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The College of Health Newsletter is published every two weeks by the UAA COH Dean's Office.

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Mission Statement ~ ~ ~
Advancing the health and well-being of people and communities
April 19, 2018
COH News
COH Hosts ASHNHA Meeting
For the first time, the COH hosted an Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association (ASHNHA) meeting. On April 13, over 40 nurse leaders and hospital administrators gathered to discuss the future of healthcare in Alaska. Dean Jessee gave a passionate speech about the necessity of the COH and our Industry partners to work together for a healthy Alaska. Representatives from WWAMI, Social Work, Allied Health, Nursing, and AHEC presented to the group to highlight their programs. Graduating nursing students Hollis Hamilton and Macrina Erickson, along with their faculty Dr. Angelia Trujillo, provided an upbeat and educational presentation "Pause for Menopause."

Unit Updates
National Resource Center for Alaska Native
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NRC's First Positive Outcomes for Alaska Native Elders Training a Success
The National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders held their first Positive Outcomes for Alaska Native Elders training on Elder Abuse and Justice April 9-10 in the Gorsuch Commons. This training provided participants with 11 presentations on the identification and prevention of elder abuse and elder justice. Fifty individuals attended each day, including Community Health Aides, the State Ombudsman, Adult Protective Services, caregivers, family members, Elders, and a tribal judge. In addition, the Acliquq Dancers shared their love of Yup'ik dance, demonstrating the importance of culture in health and well-being, as well as honoring Elders and the wisdom and knowledge they possess. 
Participants offered the following feedback for the training:  
  • "All of the training was relevant to my professional career"
  • "It was terrific"
  • "There was more about what you can do and can help with versus what you cannot do or cannot help with"
  • "The organization was outstanding, location was great, organizers were very accommodating and gracious"
  • "The impact of educating through stories was very meaningful and set it apart from other trainings I have attended--the presenters, Elders, and even the dancers provided this other form of learning"
  • "This was incredibly informative, I can't wait to attend again"
  • "Please make this an annual event"
Participants also suggested the following future training: culture in long term care, generational trauma, and Alzheimer's disease.

School of Allied Health - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Lynda Hernandez Named ACT State Winner for Postsecondary Professionals
Congratulations to Lynda Hernandez, the Alaska state American College Testing (ACT) College and Career Readiness Champion in the category of Postsecondary Professionals. Lynda is the Student Success Coordinator and Academic Adviser for the School of Allied Health, and currently advises 900+ students, faculty, and staff. A true asset to the team, she excels at helping students set their professional and educational goals, and provides them with the tools to learn and grow. Lynda is the perfect ACT award recipient.
ACT is a non-profit organization whose mission is to "help people achieve education and workplace success." The ACT College and Career Readiness Champions are "individuals across the country who support ACT's mission of education and workplace success." For more information, visit:

Department of Health, Physical Education & Recreation - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
UAA Employee Wellness Has Returned with a Full-Time Coordinator!
Not only has the Employee Wellness program returned, but a full-time Employee Wellness Practicum Coordinator has been hired to make the program better than ever. Kyra McKay, a graduate of the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) program, has been involved in the Wellness Program since HPER initiated a pilot test in Fall 2015. As the Coordinator, Kyra wants to "give back to the employees of UAA, change lives, and crush the negative stereotypes about pursuing a healthy lifestyle." Read more about Kyra and the Employee Wellness Program in the UAA Green & Gold (4/12/18):
HPER Student Bryan Murphy Helps Disabled Vets through Hockey
KTUU Channel 2 News recently highlighted Alaska Warriors, a hockey team made up of disabled veterans. HPER student Bryan Murphy helped co-found the hockey team in September 2017 with a grant from USA Hockey. The hockey team has given back by providing disabled veterans with support, fun, and camaraderie. This semester, Bryan will complete a BS in Physical Education and a minor in Psychology, Nutrition, and Athletic Training. According to Jean Marcey, Assistant Professor at HPER, "Bryan's a great student, hardworking, a leader, and a real asset to our program. We are proud of his accomplishments in and out of the classroom." Watch the video segment "Alaska Warriors helping disabled veterans through hockey" (4/8/18) online:
Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies - - - - -
Micah Hahn Receives CCEL Grant, Seeks Intern
Dr. Micah Hahn, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health, received a Resilient Communities grant from the Center for Community Engagement and Learning (CCEL) to continue the development of the Municipality of Anchorage Climate Action Plan. Dr. Hahn, along with three other faculty who received CCEL grants, is looking for a student intern. Descriptions of these positions can be found at:
Panel Addresses Infant and Maternal Health Amid Opioid Epidemic
Dr. Amanda Slaunwhite from the Center for Alcohol and Addictions Studies organized a panel on "Supporting Infant and Maternal Health in the Context of Alaska's Opioid Epidemic" at the 2018 Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Institute. Presenters from Alaska Regional Hospital, the Office of Children's Services, Alaska Native Medical Center, and the Department of Health and Social Services led a discussion on topics related to screening for substance abuse, treating infants with in-utero opioid exposure, and the impact of the opioid crisis on the foster care system.

WWAMI - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
WWAMI Students Share Their Experience at the Annual Alaska PreMed Summit
This year's 13th Annual Alaska PreMed Summit was another big hit within the health career-seeking population of Alaska. One of best parts each year is the involvement of current WWAMI students, many of whom attended the PreMed Summit as a participant themselves. WWAMI students participated across three breakout sessions, each geared toward either high school students, current college students, or non-traditional students. Eager to share their own experience with other future medical professionals, many of the WWAMI students also volunteered their time as mock interviewers and tour guides throughout the WWAMI facilities and the anatomy and simulation labs. Each year, the PreMed Summit is a refreshing reminder of how dedicated students are to the overall health of Alaskan communities as they actively encourage others to pursue their same path.

Alaska Center For Rural Health and
Health Workforce - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Juneau Empire Features Southeast AHEC
In the article "New program gives students access to medical fields" (4/13/18), the Juneau Empire featured a program of the Southeast Alaska Area Health Education Center (AHEC) that brought 15 students to Juneau from Metlakatla, Yakutat, and Skagway. Throughout the week, these students had the rare opportunity to explore the wide variety of careers in health care. According to The Empire, "The program allows students from these areas, who do not have direct access to many different health care facilities to explore the options they have going forward." Read the full article at:

Interprofessional Health Sciences Simulation Center - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Interprofessional Simulation Committee Hosts Interprofessional Care Conference
On April 4, the College of Health Interprofessional Simulation Committee hosted an Interprofessional Care Conference in the Consortium Library, primarily facilitated by Tom Wadsworth, PharmD, Professor of Pharmacy. Prior to the Care Conference, students from Pharmacy, Nursing, Medical Sonography, Social Work, Psychology, and Physician Assistant completed simulations centered around fictional client/patient cases involving problematic opioid use. Over 70 students attended the conference and collaborated within interprofessional teams to share about how their discipline approached the patients' medical and substance use issues in order to better understand roles, responsibilities, and the value of interprofessional team members. The majority of students who attended noted that collaboration with other disciplines will assist in providing better patient/client care. In addition, Coleman Cutchins, PharmD, BCPS presented about the opioid epidemic in America. Thank you to everyone who took part in this opportunity, and to the College of Health for generously supporting this event!
School of Nursing - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
School of Nursing Faculty and Students Present at WIN Conference 
Between April 11-14, over eight faculty and students from the School of Nursing presented at the Western Institute of Nursing Conference in Spokane, Washington. The topics included:
  • Dr. Maureen O'Malley, Associate Director of SON - "Partnership with Community Foundations; Funding Specialty Courses"
  • Dr. Tom Hendrix, Associate Professor - "Do DEU [Dedicated Education Units] Critical Thinking Improvements Persist Over Time?"
  • Annette Rearden (presented Dr. Marianne Murray's research) - "The Impact on Collaboration of Health Students Using a Communication Simulation"
  • Arylis Scates (recent BS nursing graduate) - "The Mat Su Valley 411 Community Assessment"
  • Nicole Marnell, SON Adjunct Faculty - "Innovative Leadership Development in a Baccalaureate Capstone Course"
  • Rachelle White, Annette Rearden, Joel Manalo, Angela Wilbanks, Candice McKinnon, Charmae Chavez, Grace Yoon, Laura Ellsworth, Melody Hoffman, Nicolette Corbett, and Zhi Hastie - "Nursaugergut Ayagniutiit; People Learning to Be Future Nurses: A Camp for Rural Alaskans"
  • Lynn Sennette, Associate Professor - "Development of the Assessment of Peer Support in Debriefing Scale (APSDS): First Steps"
(l-r) Annette Rearden, Rochelle White, and Melody Hoffman
Melody Hoffman Receives Ann M. Voda Conference Award
Bethel Nursing student Melody Hoffman is the recipient of the Ann M. Voda Conference Award/Western Institute of Nursing (WIN). The award was established in 2009, and Melody is the first student from the University of Alaska to win! This award was established by Dr. Ann M. Voda, PhD, RN, Professor Emeritus, University of Utah College of Nursing and WIN Emeritus. Dr. Voda established the award as an incentive to encourage Native American students to "participate with the WIN community of scholars." The award provides "monetary conference support to an American Indian/Alaska Native/First Nation nursing student or nurse clinician attending the 2018 WIN Communicating Nursing Research Conference." For more information, visit: .
Shelly Burdette Taylor Accepted into ANPD Leadership Academy
Dr. Shelly Burdette Taylor was accepted into the Nursing Professional Development (ANPD) Leader ship Academy, a "12-month mentored program based on the content of Leadership in Nursing Professional Development: An Organizational and System Focus (Smith & Harper, 2016). The purpose of the Academy is to prepare NPD practitioners to assume leadership of an NPD department in a variety of settings." For more information, visit: .
Stacy Newbern Receives Excellence in Presentation Award
(l-r) Committee Chair Dr. Burdette Taylor with Stacy Newbern 
Family Nurse Practitioner Student Stacy Newbern received the Excellence in Presentation Award from the Student Showcase Academic Conference on April 6 at UAA. She presented on the results from her integrative review focusing on an Evaluation of Neuropathic Pain with Peripheral Vascular Disease.
Cindy Booher Becomes Certified in Nursing Education
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Cindy Booher recently achieved certification in Nursing education. Congratulations Cindy! The mission of the Academic Nurse Educator Certification Program is to promote excellence in the advanced specialty role of the academic nurse educator.

Justice Center - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
CDVSA Highlights Productive Partnership with Justice Center
The  Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault  (CDVSA) highlighted its "productive and collaborative" relations hip with the UAA Justice Center in its 2017 Annual Report  released this week. According to the annual report, the Justice Center , which began collaborating with CDVSA in 2010, is providing critically important insight and valuable understanding of the scope of domestic violence and sexual assault through its work on the  2010 and 2015 Alaska Victimization Surveys (AVS)  and a Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs survey. The Justice Center continues to collaborate with CDVSA with the joint release of results from the  2014-2015 AVS for Aleutian/Pribilof Island region released on March 13, 2018. For more information, visit: .
Justice Center is Temporarily Relocating for Summer 2018

The Justice Center will be temporarily relocating over Summer 2018 due to renovations at the UAA/APU Consortium Library. We will be open as usual (8 am - 5 pm) through the summer session at University Center, 130.   

Sharon Chamard Article Referenced in New York Times Story on Car Theft
A recent article in the  New York Times about high rates of car theft and growing property crime in Alaska referenced an article by Sharon Chamard, Justice faculty, regarding gun ownership in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough. In "Car Stolen in Alaska? It Could Be Your Neighbor Chasing the Thief," author Kirk Johnson discusses the rise of civilian crime fighters in Anchorage responding to car thefts. Johnson refers to Chamard's article that reports surveys showing firearm ownership in Mat-Su Borough among adult heads of household at 71.4% and in Anchorage at 52.6% to support the "assumption that most Alaskans are armed" and posits that this "may be keeping crime from getting worse." However, Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll countered that, while there are good intentions behind citizen involvement, "it's really dangerous." He said citizens should be an active voice for public safety, "But when crime actually happens let us deal with it."
Sexual Assault Kit Initiative: Alaska Making Progress
The Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) received Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grants in 2016 and 2017 to address SAKs collected by Alaska State Troopers. A portion of the grant money will go to the UAA Justice Center for research to support the SAKI. Justice Center Director Brad Myrstol is also on the Alaska SAKI Working Group. Since DPS began work, the Alaska State Legislature passed SB55, a bill requiring a statewide SAK inventory, to address untested kits statewide and prevent a future backlog. For more information, visit:
Brad Myrstol Report Shows High Referral Rate for VPSO-Assisted Sexual Assault Cases
According to a new study, the likelihood that a sexual assault or sexual assault of a minor case will be accepted for prosecution in western Alaska is enhanced when VPSOs are first responders. A study by Justice Center Director Brad Myrstol examines the impact of VPSO involvement in sexual assault and sexual assault of a minor cases at two decision points in the progress of a case toward prosecution. For more information, and to read about this study, visit:
Students Inducted into National Criminal Justice Honor Society
On April 3, Prof. Ryan Fortson , Justice faculty, presided over the induction of students into  Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society. Congratulations to the ten new members (listed below).

(l-r) Alexis Williams, Justice major; Jennifer Menjivar, Legal Studies major; Mackenzie Gilpin, Legal Studies major); Laura Eagle, Legal Studies major; Liza Then, Legal Studies major); Bethany Jenner, Legal Studies major; Dr. Ryan Fortson; Kara Stewart, Legal Studies major; Benjamin Schmidt, Justice major; Sevy Sheppard, Justice major; and Luke Simonson, Justice major. 
Upcoming Events/Deadlines
  • May 1 - UNAC workloads due to faculty
  • May 6 - Spring Commencement
  • May 12 - UAFT & UNAC notification from faculty planning to stand for P&T, list of external reviewers due to dean by 5 pm
  • May 21 - Summer 2018: First 5-wk session, first day of classes
  • May 28 - Memorial Day Holiday
  • June 27 - Summer 2018: Second 5-wk session, first day of classes
  • June 28 - Grades due for first 5-week session