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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
January 25, 2018
February Staff Recognition Award Deadline February 2
Do you know someone who goes above and beyond and brings their "best" everyday? The Staff Council is accepting nominations for the February Staff Recognition Award. The deadline is February 2. It is important to acknowledge and recognize our staff members who go above and beyond what is expected of them. For more information, and to submit a nomination, visit:
Unit Updates
Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program - - - -
OTD Students Participate in Special Olympics Polar Plunge
First year students from the UAA-Creighton Occupational Therapy Doctorate program participate in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge, "Freezin for a Reason." Besides raising money for a worthy cause, students were able to showcase the program for a larger statewide community. The students enjoyed a brief conversation with Senator Murkowski and were excited to share more about occupational therapy and the UAA/CU OTD program.
UAA-Creighton OTD program students with Senator Murkowski.
Medical Laboratory Science Program - - - - - - -
MLS Department Provides Interdepartmental Laboratory Experience
During the UAA Winter Break, Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) Department faculty and volunteering MLS students provided the School of Nursing Advance Practitioner program two comprehensive workshops revolving around laboratory medicine. 
  1. On January 8, David Pierce, Angela Craft, MLS, and nurse practitioner students collaborated on clinical case studies in anemia, thyroid disorders, and glucose monitoring. Clinical diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes were evaluated based on laboratory test interpretation and potential interference.
  2. On January 10, Grace Leu Burke and a team of MLS students provided a three-hour hands-on microscopy laboratory experience. They covered topics on Provider Performed Microscopy, including Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) and patient laboratory testing in urinalysis, parasitic identification, and pelvic wet mounts. MLS students provided laboratory expertise as they taught essential skills to their assigned nurse practitioner student.
By conducting these two workshops, the MLS Department established a platform for interdepartmental collaboration between the MLS and UAA Nurse Practitioner students resulting in improved health care communication.
By Grace Leu Burke.
Department of Health Sciences - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dr. Rhonda Johnson Named New ALPHA President
At the Alaska Health Summit last week, Professor of Public Health Rhonda M. Johnson was named incoming President of the Alaska Public Health Association (ALPHA). She participated in a fun "passing of the gavel" from past President Mary McEwen.
Congratulations Fall 2017 MPH Grads!
Congratulations to the following Master of Public Health (MPH) graduates who earned their degree at the end of the Fall semester: Sarah Stevens, Tammy Choromanski, and Stephanie Holmquist. We are proud of these individuals and know they will have great success in their futures.
(l-r) Sarah Stevens, Tammy Choromanski, and Stephanie Holmquist
Dr. Hedwig and Dr. Trawver Present in Washington, DC on Food and Housing Insecurity
On January 12, faculty members Travis Hedwig, Health Sciences, and Kathi Trawver, Social Work, presented research on food and housing insecurity among UAA students at the Society for Social Work and Research conference in Washington DC. The paper was accepted as part of a symposium titled "Unequal Opportunity: Homelessness in Emerging Adulthood."
Dr. Garcia and Dr. Hedwig Present at Alaska Health Summit
At the 35th annual Alaska Health Summit last week, Dr. Gabriel Garcia, Associate Professor of Public Health, gave two poster presentations on Asian and Pacific Islander health and on tobacco-free efforts at college campuses. In addition, Dr. Garcia and Dr. Travis Hedwig, Health Sciences, presented research on "Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Bullying among Anchorage Youth."  
Health Sciences Student Presents Poster at Alaska Health Summit
Dr. Lisa Schwarzburg's student Scott Nah (BS in Health Sciences in Pre-Professional Track with PT concentration) entered his poster in the Alaska Health Summit student poster contest. Scott's poster focused on the "Run for your Life" Exercise Program.

Department of Health, Physical Education &  
Recreation - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Don't Miss the PLAAY Day 2018, February 22
The theme for the 2018 PLAAY (Positive Leadership for Active Alaska Youth) Day is the Winter Olympics. PLAAY Day will not only be livestreamed to locations in Alaska, but also to a school in Ohio. HPER is front and center in this effort with the following three student leaders: Sierra Mains, Stuart Towarak, and Paul Manabat. The first PLAAY Day was held last year with 30 minutes of synchronized exercise for K-8th grade youths. It was livestreamed to communities all across Alaska with 10,000 students participating in over 140 locations. The staff and faculty of HPER are proud of their students excelling in this important endeavor to encourage youth to be active and healthy. Check out the PLAAY Day 2018 video, featuring HPER student Stuart Towarak: For more information about PLAAY Day, and to register, visit:
PLAAY Summit to Take Place February 23-24
The 3rd Annual PLAAY Summit will be held February 23-24 at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in Anchorage. The conference has proven to be a great resource for teachers, coaches, nurses, and anyone else working with active youth. The Summit provides continuing education credits and a $50 discount to school district employees, as well as $50 for university students. Continuing nursing education (CNE) certification is also available. If you don't live in Anchorage, we provide affordable rates and quality technical services for remote groups wishing to participate via remote conferencing. For more information, and to register, visit:
School of Nursing - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Students to Present on Health Topics, February 10
School of Nursing students will present on menopause awareness and opioid awareness February 10, 10-11:30 am in the Health Science Building. Refreshments will be provided.
RRANN Program Featured in Book on Indigenous Programs
The Recruitment and Retention of Alaska Natives into Nursing (RRANN) program under the School of Nursing is featured in an upcoming book about Indigenous peoples' access to higher education. The book, Beyond Access: Indigenizing Programs for Native American Student Success, dedicates an entire chapter to the RRANN program. "This book argues that two principal factors are inhibiting Native students from transitioning from school to college and from succeeding in their post-secondary studies. It presents models and examples of pathways to success that align with Native American students' aspirations and cultural values." Read more: .
Alaska Center for Rural Health and
Health Workforce - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

AHEC Scholars Program Pilot to Launch July 2018
Over the last few months, Alaska AHEC has been planning the AHEC Scholars program, which will provide healthcare students with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience rural healthcare. The program includes 40 hours/year of didactic training outside their academic program and 40 hours/year of field experience (which could be part of their program of study). We anticipate launching the pilot cohort in July 2018 alongside the established Rural Immersion Institute of the North program.
Healthcare providers across the nation have had to adapt to changes in practice and the increasing diversity of patient populations. It is clear students benefit from learning outside the classroom, and the AHEC Scholars program aims to provide them with first-hand experience in a professional rural or underserved setting. The pilot cohort will spend three weeks completing a community needs assessment by meeting with healthcare professionals, touring facilities, and working side-by-side with practitioners in rural communities across the state. We hope the students will be able to return to the same communities next year to follow up on their projects. Students will share the outcomes of their work in a public presentation at the end of the three-week period. Download the Alaska AHEC Scholars brochure (pdf). 
Center for Human Development - - - - - - - - - - -
Dr. Miller and Dr. Ward Present Poster at Alaska Health Summit
Dr. Jenny Miller, Chair of the Department of Health Sciences, along with Karen Ward, Center for Human Development, presented a poster titled "Strengthening Diversity in the Alaska LEND Program: Engaging Faculty from Rural Alaska" at the Alaska Health Summit last week .
Justice Center - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Pre-trial Division Director Explains New Risk Assessment Tool
On January 1, Alaska courts began using a pre-trial risk assessment tool to assist in bail decisions. The goal is to improve public safety by reducing the number of defendants who fail to appear for trial or commit a new crime while out on bail. Geri Fox, Director of the Alaska Department of Corrections' Pretrial Enforcement Division, spoke with Alaska Justice Forum Editor Pamela Cravez about the advantages and limitations of Alaska's new pretrial risk assessment tool. For more information, and to watch the video, visit:
Geri Fox and Pamela Cravez.
AJiC Fact Sheet Reports Value of Stolen Property, 1985-2016
The January 2018  Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) Fact Sheet  presents data on the value of stolen property reported in Alaska from 1985 to 2016 (as reported in the Department of Public Safety publication Crime in Alaska). Overall, the 31-year trend in total value of stolen property in Alaska was relatively steady between 2008-2013. An increase from 2014 to 2016 can mainly be attributed to increases in the aggregate values of stolen motor vehicles and miscellaneous items. For more details, visit: The Fact Sheet is by Random Reamey, Research Professional, Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC).
Eight-Year Recidivism Study Offers Greater Understanding
Araceli Valle , research professional with the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) at the UAA Justice Center, writes about a new eight-year recidivism study in the Winter 2018 Alaska Justice Forum. As part of its Alaska Results First analysis, AJiC followed offenders for eight years after they had been released from an Alaska Department of Corrections facility, expanding our understanding of recidivism patterns for a large group of offenders well beyond any prior study.
Ben Ervin Joins AJiC as Research Professional
Ben Ervin , BA Political Science and Communication, has joined the  Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) in UAA's Justice Center as a research professional. Ervin received the Kenneth Olenik Social Science Award at Aurora University in Chicago, where he graduated in 2017. A Colorado native, Ervin also received his Wilderness First Responder certification in 2017. When he isn't working on AJiC projects, he plans to be outdoors skiing, backpacking, climbing, and working on trail crews.
Winter 2018 Alaska Justice Forum Looks at Evidence-Based Practices  
The 2018 Winter edition of the Alaska Justice Forum looks at evidence-based practices in Alaska's criminal justice system, including the development of a new pretrial risk assessment tool and benefit-to-cost analysis of adult criminal justice programs.The benefit cost analysis is part of the Alaska Justice Information Center's (AJiC) Alaska Results First Analysis. Alaska Results First has yielded wide ranging information about Alaska's evidence-based programs, as well as a ground-breaking eight-year recidivism rate study. Also in this edition is the most recent AJiC Fact Sheet presenting data on motor vehicle theft arrests reported in Alaska from 1986 to 2016. For more information, and to download the AJF, visit:
Center for Community Engagement and
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Next Think Tank, February 8: Language and Culture Appreciation and Preservation
The next Think Tank will take place February 8, 1-2:15 pm. This Think Tank is co-hosted by Early Education and will focus on language and culture appreciation and preservation with Cook Inlet Native Head Start and others. The March 8 Think Tank is targeted to address an environmental question with Anchorage Parks & Recreation (co-hosted with ENVI and Justice), and April 12 will be with Welcoming Anchorage (co-hosted with English Department). Pizza is provided for these lively discussions that are open to students, faculty, staff, and community members.
Selkregg Community Engagement & Service Learning Award Applications Due March 2
CCEL is soliciting proposals for the 2018 Selkregg Community Engagement & Service Learning Award of $5,000. The deadline is March 2. Applications and guidelines are available on the CCEL website and will be sent via faculty list-serv.
Faculty Mini-Grants Awarded to Nancy Nix and Kathi Trawver
Faculty mini-grants were awarded for spring to the following COH faculty: Nancy Nix, Health Sciences, "Use of E-Portfolios as an Approach to Share and Preserve Cultural Knowledge and Practices" and Kathi Trawver, Social Work, "Evaluation of Mentoring of New Office of Children's Services Line Workers."
CESAs Awarded Scholarships to Support Faculty
Thirty-seven Community Engaged Student Assistants (CESAs) were awarded scholarships to support the following COH faculty in their community engaged courses or projects: Tracey Burke, Mary Dallas Allen, Vanessa Meade, and Donna Aguiniga (Social Work); Jordan Lewis (WWAMI); and Micah Hahn and Travis Hedwig (Health Sciences).
Second Bridge Scholarship Applications Deadline February 2
Applications for the Second Bridge Scholarship are due February 2 . This scholarship is designed to support students and a community partner in developing an experience that pushes the edges of the student's growth and development. Encourage a student to work with you or to venture out on his/her own! For more information, and to apply, visit: 
Upcoming Events/Deadlines
  • March 1 - UNAC workloads due to directors/chairs
  • March 5 - Faculty Development and Research Travel Grant applications due to OAA
  • March 12-17 - Spring Break
  • March 15 - Sabbatical reports due to OAA / UAFT workloads due to administrator
  • March 16 - Spring Break Holiday
  • April 2 - UNAC workloads due to dean
  • May 1 - UNAC workloads due to faculty
  • May 6 - Spring Commencement