Public Health Data Improvement & Access

A hallmark of Tribal Epidemiology Centers is to enhance existing public health surveillance systems to be more inclusive of American Indian populations and bolster access to tribe-specific health data. AASTEC specific projects in these domains include:

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Systems

The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS) and the New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS) are biennial youth health surveys that collect information on health risk behaviors and resiliency (protective) factors. These surveys are conducted in middle and high school classrooms (grades 6 – 12). AASTEC aims to increase participation of middle and high schools that are located within or adjacent to tribal communities in these statewide surveys. This effort has led to increased representation of American Indian youth in these important public health surveillance systems and greater availability of meaningful youth health data for participating schools and Tribes. Key topics addressed in these surveys include:

— Access to drugs and alcohol
— Alcohol use
— Body weight
— Bullying
— Marijuana use
— Nutrition
— Other drug use
— Personal safety
— Physical activity
— Resiliency (protective) factors (e.g. family support, peer networks, etc.)
— Sadness and attempted suicide
— Sexual behavior
— Tobacco use
— Violence-related behaviors

New Mexico PRAMS

AASTEC currently partners with the New Mexico Department of Health and Tribal WIC and CHR programs to strengthen participation of new American Indian mothers in the ongoing New Mexico Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) survey. PRAMS is a national health survey led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey is mailed to selected women two to six months after delivering their baby. The survey asks mothers about their behaviors and experiences before, during, and after pregnancy. Key survey topics include:

• Prenatal care
• Smoking
• Alcohol use
• Physical abuse
• Contraception use
• Maternal stress
• Breastfeeding
• Post-partum depression
• Infant health

Click here to view AASTEC’s report of PRAMS data from 2000-2011.

Tribal Adult Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance

Since 2007, AASTEC has collaborated with Tribes throughout the IHS Albuquerque Area to assist with the administration of adult behavioral risk factor surveys in the community. Most of these adult health surveys are conducted through in-person interviews where AASTEC trains community members to serve as interviewers. A representative sample of community adults (age 18 and over) are selected at random to participate in the survey. Once all surveys are completed, AASTEC staff works with tribal partners to analyze data, develop final reports, and explore next steps. The survey typically contains community-selected modules and questions excerpted from the CDC BRFSS (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System).

Available modules include:

Adverse Childhood Experiences
Alcohol Consumption
Anxiety and Depression
Arthritis Management
Breast/Cervical Cancer Screening
Cancer Survivorship
Cardiovascular Health
Cholesterol Awareness
Chronic Health Conditions
Cognitive Impairment
Colorectal Cancer Screening
Community Capacity
Drug Use
Emotional Support
Exercise (Physical Activity)
Family Planning
General Preparedness
Health Care Access
Health Status
Home Environment
Hypertension Awareness
Indoor Air Quality
Interpersonal Violence
Life Satisfaction
Medicine Men/Traditional Healing
Mental Health
Oral Health
Prostate Cancer Screening
Quality of Life
Reactions to Race
Seatbelt Use
Secondhand Smoke
Sexual Violence
Smoking Cessation
Social Context
Tobacco Use
Vision/Eye Health
Veterans’ Health

Fact sheets and reports with data from these health surveys can be found in the report & pubs section.

For more information on these public health surveillance systems visit:

National YRBS (CDC)

State of New Mexico YRRS

State of Colorado YRBS

State of Texas YRBS