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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
December 14, 2017
2018 Alaska Health Summit Registration Now Open!
Registration is now open for the Alaska Health Summit, taking place January 16-18, 2018 at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. Register online or fax/email the registration form. Early bird discounts end December 15 (discounts are available on the registration form). If you require a room, reserve it online or call 800-843-1950 / 907-276-6000 by December 15 to receive the conference rate ($99 + taxes/fees). Please tell them you are with the Health Summit with Group Code: ALPHA18.
For more information, visit the Alaska Health Summit web site:
Unit Updates
School of Nursing - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
RRANN Nursing Camp Held in Bethel
The Recruitment and Retention of Alaska Natives into Nursing (RRANN) program held a nursing camp for high school students in Bethel December 2-3. For two days, 14 high school students from the Bethel area learned about the nursing profession and what it takes to obtain a degree in the field. The goal of the camp was to give participants the hands-on experience needed to se
e themselves as nurses and to provide the tools and guidance to get there. The high school students were led by their mentors, the eight amazing AAS Bethel nursing students in their second semester of nursing school. The mentors guided the participants through the practice of various hands-on nursing skills, like learning how to take vital signs, give injections, and practice assessment skills on a simulation mannequin. They also led discussions on academic preparedness, financial aid, and how to survive nursing school and college in general. The camp succeeded in providing a fun-filled weekend of learning and engagement, thanks to the Bethel nursing cohort and faculty member Rachelle White, Bethel RRANN student success facilitator Jessica Glore, and the RRANN staff. For more information about the RRANN nursing camp, visit
Photo by Joel Manalo. 
Bethel Radio Highlights RRANN Camp for High School Students
KYUK Public Media in Bethel aired a story on the Recruiting and Retaining Alaska Natives into Nursing (RRANN) camp held over the December 2-3 weekend in Bethel. The camp, led by UAA nursing students, teaches high school students about nursing professions and how they can enter these fields. Listen to the full story "How Do You Recruit More Young Alaska Native Nurses? Start By Giving Them A Stethoscope" (12/7/17):

Channel 2 News Interviews Marianne Murray on Growing Demand for Nurses
KTUU Channel 2 News wrote about the challenges of meeting the growing demand for nurses. In an interview with Marianne Murray, director for the UAA School of Nursing, she stated that over the next seven years the demand for nurses will continue to grow. "With our population getting older, we have a lot more need for sometimes high delivery of care." Read more in the article "UAA School of Nursing weighs in on nursing shortage" (11/30/17):
NRC For Alaska Native Elders - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Alaska Native Elder Abuse Training to Take Place February 5-6
The National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders will be holding a training on Alaska Native Elder Abuse for frontline workers who are in contact with Native Elders, including Community Health Aides, VPSOs, Ombudsman, APS Officers, caregivers, family members, or anyone involved in the well-being of Native Elders. The training will be led by Jacqueline Gray, PhD, Director of the National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative, University of North Dakota. Topics include legal/policy, financial abuse, healthcare, social services, and caregiving.
February 5 - 6, 2018, 9 am - 5 pm
BP Energy Center, 900 E. Benson Blvd., Anchorage, AK
A limited number of scholarships are available for participants from rural villages to assist with travel expenses. Breakfast and lunch are included. For more information or to register, visit: Download a flyer (pdf).
Alaska Center For Rural Health and
Health Workforce - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

IPE Grand Rounds on Opioid Use Disorders Brings Together Students, Staff, and Volunteers
On December 1, the UAA College of Health Interprofessional Education (IPE) Working Group presented the Fall 2017 IPE Grand Rounds Event focused on Opioid Use Disorders. Thirty-seven students from 11 disciplines attended, along with 14 staff and community volunteers who shared their expertise and resources, helping students increase their knowledge and understanding of interprofessional education by exploring a case study involving opioid use disorders.  
The IPE Working Group received excellent feedback from participants about their increased interest on the ideas, resources, and use of the information presented. One participant commented, "It provides those who might be skeptical of interdisciplinary teams the opportunity to learn first hand the overwhelming benefits to working side by side for the betterment of patient care and health."  The practical experience in Alaska's healthcare fields of staff and community volunteers added real and acknowledged value to this event. The COH IPE Working Group plans to hold Grand Round Events each semester. In addition, recordings will be archived for instructional use. For this recording, visit: If you are interested in helping to plan or facilitate a future session, please contact Gloria Burnett,
Department of Health Sciences - - - - - - - - - - - -

Nancy Nix Selected to Serve on Consortium of Universities for Global Health Subcommittee
Dr. Nancy Nix, a certified health education specialist (CHES) and individual member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), was recently selected through a competitive process to serve on their Educational Products Subcommittee. The CUGH focuses on strengthening institutional capabilities, building interdisciplinary collaborations, and sharing knowledge and expertise across education, research, and service to address global health challenges. For more information on CUGH, visit
MEDEX Holds Selection Conference for Class 10
On November 18, MEDEX Anchorage hosted its selection conference where 36 hopeful interviewees spent their day at the Health Sciences Building meeting potential classmates, interviewing, and learning what happens next. The potential student pool is from Alaska and beyond, and have a variety of medical backgrounds, making each class unique. The interviewers were as diverse as the students, including MEDEX faculty (from both Anchorage and Seattle), members of the College of Health, and providers from the community--all coming together with the goal of finding the next class of Physician Assistants.
The final selection conference will be held in January in Spokane, Washington, and will round out all four classes. MEDEX Anchorage has graduated over a hundred Physician Assistants, and the selection conference is where the admitting process begins. We are dedicated to making each PA proud to say he/she graduated from UW/UAA MEDEX Anchorage.
Justice Center - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
AJiC Releases Fact Sheet on Motor Vehicle Thefts
The most recent issue of the AJiC Fact Sheet "Motor Vehicle Theft Arrests Reported in Alaska, 1986-2015" presents data on motor vehicle theft arrests reported in Alaska from 1986 to 2016 as reported in the Alaska Department of Public Safety publication Crime in Alaska. Overall, the motor vehicle arrest rate consistently declined between 1990 - 2014. The motor vehicle arrest rate rebounded in 2015 and 2016. For more information, visit:

Prof. Payne Publishes Method for Identifying Dark-Time Crime Locations for Street Lighting
Prof. Troy Payne , Justice faculty, recently published an article in  Crime and Prevention and Community Safety with co-author Rustu Deryol that provides an empirical method for where to site street lights for the purpose of crime prevention. The authors used a statistical clustering method to examine and compare streets near the University of Cincinnati West Campus selected for lighting during early 2014. Findings revealed temporal patterns of crime within crime hot spots. To learn more about the findings, read the article "A method of identifying dark-time crime locations for street lighting purposes. Crime Prevention and Community Safety" (2017, advance online publication):
Prof. Brandeis Discusses Marijuana Policy at CLE
Professor Jason Brandeis,  Justice Center faculty, gave two presentations on ongoing marijuana law and policy issues at the continuing legal education (CLE) event Recreational Marijuana Law In Alaska on December 8.In his first presentation, "Federal Responses to Alaska Marijuana Law," he discussed constitutional preemption and the Controlled Substance Act, how federal agency policy decisions affect state marijuana markets, current federal marijuana enforcement priorities, and the impact of federal marijuana prohibition on state agencies receiving federal funding. His second presentation addressed the ethical issues that marijuana legalization poses for attorneys, covering marijuana and the Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct. For more information, visit:
Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program - - - -
The UAA/Creighton University OTD Students Participate in Two Service Projects
Students from the first and second year cohorts of the UAA/Creighton University Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program volunteered with "Thanksgiving Blessing" and assisted the Alaska Food Bank in distributing Thanksgiving meals to the Anchorage community.
Students also assembled and wrapped "Beanie Boxes" for an outreach project with Bean's Cafe. The Beanie Boxes contain personal hygiene items, snacks, gloves, hats, and hand/foot warmers for those individuals who experience homelessness.
School of Allied Health - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Heidi Mannion Retires after 20 Years
Heidi Mannion, program director of medical laboratory science, will be retiring at the end of the Spring 2018 semester after 20 years with the School of Allied Health. According to The Northern Light, Heidi will be "leaving behind a positive impact on her students, fellow faculty members and the medical laboratory technology program." Read more in the article "Medical laboratory science program director to retire after 20 years" (12/4/17): .
The School of Allied Health Gives Away Free Food for Finals Week!
During finals week, the School of Allied Health faculty and staff donated healthy snacks to students. It is no secret students tend to give up healthy habits while preparing for upcoming finals. Students appreciated the event, with several stating they hadn't had time to eat breakfast. Students were able to have a snack and relax before jumping into their next exam. An additional bonus was having students from different programs interacting. For instance, Surgical Technology students were eager to learn more from Dental Hygiene students. These two groups peppered each other with follow up questions as they practiced for their exams. The School of Allied Health plans to continue Food for Finals Week each semester and to continue providing opportunities for students to connect.
School of Social Work - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Food Security Work by Tracey Burk and Amanda Walch Highlighted in The Cordova Times
Tracey Burke, professor in the School of Social Work, and Amanda Walch, assistant professor in the School of Allied Health's Dietetics & Nutrition Program, have been collaborating to raise awareness on food insecurity in Anchorage. According to The Cordova Times, Dr. Burke "has collaborated with Food Bank of Alaska and its partners for more than ten years. While the heart of the partnership lies in a service-learning class, it also includes researching the impacts of food insecurity in Anchorage and across the state." Read more in the article "A career in community service: School of Social Work professor Tracey Burke tackles food security in Anchorage" (12/4/17):   .
Upcoming Events/Deadlines
  • December 17 - Fall Commencement
  • December 25-26 - Christmas Holiday
  • December 27-31 - Winter Holiday, campus closed
  • January 15 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
  • January 15 - Emeritus applications due to OAA
  • February 15 - UNAC workloads due to directors/chairs