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WEBINAR: Epi Fellowship Projects: A Look at Tribal Motor Vehicle Crash Data

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

In Indian Country Tribal MVC is a big topic that often leaves us with several roadblocks for data access or use which makes our injury prevention planning a little unique and timely. The TIPRC is teaming up with two fellows from the 2019-2020 Indian Health Service Injury Prevention Epidemiology Fellowship; to showcase their Epi research projects. In this webinar the presenters will provide an overview of their research on Tribal MVC data and will discuss some interesting challenges and findings for data access and use. The webinar is set for a 1 hour and 15 minutes which allows each presenter 30 minutes to present and to close with a Q&A session. This webinar is designed to share a peer-to-peer perspective of how to access and use Tribal MVC and hopefully their research projects encourages others to take a look at Tribal MVC.

WEBINAR DATE: March 23rd, 2021

TIME: 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM (CST)



George Chung, MPH, REHS

Bio: George Chung is an environmental health officer for the US Public Health Service serving the Indian Health Service (IHS) for 5+ years. He is stationed in northern AZ and responsible for providing essential environmental health services and technical assistance to two tribal communities. Some of his work duties include conducting comprehensive environmental health and safety assessments of tribal facilities, providing technical trainings in areas related to food and workplace safety, and conducting surveillance of vectorborne and zoonotic diseases. George received his Registered Environmental health specialist credential in 2017 and is a graduate of the 2020 IHS Injury Prevention Fellowship where his project focused on conducting an evidence-based assessment of a tribe’s motor vehicle crash data collection and reporting system.

Project Title: Evidence-based assessment of a tribal MVC data collection and reporting system

Project Abstract: Motor vehicle crash data are often underreported and under-utilized on Tribal reservations. These data are needed to highlight road safety issues, identify risk factors, initiate remedial measures, and evaluate the effectiveness of road safety programs. The objective of this study was to conduct an assessment of a Tribal community’s motor vehicle crash data collection and reporting system through document review and key informant interviews. Findings indicate that there are areas for improvement in the collection and reporting of MVC data at the Tribe. Recommendations are outlined for the tribal crash data collection system, the processes of state-tribal crash data sharing, and tribal traffic safety improvement efforts. These recommendations include: engaging with the state to increase understanding of the MVC data collection procedures used by the state; ensuring the Tribe’s full access to MVC data that are shared with the state; and collaborating with the state to identify road safety issues and funding opportunities to address them.


Jordan Vandjelovic, MPH

Bio: Mr. Vandjelovic is the Injury Prevention Specialist at the Billings Area – Indian Health Service. He is responsible for injury prevention program operations, coordination, trainings, and other duties in collaboration with the Tribal, Federal, and Stated stakeholders in Montana and Wyoming. He is responsible for the development, management and direction of Tribal community based injury prevention programs; developing goals and objectives, planning activities, evaluation, and collection, interpretation, and dissemination of injury data for all Tribal communities. Over the past 5 years, Mr Vandjelovic has been working with these communities at the Indian Health Services, as well as the Tribal Leaders Council Tribal Epidemiology Center (RMTEC) as the Injury Prevention Epidemiologist. Here, he has worked on improving heath equities relating to injuries and building Tribal capacity through epidemiological recommendations of cause and effect, also assisting with intervention and policy recommendations. In 2014, Mr. Vandjelovic initiated and headed up the Community Health Promotion Program at Centra Hospital in Lynchburg, VA, being the Community Health Promoter Coordinator. Here he researched, assessed, and reviewed chronic diseases through data collection and analysis, targeting diseases which had a high burden on the Emergency Department (ED). Prevention and management programs were developed and implemented in the community, for the empowerment of individuals as to their own health and to elevate the burden on the ED.

Project Title: Absence of tribal traffic laws as a risk factor for a crash injury severity: A retrospective study.

Project Abstract: American Indian/Alaska Native’s (AI/AN) have disproportionately high motor vehicle crash (MVC) rates compared to U.S. All Races. This study estimated the risk for crash-related injuries associated with the absence of 10 types of traffic safety laws on AI/AN Tribal reservations in the Indian Health Service Billings Area of Montana. Crash type categories included: no-injury, injury and fatality for years 2016 through 2018. Age adjusted rates were calculated. Multinomial logistic regression was used to estimate risk ratios (RR) by crash type. For each traffic law, rates for All Crashes, No-injury, Injury, and Fatality were 705.8, 441.1, 256.9 and 37.7 respectively. The risk for MVC fatal injury was associated with the absence of each eight laws. The risk for MVC non-fatal injury was associated with the absence of each of six laws. The traffic laws that produced the largest risk estimates were roadblock/check point, insurance, and under the influence laws. When absent, these laws produced more than a three-fold increased risk for fatal crash (RR= 4.48, 4.41, 3.33 respectively), and an elevated risk for non-fatal injury (1.7, 1.74, 1.18). These results suggest that tribal enactment of traffic safety laws might help prevent MVC injuries and fatalities and promote health equity for AI/AN population.


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