Faculty & Staff Newsletter
October 29, 2018
Vice Provost of the University of Alaska (UA) Health Programs and UAA Dean of the College of Health Jeff Jessee on a panel discussing healthcare workforce needs at the State of Reform in Anchorage, Alaska.
(Photo courtesy of the State of Reform)
Dean's Message
Do or do not. There is no try. - Yoda

Happy October! I’d like to begin by thanking you for a fantastic start to the semester! I’m continually impressed by your dedication to our students and to each other. We have a strong team in the College of Health, and I am grateful for your hard work.

Our College’s mission is an extraordinary one. Collectively, we advance the health and well-being of people and communities with a vision of leading Alaska toward a healthier tomorrow. We achieve our mission and vision by training the future Alaska workforce, and through our research and the services we provide to our campuses and communities. It is clear our work is needed now more than ever.

Did you know that healthcare and healthcare-related employment in Alaska is projected to grow by 21% by 2026 according to the October issue of Alaska Economic Trends? Nurses.org predicts that Alaska will have the fifth largest nursing shortage in the nation by 2030, and by 2022, the need for social workers in Alaska will increase by 20%.

We all feel a sense of urgency to make sure Alaska has a strong healthcare workforce. We know we want to provide our students with a first-rate education, and we need to do so while we grow our College to meet market demand.

So, how are we positioning the College of Health to increase graduates across the College while maintaining current standards and programs?

  •  We are reorganizing programs, Units, and Divisions to enable program growth and improve the student experience.

  •  We are leveraging the statewide system to find areas of synergy and efficiency to expand our educational offerings to students throughout Alaska, no matter where they live.

  •  We are focused on fully supporting students from enrollment, to acceptance, to graduation by revamping the way we achieve Student Success.

  •  And, we are working with our faculty to evaluate workloads and service to promote the excellent scholarship that is achieved at this College.

It can seem challenging while we work to grow programs and enrollment. But, I remain excited about our present and our future!

Together, we are creating a stronger College of Health. We are providing our students with world-class opportunities, and we are improving healthcare for all Alaskans by educating a competent and caring workforce.

Thank you for all you are doing to help the College of Health and UA health programs be successful. The work you do every day is making a difference in the lives of our students and to our University. We have achieved so much together in the last 18 months, and I know the best is yet to come.
Congratulations to Gloria Burnett (pictured right) , winner of the Community Contribution Award at the Alaska Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE) Professional Development conference on October 23, 2018.

Burnett is the director of the Alaska Center for Rural Health & Health Workforce and the Alaska Area Health Education Centers (AHEC). She was honored for her longstanding commitment and impact to career and technical education, her efforts to strengthen school/workplace connections, and her work in the field outside of her professional duties.
Photo of Gloria Burnett, Alaska Center for Rural Health & Health Workforce (AHEC) Director
(left to right)The UAA School of Nursing's Dr. Angelia Trujillo, Alaska Public Media's Lori Townsend and the Alaska Justice Center's Dr. Brad Myrstol and Dr. Ingrid Johnson get ready for the Oct. 23rd episode of Talk of Alaska.
Three faculty members from the College of Health were on Talk of Alaska from Alaska Public Media on October 23, 2018. The School of Nursing's Dr. Angelia Trujillo , and the Alaska Justice Center's (AJiC) Dr. Brad Myrstol and Dr. Ingrid Johnson discussed the impacts of domestic violence and sexual assault on communities, public safety, and the healthcare system in the 49th State as part of Alaska Public Media's coverage of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Photo of the front page of the Ketchikan Daily News featuring UAA student nurses providing flu shots
Students Serena Jackson (top) and Danielle Galeon (bottom), both enrolled in the UAA Nursing program at the University of Alaska Southeast, (UAS) were recently featured in the Ketchikan Daily News.

The two were part of a cadre of students that provided flu shots to Ketchikan residents throughout the community.

(Subscription required)
UAA MLS students Dong Won Yu (left) and Rachel Sanders (right), along with principle investigator MLS/MLT faculty member Grace Leu-Burke, MSCLS MT (ASCP) at the ASCLS Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.
Congratulations to Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) department and faculty member Grace Leu Burke or producing quality research in clinical laboratory science, encouraging undergraduate student involvement. 
MLS students Dong Won Yu, and Rachel Sanders, along with principal investigator MLS/MLT faculty member Grace Leu-Burke, MSCLS MT (ASCP), presented a research poster at the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) Annual Meeting in Chicago from July 29 - August 2, 2018 titled “Risk of Environmental Exposure to Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Healthcare Programs.” Leu-Burke, Sanders and Yu’s, abstract was also selected for publication in the peer-reviewed periodical Clinical Laboratory Science.

Leu-Burke, who is the interim director for UAA's Medical Laboratory Science Department, also attended the American Society for Clinical Pathologists Annual Conference (ASCP) in Baltimore, Maryland, this October.

More than 300 research posters were presented at the international conference, including her outcome based project  “Hypoalbuminemia as an Emergency Department Triage Indicator for Hospital Admission.”

Leu-Burke’s research was selected along with eight other projects for the ASCP Oral Research Poster competition. Faculty from several pathology residency programs, including Cornell University and Houston’s MD Anderson Hospital, peppered the final competitors with relevant questions in a rapid response roundtable format.
Leu-Burke emerged from the competition victorious and was congratulated by ASCP President at the closing ceremony. Well done!

You can read the abstract to Leu-Burke's award-winning paper here !

This is a reminder for all employees to complete their required training:

  • Title IX Refresher TrainingAnnual refresher training is due between July 1 and October 1 annually. New employees will take the initial training at hire and then the refresher training between July 1 and October 1 (if the initial training was taken between July 1 and October 1, then refresher training will not need to be taken until the next year).

  • Safety Training: One-time training due by June 30, 2018 or upon return to work. New employees must complete this training within 60 days of employments.

  • lllness and Injury Prevention
  • Hazard Communication
  • Anti-Bullying in the Workplace

Employees are encouraged to check myUA to be sure that their completed courses are actually in "Complete" status. If a completed course is not labeled as "Complete", please contact mbaker1@alaska.edu.

Statewide HR asks that anyone who receives a message " You do not have permission to access the Onboarding Portal." contact them directly at  ua-hris-helpdesk to have the permission problem corrected .

NOTE: Statewide HR asks that you make sure you are using Chrome to complete your training courses in myUA as it is the most compatible with the software.

by Kathy Craft, Associate Dean of Planning & Development
College of Health restructuring includes the sharing of significant all-College services and functions including Student Success, communications, Faculty & Human Resources, and clinical simulation.

Dr. Kendra Sticka is our new Director of Student Success. Among her many deliverables, she is responsible for innovating our advising functions so that, as we grow, we can ensure our current students have the support they need to be successful, and our new students have easy pathways to follow into the College. Your assistance in improving our advising and pathways is integral to our overall success.

Betty Hernandez is our all-College Faculty & HR Specialist. She provides dedicated leadership, oversight, tracking and training for the College in the areas of faculty services and Human Resource services to achieve uniformity, efficiency, and increased quality.

Lisa Behrens is our Simulation Network Coordinator. Our clinical simulation goal is to create, resource, and sustain a statewide network of sites where healthcare students and practicing professionals have access to high-quality clinical simulation experiences and equipment. Ultimately, our joint efforts will improve patient outcomes and the health of Alaskans for generations.

Every school, division, or unit engaging in simulations should use Lisa as a resource to help leverage and organize trainings, as well provide guidance and assistance on the maintenance of equipment. If you have not reached out to Lisa yet to discuss your simulation efforts and strategy, please do so as soon as possible.

Robin Calvert and the team at the College of Health Grant Administration (formerly the Grant Hub) department provide guidance to faculty on securing external funding. Grant Administration offers access and training on Pivot and training on the entire awards life cycle. They provide proposal requirement evaluation, assessment and submission assistance. They do not, however, do grant writing. Each unit has negotiated their own agreement with Grant Administration. Please check with Robin or your Director for more information on your unit's agreement.

Shelly Wozniak was hired as our College of Health Communications Officer and is responsible for leveraging, coordinating and managing all College strategic communication objectives according to our annual plan. This includes all public relations, communication, marketing, and social media efforts. Shelly works very closely with Advancement and Recruitment. She also serves as the internal and external point-of-contact for all communications with the College, Divisions, and Units. She will be reaching out to appropriate Division and Unit staff to create a structure and team that best facilitates the achievement of our strategic communication goals.

As we move forward, we will continue to update you on changes happening in the College. Jeff, Andre, and I will also be visiting each Division staff meeting this semester to answer your questions in person as well. We are exploring additional ways to provide you with 24/7 access to important all-College information in the coming months.

Photo of Dr. Troy Payne and Dr. Araceli taken in the Consortium Library on the UAA campus.
Dr. Troy Payne and Dr. Araceli Valle from the UAA Alaska Justice Information Center
“It’s about evaluating the fairness and effectiveness of the tool, and making decision points in the criminal justice system more transparent and efficient.”

That’s how Dr. Troy Payne , Associate Director and Associate Professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Justice Information Center (AJiC) describes his most recent project with colleague and AJiC Associate Director Dr. Araceli Valle.

The data duo recently won a research award from the Alaska Department of Corrections (AK-DOC) to conduct a re-validation of the Pre-trial Enforcement Division's risk assessment tool, also known as Alaska 2-Scale, or AK-2S.

AK-2S was developed in response to an explosion in pre-trial detainment in Alaska. From 2005 through 2014, AK-DOC’s pretrial population nearly doubled, from 883 persons in 2005 to 1,692 in 2014. Fully one-third of AK-DOC’s institutional population was being detained before trial in 2014, with the remaining two-thirds serving time post-conviction.

According to AK-DOC, the purpose of pre-trial detention of individuals in Alaska has three pillars:

  • maximize community safety;
  • maximize court appearances,
  • and, maximize appropriate placement.

AK-2S provides a risk score for failure to appear and new criminal activity before the disposition of the case that the Pretrial Officer gives to the court. 

“AK-2S uses data regarding several factors to predict the statistical likelihood to be arrested for a new crime, or not show up to court," Payne said. "But it’s not applied mechanically, like a robot. The defendant’s risk score is provided to the judge or magistrate to help inform their decision regarding the defendant’s pre-trial detention.”

The tool uses only quantitative data associated with the pre-trial defendant. No interviews or qualitative data is included in devising an individual's score.

"The tool provides one data point, applied systematically, that is equal across the population," Valle said. "What we are doing in our research is evaluating the predictive effectiveness of the factors that are used in the AK-2S tool to calculate a defendant's risk score."

Valle and Payne will use data available from AK-DOC and other agencies in the criminal justice system to ensure that the current AK-2S scale is still useful across various populations.

"We should be able to see if an individual’s AK-2S score matches up with their outcome," Payne said. "We’re also going to evaluate if there are factors that didn’t work when the tool was created that may now be predictive because of changes in the law or because of the use of the AK- 2S itself. The tool was designed to change outcomes, and part of this is to see if it did."

Payne and Valle's current AK-2S project is another way that AJiC is working to solve integrated problems in Alaska's Justice System.

"Ultimately, our job is to help our public partners break down statewide information silos to provide better data that helps make communities safer, mitigates criminogenic risk, and creates efficiencies across the system," Payne said.

For more on AJiC and their current projects, check out www.uaa.alaska.edu/ajic.
PharmD welcomed three new faculty members this year - Professors Ratliff, Robinson, and Paul!
Photo of Angharad Ratliff, PharmD - Clinical Assistant Professor
Angharad Ratliff
PharmD - Clinical Assistant Professor
Renee Robinson
PharmD, MPH, MSPharm – Associate Professor
Amy Paul
PharmD - Clinical Assistant Professor
Grand Rounds Event - November 9
Encourage your students to participate in the Grand Rounds Event on Transgender Health, November 9th in Rasmuson Hall Room 316.

Earn recognition and experience with interprofessional education while enhancing your understanding of Transgender health.

Gain perspective and learn about the significance of interprofessional teams in the modern-day healthcare workforce.

For more information contact Gloria Burnett at gburnette3@alaska.edu

Do you have a story, photo, or award you want to see featured in the College of Health Newsletter? Email your ideas, articles and photos to the
College of Health | University of Alaska Anchorage | www.uaa.alaska.edu/collegeofhealth