Essential Collaboration Surroundings Health Disparities

09-23-2023 08:53 AM
Esri Contributor
3 2 674


You're probably aware that health disparities within tribal communities have endured for a considerable span, impacting the quality of life and the lifespan of tribal members. Tackling these inequalities involves delving into the root causes alongside employing data-driven solutions.


Imagine this: 

 We're harnessing the power of spatial data and utilizing ArcGIS, a sophisticated mapping tool. Our goal is to uncover correlations between health outcomes and factors like healthcare accessibility, environmental risks, and social determinants of health. Stitching these insights onto a map equips tribal leaders and health authorities to tailor interventions strategically.


Consider a crucial aspect: 

When spotting regions where healthcare access is a struggle for tribal communities, distance, transportation challenges, and a need for medical professionals frequently compound the problem. Enter our mapping prowess. By identifying these access hurdles, tribal leaders can engineer innovative responses with ArcGIS. 


 Join the Conversation: 

 Addressing health disparities requires interdisciplinary collaboration; how do you envision fostering partnerships between GIS experts, healthcare practitioners, anthropologists, and tribal community members to co-create effective interventions that tackle immediate health issues and promote long-term well-being and self-determination?

New Contributor

Data collection in Urban areas for Native Americans can certainly be a challenge.  These challenges include the following:

Misidentification of Native Americans as Hispanic or other ethnicity.

Adequated medical database systems either from a one-time grant and/or required by U.S. Indian Health Services with little on-going funding for hardware, network, software, and IT support personnel.

Data collection for Native Americans living on reservations, rancherias, and allotment lands - there is data sovereignty, trust, and adequated medical systems (similary to Urban medical systems).

Native Americans who reside on allotment lands, often are not included in data collection and must travel several hours to obtain medical, dental, eye-care, and other health services - therefore, their geographical data may not be represented or collected properly.

Lastly, the non-federally recognized tribal member are not included in many of the federal health based systems.  They are considered "Other".

Input - by Dr. Donna Miranda-Begay, CEO CA Tribal GIS

                  Tubatulabals of Kern Valley - Cultural Practitioner and Researcher

                  Resident of the Miranda Allotment (yii-tii-en-ep), Weldon, CA

           ERSI User


Esri Contributor


Thank you for sharing these important insights into the challenges faced by Native American communities in urban areas about data collection. Your points highlight critical issues that must be addressed to provide adequate healthcare and support for these communities.

Your mention of inadequate medical database systems and limited ongoing funding for hardware, network, software, and IT support personnel is a valid concern. Reliable and up-to-date data infrastructure is essential for healthcare planning and delivery. Advocating for sustained funding and investment in these systems is vital to addressing this challenge.

Data sovereignty, trust, and adequate medical systems are indeed critical for Native Americans living on reservations, rancherias, and allotment lands. Respecting their rights to control and manage their data is essential, and efforts should be made to establish trustworthy and culturally sensitive data collection practices in these areas.

Your insights shed light on the multifaceted challenges faced by Native American communities in urban areas, and your concerns about data collection accuracy and equity are well-founded. Addressing these issues will require collaboration, advocacy, and sustained efforts from various stakeholders to improve the healthcare outcomes and overall well-being of Native American populations.