Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country: Technical Assistance and Evaluation Services to Support the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council

The Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council (TLC) serves 11 Tribes residing on eight Reservations in Montana and Wyoming. In 2014, TLC was awarded a five-year grant by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assist and provide support to Tribes in the Billings Indian Health Service Area with developing and implementing programs that assist Tribal members to prevent and manage chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. The purpose of this project is to provide technical assistance, training, and support to Tribes in the Billings Area (MT and WY) that will provide them with an understanding and the tools to implement a comprehensive program that builds a coordinated system of care and provides resources to individuals for prevention and management of chronic disease among Tribal members. The conceptual framework for the project approach combines the Tribal Participatory Research Approach and the Chronic Care Model to reduce chronic disease and complications of chronic disease among American Indians in the Billings Area.

TLC activities include grant management; establishing an Area-wide Coalition to guide the project; providing training to all Tribes in the area on self-management for chronic disease, coalition building, and other skills; recruiting and providing technical assistance to five Tribes to implement a chronic disease prevention and management strategy; development and implementation of a communications plan and strategy; and collaboration with the evaluator and CDC to meet all evaluation and data reporting requirements. Two Tribes have volunteered to implement the program during the first year of the project and all of the Tribes served by TLC have indicated interest in serving on the Billings Area Coalition, sending staff to participate in the training workshops, and potentially serving as project sites in the third through fifth years of the program.

Sundance Research Institute, under subcontract to TLC, will assist with training activities, develop administrative data collection protocols, and design and conduct annual and final evaluations of the program. Evaluation activities will have several components: (1) local evaluation, focused on the effectiveness of TLC’s training and technical assistance, participating Tribes’ processes and outcomes, reach of the program, and impacts on Tribal members who enroll; (2) data collection and reporting required for CDC outcome performance measures and monitoring; and (3) collaboration with the CDC national evaluation to collect and report additional data as needed.