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This Leadership Team Newsletter is published every two weeks by the Dean's Office in the College of Health at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

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The UAA College of Health advances the health and well being of people and communities
January 26, 2017
COH Curriculum Committee Meets Wednesdays  

For the Fall 2016 semester, the COH Curriculum Committee will meet Wednesdays, 3-4:30 pm. Submissions need to be in the CIM system ready for committee review by 9 am Monday the week prior. Contact Harriet Paule,, with questions and to co-ordinate pre-review of submissions prior to starting CIM workflow processing.
Unit Updates
WWAMI - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dr. Jordan Lewis Featured on the Cover of The Gerontologist
Jordan Lewis, PhD, Associate Professor in the Alaska WWAMI program is on this month's cover of The Gerontologist. Dr. Lewis is from Naknek (Aleut) and teaches theme material to the AK WWAMI Foundations Phase students. His research has centered on Alaska Native Elder's well being and aging, and general aspects of health disparities. View this issue (Special Issue: Aging--It's Personal, February 2017): 
Holly Martinson Featured in Cancer Research Catalyst Blog
Dr. Holly Martinson is an Assistant Professor in the WWAMI School of Medical Research. As a postdoctoral fellow at UAA, she is studying health disparities in the Alaska Native population. Holly's work was featured in the American Association for Cancer Research's Cancer Research Catalyst blog. Read about what shaped her path in cancer research, her current work in gastric cancer, and where she plans to go from here.
"Martinson's career path emphasizes her dedication to advance cancer science in her home state and she intends to fully harness her training to serve her local community. "My ultimate goal is to create a cancer center in Alaska," she says." (excerpt)
Read the full article "Taking a Local Approach to Cancer Research (12/21/16, Shannon Gallagher-Colombo): 
School of Nursing - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Nursing Alumna Jyll Green's Research on Vivitrol Featured in Green & Gold News

(Photo by Philip Hall / UAA)
Jyll Green is a family nurse practitioner and owns myHealth Clinic in Anchorage. She recently received her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at UAA and is researching the  use of Vivitrol on recently released prisoners. Vivitrol is used to help addicts get off of alcohol and opioids, like heroin. Simply put, Vivitrol is an opioid antagonist that binds to opioid receptors in the brain and prevents other opioids from entering, thus blocking cravings. The United States is currently in a heroin epidemic, and Alaska ranks in the top 10 for opioid use. According to Jyll, "For the most part, I don't meet addicts that want to be addicted. It's not a choice, it's a disease state. These are not bad people; these are good people with a bad disease who need an opportunity to be well." Read more in the UAA Green & Gold News article "UAA DNP alumna: 'Vivitrol's the path to an opioid-free gets you clean'" (Tracy Kalytiak, 1/18/17): 
Physical Therapist Assistant Program - - - - - -
Congratulations to the PTA Class of 2016
CONGRATULATIONS to our 2016 graduates of the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program! Many have already tested for licensure and many are already employed! Looking as young as the students, Dr. LeeAnne Carrothers is smiling in the back row (3rd from right). This class proved to be excited and excellent learners. We wish them the best in their new profession and look forward to keeping in touch and seeing them again at a PTA alumni event!

Occupational Therapy Program - - - - - - - - - - -
OT Program Going Strong!

Students in the Creighton University-UAA Occupational Therapy program continue to work hard. This 3.5 year program admits up to 12 students each fall. Upon completion, graduates receive an OTD (Occupational Therapy Doctorate) from Creighton University and are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination.
Students from Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 of the Occupational Therapy program.

Justice Center  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Payne Interviewed by Alaska Public Media about Homicides in Anchorage
Dr. Troy Payne was interviewed by Alaska Public Media about the number of homicides in Anchorage in 2016. While the increase in homicides is striking, he explained how this could just be a random fluctuation from year to year. As Dr. Payne explained, additional information will be needed to determine if this is an emerging trend and to understand the causes of these homicides. Read the article "34 homicides and no clear solution in Anchorage" (12/29/16, Zachariah Hughes):
Survey Shows 1 in 3 Women in Alaska Have Experienced Stalking
New results from the 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey for Alaska statewide were released on January 17, 2017. These new results show that 1 in 3 women in Alaska have experienced stalking in their lifetime, and 1 in 17 have experienced stalking in the past year. Stalking was particularly common among women who experienced intimate partner violence or sexual violence. Read more:  
Dr. Rivera Presents at 34th Annual Alaska Health Summit
Drs. Marny Rivera (Justice Center), Curtis Smith (Center for Human Development), and Grabrial Garcia and Travis Hedwig (Health Sciences) presented at the 34th Annual Alaska Health Summit. Together, they presented an assessment of current behavioral health concerns among Anchorage youth through the analysis of primary and secondary data sources. To read their report "Growing up Anchorage 2015: Anchorage Youth and Young Adult Behavioral Health and Wellness Assessment," visit:
(l-r) Dr. Travis Hedwig, Dr. Gabriel Garcia, Dr. Curtis Smith, and Dr. Marny Rivera 
Governor Cites Justice Center Research in State of the State Address
In his  State of the State Address , Governor Bill Walker highlighted violence in our communities and in our homes as a significant challenge to tackle. After summarizing key statistics from the Alaska Victimization Survey, Governor Walker renewed his commitment to reducing violence in our communities and in our homes. "While the rate is down from 59% in 2010," Governor Walker said, "it is still deplorable." Read the article "Facing Our Challenges, Working the Problem Together" (pdf):
Alumni Update: Casey Gilmore
Casey Gilmore, BA Legal Studies '16 and Pro Bono Service Honors, was accepted to Willamette University School of Law.
Alumni Update: Dominic Eubank
Dominic Eubank, BA Justice '16, is a recent graduate of the Anchorage Police Department Academy.
Interprofessional Health Sciences Simulation Center - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
COH Spring 2017 Interprofessional Simulation Kick off Events: Diabetes
The Interprofessional Simulation Committee (ISC) Spring Kick-off event on January 24th was a success. Guest speaker Amy Urbanus, RD, LD, CDE Diabetes Specialist, Providence Anchorage Medical Center shared her interprofessional experience with the health care industry of today.
The focus this spring is diabetes. During the spring semester, students f rom Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Psychology, Social Work, Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Ultrasound, and Pharmacy will be working together to create care for patients with diabetes. Everyone is  invited to participate in one or all of the events below:
  • January - March: Simulated Clinical Encounters as organized by individual faculty
  • April 5, 2017: Interprofessional Care Conference, LIB 307, 5:30 - 8:00
The ISC event coordinator welcomes faculty involvement. Students can get up to six clinical hours for participation in the events and will receive a certificate of participation for the Spring 2017 ISC diabetes events from the ISC committee.

Department of Health Sciences - - - - - - - - - - - -
DHS Staff Participate in the 34th Annual Health Summit
Department staff enjoyed a fun, productive, and informative ALPHA Health Summit. They also met with the American Public Health Association (APHA) president, Thomas Quad.
Dr. Philippe Amstislavski, Dr. Jenny Miller, Dr. Nancy Nix, Thomas Quade, and Dr. Gabriel Garcia
MPH Student Poster Wins 1st Place at Health Summit
Congratulations to Dr. Gabe Garcia's (Health Sciences) students Valeria Delgado-Lopez and Yesenia Camarena for winning first prize in the Alaska Health Summit 2017 student poster contest! Valeria presented their research on cigarette butt litter on the UAA campus. According to their research, more than 10,200 cigarette butts were picked up around the UAA main campus last year in a matter of three hours, translating to about 3,400 cigarette butts picked up per hour.
Valeria Delgado and Gabe Garcia
Dr. Amstislavski Interviewed on Hometown Alaska: Could Mushrooms Keep Your House's Air Healthy and Warm?
Dr. Philippe Amstislavski has been working in the lab for several years to test how mycelium--the nutrient-gathering underground network that produces mushrooms, the above-ground "fruit" we see--can become an insulating material for buildings, pipes, and roads. Dr Amstislavski gave an interview on his biomaterials research to Kathleen McCoy of Alaska Public Media. To listen to the interview visit the Hometown Alaska web page: It is also available on iTunes:
Center for Human Development - - - - - - - - - - -
Centering Disability in Public Health at the Alaska Health Summit 
CHD faculty and staff (in bold below) had a large presence at the 2017 Alaska Health Summit:
  • Plenary: "Finding One Path: Working Together for Community Well-Being" - Marcia Howell (Alaska Injury Prevention Center), Dr. Bridget Hanson (UAA Center for Behavioral Health Research & Services), Karen Heath, and Kris Pitts (Alaska CARES, Providence)
  • Concurrent Session: "Emerging Public Health Issues among Anchorage Youth" - Dr. Gabriel Garcia and Dr. Travis Hedwig (UAA Health Sciences), Dr. Marny Rivera (UAA Justice Center), and Dr. Curtis Smith
  • Concurrent Session: "Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO): Evidence-Based Telehealth" - Danielle Reed, Dr. Chris Piromalli (Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium), and Dr. Bruce Struminger (University of New Mexico, Health Sciences Center)
  • Concurrent Session: "Communication to Achieve Health Equity for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities" - Lizette Stiehr (Alaska Association on Developmental Disabilities), Jo-Ann Sullivan (Hope Community Resources), LynnAnn Tew, and Rain Van Den Berg
  • Poster: "Children with Disabilities and Their Families: Interdisciplinary Partnerships to Enhance Service Delivery in Rural and Remote Alaska" - Dr. Jenny Miller (CHD/LEND, UAA Health Sciences)
  • Poster: "Integrated Approach to Improving Healthcare for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities" - Melvin Nobles (SeaView Community Services), LynnAnn Tew, and Rain Van Den Berg
  • CHD Exhibitor Table: Rebekah Moras and Alexandra Olah
LynnAnn Tew (FitExplorers Coordinator) and Rain Van Den Berg (LEND Training Coordinator)

Rebekah Moras (Research & Evaluation) 
Upcoming Events/Deadlines
  • February 1 - Emeritus applications due to OAA
  • February 9 - Leadership team meeting
  • February 23 - Leadership team meeting
  • March 3 - UNAC workloads due to directors/chairs
  • March 9 - Leadership team meeting
  • March 15 - UAFT & UNAC sabbatical reports / faculty development and research travel grant applications due to OAA
  • March 23 - Leadership team meeting
  • April 3 - UNAC workloads due to Dean
  • April 13 - Leadership team meeting