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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

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Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board

Grantee Information

Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board
PO Box 5826
Edmond, OK 73083-5826
405-951-6014 (Phone)
405-951-3902 (Fax) Exit Disclaimer

Established in 1972, the Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board (OCAITHB) is a nonprofit organization that serves as a unified voice for the 43 federally recognized tribes located in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  The mission of this organization is to function as a partnership of Oklahoma City Area tribes, and stand united to improve the health and quality of life of Native American communities through advocacy and education with federal, state and local entities, while maintaining their tribal sovereign rights.

Grant Project Information

Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board Epidemiology Center Health Disparities Project
Project Period: 9/1/12-8/31/17
Annual Funding Level:  $190,000
Project Director: Tom Anderson
405-951-6024 (Phone)


American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities disproportionately experience poor health. In Oklahoma, mortality rates for AI/AN populations are about 40 percent higher than their white counterparts (Oklahoma State Department of Health).  From 2000-2007, the infant mortality rate for AI/ANs within Oklahoma was 8.9 (per 1,000) compared to 7.0 for Whites (IHS Area Profile, 2011). Given the severity of these disparities, the Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board (OCAITHB) aims to strengthen important tools (i.e., program planning and evaluation skills) by filling voids in expertise in disease surveillance, statistical services, staff training/development and data quality improvement. The three long-term goals of this program include: (1) improving dissemination and utilization of patient research and evaluation data to identify the priority health disparity objectives and services needed; (2) enhancing cultural competency for professionals working with the AI/AN population; and (3) providing prevention activities for major health disparities.

The target population for this project is approximately 857,000 AI/ANs residing in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Project objectives include: 

  • Increasing the quality and availability of data through reporting and dissemination;
  • Creating career pathways in public health practices and prevention-oriented research for tribal members;
  • Providing cultural competency training to leaders serving AI/AN populations; and
  • Utilizing health promotion to encourage AI/AN individuals to be proactive in their pursuit of cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention.

Example of strategies that align with these objectives include:  

  • The implementation of a disparities analysis and reporting project;
  • The development of a data source catalog;
  • The creation of a registered patient management system to enhance patient-level data;
  • The dissemination of program results;
  • The creation of a Tribal Epidemiology Center internship, cultural orientation training, implementation of a cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention project; and
  • The use of culturally competent tobacco cessation training.

A process and impact evaluation will be conducted. The evaluation will track the number of AI/AN students participating in the internship program, which will be used to assess progress toward increased representation of AI/ANs in health professions. Also, the number of OMH-supported trainings and technical assistance events will be used to assess enhanced cultural awareness of health professionals working in AI/AN communities. These identified measures will serve as the foundation for the comprehensive evaluation plan that will be developed with the University of Oklahoma.


  • Enhanced data collection/utilization to identify highest priority health status objectives and services needed to achieve such objectives
  • Development of alliances and partnerships which improve coordination/alignment of health and human services
  • Provision of technical training in public health practices and prevention oriented research to create public health career pathways for American Indians and Alaska Natives
2/25/2014 3:45:00 PM