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In July 2000, the Urban Indian Health Institute was established as a division within of the Seattle Indian Health Board, a community health center targeting urban American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Urban Indian Health Institute provides centralized nationwide management of health surveillance, research, and policy considerations regarding the health status deficiencies affecting urban American Indians and Alaska Natives. Since 1996, nationwide tribal epidemiology centers have built public health capacity in American Indian/Alaskan Native communities through core funding from the Indian Health Service. One of eleven tribal epidemiology centers, the UIHI focuses on the nationwide urban American Indian/Alaskan native population while the other ten serve tribes regionally. A crucial component of the health care resources for all American Indians/Alaska Natives, tribal epidemiology centers are responsible for:
Managing public health information systems,
Investigating diseases of concern,
Managing disease prevention and control programs,
Responding to public health emergencies, and
Coordinating these activities with other public health authorities.
The Urban Indian Health Institute serves the 34 urban Indian heath organizations, which are private, non-profit agencies that provide either direct or referral services to American Indian/Alaska Natives living in 94 select urban counties in 19 states across the country. UIHI staff work on multiple, ongoing research projects to benefit urban American Indian/Alaska Natives. Requests for data may be submitted to the Urban Indian Health Institute's Project Coordinators.