How can I learn more about ATSDR?
Go to the ATSDR FAQ page.
What does ATSDR do and what projects does it plan for the future?
Read ATSDR’s Final FY 2002 Performance Report, Final FY 2003
Performance Plan, and Draft FY 2004 Performance Plan at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/performanceplan/performanceplan.html.
What services does OTA provide?
OTA provides a point-of-contact for
tribes to access ATSDR and its environmental public health programs;
trained staff to assist ATSDR in
coordinating with tribal governments; environmental perspectives that
incorporate native culture and traditional values; assistance to ATSDR
management in responding to presidential executive orders and federal
mandates impacting tribes; development of policy and programs for American
Indian/Alaska Native governments, organizations, and communities; and
coordination of activities to support tribal-specific public health needs.
What does ATSDR/OTA do to address American
Indian and Alaska Native public health concerns?
With the exception of the Indian Health Service,
ATSDR spends a greater percentage of its budgeted funding on
the health of American Indian/Alaska Natives than any other federal
agency. In FY 2002, ATSDR's support to tribes allowed the development
needs assessments for seven
tribes impacted by release of radiation at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation,
development of environmental public health curricula at four tribal colleges,
and support for the Alaska Traditional Diet Project (ATDP).
What training does
ATSDR/OTA provide to the American Indian and Alaska Native community?
OTA continually assesses the training needs of tribal communities
and develops appropriate training programs to meet identified needs.
ATSDR worked with Alaska Native tribes to develop an environmental public
health training needs assessment to all 235 federally recognized Alaska Native tribes to determine the most needed and applicable training. In
response to requests from tribal governments and communities in Alaska
to conduct training on ATSDR’s public health assessment process,
ATSDR designed and held a 5-day course in Anchorage in February 2003.
This course taught the fundamental process used to evaluate exposures
to contaminants released from hazardous waste sites. The course content
was essentially the same as Basic Course for Health Assessment and Consultation
taught each year in Atlanta, but with examples and case studies specific
to Alaska. Topics included reviewing environmental sampling data, involving
the community in the assessment process, identifying potential and completed
exposure pathways, evaluating health implications, and determining appropriate
public health actions. Photos from the course
in Anchorage can be viewed
on this site.
OTA, in cooperation with ATSDR’s Division of Health Education
and Promotion, has designed and implemented a training program for health
care and environmental health workers in tribal communities. The goal
of the training is to raise awareness and improve tribal clinician knowledge,
skills, and access to resources to identify, prevent, and respond to
health issues related to environmental contaminants. ATSDR involved tribes
in the development of this program, soliciting feedback from tribes following
the presentation of program concepts at several conferences and meetings
in 2002. ATSDR also administered a needs assessment to Indian Health
Service (IHS) personnel working with tribes across the United States.
ATSDR piloted this training program at the August 2003 annual meeting
of the Association of American Indian Physicians. See the project's factsheet (156KB PDF)
for more details.
How does ATSDR/OTA support tribal emergency preparedness?
OTA, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is
evaluating (1) tribal emergency response capabilities related to chemical,
biological, and radiological emergencies and (2) tribal knowledge of
deregulated commercial and medical radioactive material, and the potential
of it being illegally deposited on tribal land. Surveying tribes on
these topics is helping ATSDR and EPA to assess the present level of
tribal emergency response infra-structure, knowledge, training, and
equipment. This will lead to the development of criteria for improvement,
enhancement, or development of an integrated tribal emergency response
program. OTA also integrates emergency preparedness topics into its
tribal training programs.
What is the Alaska Traditional Diet Project?
The Alaska Traditional Diet
in response to a Congressional mandate to study and identify contaminants
in the environment that may
impact subsistence resources and to influence dietary decisions to prevent
adverse health outcomes in Alaska Native and American Indian people.
Over 600,000 people call Alaska home and about one-sixth are Alaska Natives
whose traditional diets can make up to 90% of their diet. Providing assurance
that their subsistence foods are safe to eat is critical to their cultural
practices. Dietary assessments are now complete for over 660 participants
in 13 communities.
How does ATSDR/OTA support American
Indian and Alaska Native educational initiatives?
Within ATSDR’s Division of Health Assessment and Consultation,
ATSDR’s Tribal Affairs program has developed curricula for environmental
public health study at tribal colleges and universities. In 2002, ATSDR/OTA
developed curricula for four schools: College of Menominee Nation, Dine
College, Northwest Indian College, and Turtle Mountain Community College.
are ATSDR’s Tribal Cooperative Agreements?
ATSDR's Tribal Affairs program facilitates and maintains
cooperative agreements with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes
purposes, including developing environmental public health curricula
at tribal colleges, updating training needs assessments, and building
environmental public health capacity.
Has ATSDR/OTA been recognized by the
American Indian and Alaska Native community?
In 2002, the National Indian Health Board gave a Special Recognition
Award to ATSDR for its work with American Indian and Alaska Native
tribes, for outstanding service and commitment to improve
the health status of American Indians and Alaska Native people throughout
In 2003, the EPA awarded OTA the Suzanne
E. Olive National EEO award for the achievement of outstanding civil
rights through establishment of the first-ever environmental grants program
focused on tribal populations.