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The Indian Health Service (IHS) Office of Public Health Support, Division of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention (DEDP), is accepting applications for a cooperative agreement for competitive supplemental funds to enhance activities in the Epidemiology Program for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Tribes and Urban Indian communities. This program is authorized under: The Public Health Service Act, at 42 U.S.C. 241, 247b(k)(2), 282, 284 and 285t. Funding for this award will be provided by: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). The authorities will be exercised through an Intra-Departmental Delegation of Authority (IDDA) with IHS to create a new funding opportunity for Tribal Epidemiology Centers: This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) under 93.231.

The Tribal Epidemiology Center (TEC) program was authorized by Congress in 1998 as a way to provide public health support to multiple Tribes and Urban Indian communities in each of the IHS Areas. The funding opportunity announcement is open to eligible Tribes, Tribal organizations, Indian organizations, intertribal consortia, and Urban Indian organizations, including currently-funded TECs.

TECs are uniquely positioned within Tribes, Tribal and Urban Indian organizations to conduct disease surveillance, research, prevention and control of disease, injury, or disability, and to assess the effectiveness of AI/AN public health programs. In addition, they can fill gaps in data needed for Government Performance and Results Act and Healthy People 2020 measures. Some of the existing TECs have already developed innovative strategies to monitor the health status of Tribes and Urban Indian communities, including development of Tribal health registries and use of sophisticated record linkage computer software to correct existing state data sets for racial misclassification. TECs work in partnership with IHS DEDP to provide a more accurate national picture of Indian health status. This program will utilize CDC and NIH funding to further the ongoing work of IHS and the TECs.

The mission of NIMHD is to promote minority health and to lead, coordinate, support, and assess the NIH effort to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities.

The NCEH has identified a public health gap in the nation's ability to link environmental hazards and exposure to chronic disease issues, and to provide information to a variety of audiences from a nationwide network of integrated health and environmental data that drives actions to improve health outcomes. The NCEH is seeking, through this announcement, to support the creation of a mechanism by which Tribal data can be submitted to the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network and further explore the application of Tribal data to environmental public health.