Investigating Characteristics of Tribal Organization and Performance

Year: 2013
Funding: NNPHI PHS3 Award
Status: Completed

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This research study performs an in-depth examination of a tribal public health system’s capacity to deliver the ten essential services. The study employs a rigorous case study design with a dual theoretical approach and mixed methodology to answer the following research questions: 1) How are tribal public health systems conceptualized and organized by tribes, and why?; 2) Who are the key actors and decision-makers within a tribal public health system, and why?; 3) In what ways are tribal public health system partners monitoring system performance and tracking health outcomes?; 4) How does the infrastructure within a tribal public health system influence public health approaches, especially those addressing health disparities?; and 5) What influence do interorganizational relationships and interactions within a tribal public health system have on its ability to impact health disparities? Project partners include the Michigan Public Health Institute research team, the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, a Research Advisory Group, and a tribal public health agency. A tribal public health system is the target population, including tribal agencies, partner agencies, and community members. Tribal public health agencies require support in building the infrastructure to organize for accreditation and to improve public health system performance. Given their unique context, organization, and history, tribal public health agencies could benefit from examples of established tribal public health system models that delineate with whom and how tribal public health agencies partner to deliver the ten essential public health services.




Research Areas


Julia Heany, Ph.D.
Michigan Public Health Institute