The mission of the Enhancing Perspectives in Clinics and Communities (EPCC) Program at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) is to build the capacity for Indigenous people, healthcare professionals, traditional knowledge holders, and policymakers to enhance the health and wellness of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people and communities.
We believe that it is the role of the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island to care for our relatives and relations as well as ourselves.
We know we cannot do this alone. That is why we bring together providers, traditional knowledge holders, health advocates, clinic leadership, policymakers, and community members to:
- Develop innovative solutions that advance the health of AI/AN people and communities in positive and affirming ways
- Assist Indigenous people and healthcare professionals in building trusting and compassionate relationships
- Establish innovative and forward thinking clinical and public health policies and practices that rely on Indigenous perspectives, the knowledge of our ancestors, and Western medicine and science
- Build the capacity of leadership across all levels of influence to advance tribal health policy
Our priority is leaving footsteps to help guide the next generation along the path of good health and wellness.
Guided by our leadership, we contribute to clinical and community work in the following priority health issue areas:
- Hepatitis C
- Substance Use Disorders, including Opioid Use Disorder
- Two Spirit Health and LGBTQ+ Health
- Behavioral Health
- Other emergent health and wellness needs
The EPPC Program directly helps tribes in several ways:
- Technical Assistance and Capacity Building
- Through Indian Country ECHO, we offer free support to IHS, Tribal, and Urban (I/T/U) clinics to optimize their policies and enhance care delivery. Through this service we also offer support to tribal leadership interested in building community capacity to prevent and treat complex medical conditions.
- Quality Improvement
- The EPPC Program collaborates with providers, public health professionals, and administrators to ensure that AI/AN people and communities receive high quality healthcare. Our approach to quality improvement draws on the knowledge of subject matter experts, evidence-based tools, best practices in clinical science, systems theory, Indigenous knowledge, psychology, and other fields of study.
- Patient-Specific Recommendations
- Through a collaboration with the University of California- San Francisco, IHS offers providers practicing at I/T/U facilities on-demand clinical recommendations from experts via the Substance Use Warmline.
- Through Indian Country ECHO, we offer free online ECHO clinics and trainings that provide a platform for providers practicing at I/T/U facilities to receive on-demand clinical recommendations from experts and colleagues across Indian Country.
- Provider and Community Education Campaigns
- EPCC creates evidence-based and community-tested health education campaigns and resources for AI/AN peoples and I/T/U clinicians. These include opioids, HCV, and Two Spirit and LGBTQ+ Health campaigns.
- Our work is generously funded by several entities. EPCC Program initiatives are funded by the Minority HIV/AIDS Fund, Indian Health Service, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Office of Minority Health.