and workgroups on data issues affecting Northern Plains American Indians
GPTEC is also working to strengthen the public health infrastructure throughout the Great Plains Area in order to address the lack of usable data for public health planning and evaluation at the local and regional levels.