In the United States, there are 567 federally recognized Indian Nations that span 35 states. The U.S. recognizes each Nation as a sovereign and self-governing entity. As sovereign nations, each nation has the authority to enact their own regulations to protect the health, safety, welfare, and overall well-being of their communities.
The different jurisdictional authorities within Indian Nations are complex, especially in public health preparedness and response (PHPR), as the delivery of services are distributed across federal, state, local, and tribal systems. Thus, addressing sovereignty and multiple jurisdictions is critical to building and maintaining an effective tribal and multijurisdictional response network.
Unfortunately, the integration of tribal public health partners into the multijurisdictional response network is often lacking. Supporting and sustaining an efficient network requires effective communication and collaboration to build capacity and capability.
Researchers at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, developed a guidebook to provide state, local, and federal preparedness partners with strategies to potentially overcome these challenges. The article was published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2018.
The strategies serve as a general overview to enhance public health emergency preparedness communication and collaboration, as well as cultural and societal competency, when working with tribes. The strategies presented have been identified as useful and effective ways to assist tribal preparedness partners in the planning, coordination, and execution of their preparedness efforts. Moreover these strategies may be valuable and adaptable across a wide range of activities, where engagement between those developing and implementing programs and those being served is critical for success and sustainability.
Dr. Tara M. Chico-Jarillo, the lead author, is an alumna and adjunct professor of the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.
“Strategies From American Indian and Alaska Native Community Partners on Effective Emergency Response Collaboration“; AJPH, November 13, 2018; Tara M. Chico-Jarillo, Jefferey Burgess, Brenda Granillo