AIPHRC team receives NDSU 2017 Staff Recognition Team Award


Congratulations to the American Indian Public Health Resource Center Team: 

  • Vanessa Tibbitts
  • Gretchen Dobervich
  • Ryan Eagle
  • Pearl Walker-Swaney

The team was selected to receive the NDSU 2017 Staff Recognition Team Award because of the valuable contributions and services provided to the AIPHRC department, working relationships with the public and other departments, along with working relationships with colleagues.  

Members of the center work collaboratively by offering and receiving feedback in a positive manner regarding one another's projects.  This approach has led to the development of resources that can be of use to the department, tribal communities, the public health community, researchers and programs.  Resources developed by the team include: American Indian 10 Essentials of Public Health fact sheet, Engaging Tribal Nations of North Dakota in Conducting Community Health Assessments toolkit, Issue brief on court ordered sterilization of mothers using methamphetamine, Lodge of Public Health Fact Sheet, Tribal Leaders’ Perspective on Public Health Accreditation video, in partnership with NIHB, Tribal public health accreditation presentation, American Indian public health publications, Book chapter (Public Health Foundation), Journal articles and an Evaluation resource / toolkit. 

The AIPHRC at NDSU has engaged numerous regional communities and has met with multiple stakeholder groups to provide technical assistance (TA) in the areas of public health services, education, policy, and research. In less than three years, the number of lives touched and communities engaged is remarkable and unprecedented.  The working relations the AIPHRC team has with the campus, public health, and tribal communities has already improved access to public health resources that are vital to improving health outcomes in our region. The AIPHRC has engaged stakeholders across the university, Fargo-Moorhead community, the state of North Dakota, the region and nationally.  Tribal engagement has occurred with multiple stakeholders across North Dakota tribes, tribes within the region and across the nation. 

Most importantly however is that the team has developed a model for tribal engagement.  Public health agencies and universities often want to work with tribal nations to help address these disparities. Providing TA based on tribal needs and tribal input has been a successful model for the AIPHRC.  TA has been provided to tribal health programs, state departments of health, and organizations that serve tribes. A TA webpage was developed that provides a list of TA services offered along with a TA request form that can be submitted to the AIPHRC team.  After the request is complete, a survey is sent to stakeholders to assess the quality of TA provided. The AIPHRC has received positive feedback from multiple stakeholders on the TA that has been provided to date.  

The AIPHRC utilization of a team-based approach has been an effective method when providing TA to stakeholders, with staff who have expertise in public health policy, education, research, and services. The team is supports one another by each member informing each other of project progress and contributing to each project within the center.  The team also offers one another meaningful feedback which builds camaraderie and leads to quality work both within the office and in the field. 

The best quality of the AIPHRC team however is the laughter.  They work very hard and the work can be very demanding, but they always have a good time doing the work and when entering their space, it is not unusual to hear deep laughter.  It is apparent to anyone who has the privilege to work with them, that they are doing heart work and striving to have a positive impact, not only within the AIPHRC, but across the department, university, state and tribal communities.  

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