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Navajo Epidemiology Center

The Navajo Epidemiology Center (NEC) is one of fourteen health programs located within the Navajo Division of Health (see organizational chart below). The NEC was established in 2005 to manage Navajo Nation's public health information systems, investigate diseases and injuries of concern, provide data and reports to help health programs effectively manage programs, respond to public health emergencies, and coordinate these activities with other public health authorities. The NEC’s primary objectives are: data collection, analysis and interpretation; health surveillance; disease control and prevention; and data sharing. 

Click here to download NEC Brochure


What is Epidemiology?

The study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states in specified populations, and the application of this study to control health problems.

A look at the key words will help in understanding of the meaning:

  • Study — Epidemiology is the basic science of public health. It's a highly quantitative discipline based on principles of statistics and research methodologies.

  • Distribution — Epidemiologists study the distribution of frequencies and patterns of health events within groups in a population. To do this, they use descriptive epidemiology, which characterizes health events in terms of time, place, and person.

  • Determinants — Epidemiologists also attempt to search for causes or factors that are associated with increased risk or probability of disease. This type of epidemiology, where we move from questions of "who," "what," "where," and "when" and start trying to answer "how" and "why," is referred to as analytical epidemiology.

  • Health-Related States — Although infectious diseases were clearly the focus of much of the early epidemiological work, this is no longer true. Epidemiology as it is practiced today is applied to the whole spectrum of health-related events, which includes chronic disease, environmental problems, behavioral problems, and injuries in addition to infectious disease.

  • Populations — One of the most important distinguishing characteristics of epidemiology is that it deals with groups of people rather than with individual patients.

  • Control — Finally, although epidemiology can be used simply as an analytical tool for studying diseases and their determinants, it serves a more active role. Epidemiological data steers public health decision making and aids in developing and evaluating interventions to control and prevent health problems. This is the primary function of applied, or field, epidemiology.

 

Navajo Department of Health - Organizational Chart

 

Navajo Epidemiology Center - Organizational Chart

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