Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Tribal HPOG 2.0 Grantees’ Program Adaptations

Publication Date: October 19, 2021
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  • Pages: 15
  • Published: 2021


This practice brief is one in a series developed by the Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) 2.0 evaluation team. The briefs are used to disseminate findings from the evaluation of the Tribal HPOG 2.0 Program. The Tribal HPOG 2.0 Program supports demonstration projects that provide eligible individuals with the opportunity to obtain education and training for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand.


The purpose of this brief is to examine how the Tribal HPOG 2.0 grantees adapted their programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Findings and Highlights

  • The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the historic economic and health disparities facing Tribal nations, as well as the continued strength and resilience of Tribal communities.
  • The Tribal HPOG 2.0 grantees adapted their programs to continue recruiting, supporting, and training participants despite the unprecedented circumstances.
  • Cancellation or delay of training programs in the spring of 2020 was a primary challenge to recruiting and enrolling participants. Fewer participants enrolled in Tribal HPOG 2.0 between March and August of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
  • Grantees shifted to operating in a virtual environment, including establishing new communication methods, developing online application and enrollment processes, providing orientation virtually, and supporting participants in healthcare trainings offered remotely or using a hybrid model. Grantees also adapted academic and non-academic support services offered to meet participants’ short-term and ongoing needs.


The tribal evaluation team is conducting a comprehensive implementation evaluation grounded in culturally appropriate approaches. In developing this practice brief, the tribal evaluation team used qualitative data collected during annual site visits to each of the tribal grantees, including focus groups with program participants and interviews with program staff, local employers, program completers and non-completers, and other stakeholders. The tribal evaluation team also used program operations data collected through the HPOG Participant Accomplishment and Grantee Evaluation System (PAGES) and other program documentation.


Dougherty, M., Hafford, C., Fromknecht, C., Holden, C., and Maitra, P. (2021). Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Tribal HPOG 2.0 Grantees’ Program Adaptations. OPRE Report #2021-146, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


American Indian/Alaska Native
Health Profession Opportunity Grants
Cankdeska Cikana Community College
Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.
Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board
Turtle Mountain Community College
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe