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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
June 28, 2018
Unit Updates
Center for Human Development - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
Denakkanaaga Elders and Youth Conference Highlights Healing from Historical Trauma 
Sarah McConnell, LCSW, at the Center for Human Development, Alaska Training Cooperative (AKTC) participated in the 2018 Annual Denakkanaaga Elders and Youth Conference hosted by the community of Tanacross. Denakkanaaga, serving as the Elder Voice for the People of the Tanana Chiefs Conference region,
First Chief of Denakkanaaga, Luke Titus (Minto), and Second Chief, the Reverend Anna Frank (Fairbanks), share their wisdom at AKTC behavioral health trainings.
brought together delegates from most of their 42 villages with the theme "Native Traditions and Values - Our Foundation in Challenging Times." This year's gathering focused on historic trauma and healing from trauma, and the importance of Alaska Natives utilizing their cultural values and traditions as a path to healing.  
Conference activities revealed the significant benefits of Alaska Natives as behavioral health/human service providers, as well as the benefits of increased access to culturally appropriate services and supports (representing more than 10,000 years of evidence). Listening to the Elders taught powerful lessons. AKTC is grateful that many members of Denakkanaaga collaborate with AKTC as trainers and mentors, as well as share their reflections to help guide our work and planning. Alaska Native Elder activities with AKTC make it possible to fulfill our goal of "increasing availability of quality training that equips the home and community-based, and behavioral health workforce to provide culturally attuned services throughout Alaska..."
Singing of traditional Athabascan songs.
Physical Therapist Assistant Program - - - - - - -
PTA Students Support Special Olympics
Physical therapist assistant students volunteer annually for the Summer Special Olympics. This year, students helped on April 28 and June 9 by assisting participating athletes with various health screenings, including strength, flexibility, range of motion, and balance. Way to support our community!
PTA Students with Special Olympics staff.
Alaska Center For Rural Health and
Health Workforce - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Alaska AHEC Director Gloria Burnett Elected to National AHEC Organization Board of Directors
The National AHEC Organization (NAO) Board of Directors met on June 14, and the Program Directors Constituency Group nominated Alaska AHEC Program Director Gloria Burnett to fill a pending vacancy. The Governance Committee offered this recommendation to the Board and Gloria was elected. She is currently the Program Director for the Alaska AHEC Program and has been actively participating as a member of the Program Director Constituency Group for over three years. "I find great value in the collaborative nature of the AHEC network," Gloria said. "The work of these groups is essential for transparent and mission-driven leadership of the NAP Board of Directors. As a former Center Director myself, I understand the importance of seamless collaboration and open communication between Program Office and Center staff. I am committed to bringing this same multifaceted viewpoint to NAO leadership." Congratulations Gloria!
School of Nursing - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Innovation in Teaching Community Health Content for SON 3rd Trimester Students


A panel of experts from the community of Alaska was developed to expose nursing students to the multitude of roles nurses conduct in the community and to strengthen relationships for community clinical placement. It has been a growing and unique opportunity for the UAA Nursing students to hear from the experts how everyone is important to keep the public safe, well, and productive. Community nurse experts, such as correctional, school, and home care nurses, have exceeded Dr. Burdette-Taylo'sr expectations through their generosity of time, expertise, and willingness to share words of wisdom from years of experience. 


Some of the reverberating messages were:


  1. Be sound in your science
  2. Be LOUD
  3. Collaborate
  4. USE YOUR VOICE - Know your voice
  5. Be Respectful
  6. Non-judgmental 
  7. Compassionate 
  8. Do not be afraid to boldly GO
  9. Identify and use resources
  10. Understand how valuable you are as a nurse in the community 

  FBX Panel with Assistant Professors Camasi and Rud.

RRANN Teen Nursing Camp Featured in Green & Gold
On June 13, the Green & Gold featured the Recruiting and Retention of Alaska Natives into Nursing (RRANN) Nursing Camp in the article "Want to learn how to be a nurse? There's a summer camp for that." Fifteen teens from around the state participated in this 3-day camp, exploring the many career options in nursing and health care. "The focus of the camp is to teach students basic nursing skills from hand hygiene and standards of care to more complicated tasks like injections, where students practice administering shots on fat pads, as well as basic first aid." Read more in the Green & Gold article:
Department of Health Sciences - - - - - - - - - - - -
Philippe Amstislavski to Present in Denmark on Biomaterials and Climate Change
Dr. Philippe Amstislavski will present findings of his current research on biomaterials and the effects of climate change at the 17th International Congress on Circumpolar Health (ICCH17) in Copenhagen, Denmark, August 12-15. Dr. Amstislavski also serves as the Vice President for Science of the American Society for Circumpolar Health. He will represent the American Society for Circumpolar Health and UAA at the board meetings of the International Union of Circumpolar Health during the ICCH17The International Union for Circumpolar Health ( is a unique international health research and advocacy organization that addresses the well-being of the Northern peoples of the circumpolar regions. 
Justice Center - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2017 Campus Climate Survey Results
Results from a survey of undergraduate degree-seeking students at the University of Alaska released in May show that an estimated 9% of students experienced sexual misconduct, and an estimated 12% experienced stalking or harassment. The University of Alaska Title IX Office survey, administered and analyzed by the Justice Center, was sent to 10,000 students and had 710 respondents. Justice Center Director Brad Myrstol, author of the  report, told the Northern Light that, "[T]o the extent that surveys are done in the future, it provides a framework by which the university can monitor its progress and success over time." Read more in the Northern Light:
Pretrial Risk Assessment Update
A five-month snapshot shows that, since January, Alaska's new Pretrial Enforcement Division (PED) has provided courts with 7,436 pretrial risk assessments based on a new tool that calculates whether a defendant is at low, moderate, or high risk for failure to appear at trial or to commit another crime if released. The January 2018 Alaska Justice Forum reported on the development of the tool and discussed its implementation with Pretrial Enforcement Division Director Geri Fox. The tool, along with supervision provided by PED, is designed to ensure that we understand the risk level of people held in jail, and that low risk defendants are not held in jail, according to Fox.
Upcoming Events/Deadlines
  • June 28 - Grades due for first 5-week session
  • July 4-5 - Independence Day Holiday
  • August 8 - Grades due for 10-week session and second 5-week session
  • September 3 - Labor Day Holiday