Bemidji Area Tribal Environmental Health Assessment
Over the summer I spent most of my time at
Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center (GLITEC) working on an assessment of environmental health priorities and resources among the 34 Tribes in the
an Indian Health
Service area that covers Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. This is
part of a larger effort by GLITEC to start addressing environmental
health in addition to the established focus areas of behavioral health,
maternal and child health, and chronic disease.
assessment had three parts: a review of Tribal websites to see if there
were any environmental services or resources identified, a survey
completed by Tribal health
directors and environmental staff, and key informant interviews.
Raymond Allen, a
intern and student at Ripon College, and
Alex Cirillo, an MPH student at the University of Michigan, were both
extremely helpful in conducting the assessment. We received 28 surveys
from health directors and environmental staff and conducted 17 key
informant interviews with staff from the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC), and staff
from the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Health in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
shared the assessment results with staff at the IHS Bemidji office in
September and am wrapping up the final report, which will be reviewed by
a sample of health
directors and Tribal environmental staff, then shared at Tribal health
director meetings and posted on the GLITEC website.