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This College of Health 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
October 5, 2017
COH Leadership Attend ASHNHA Conference
On September 24-26, the following COH leadership attended the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association (ASHNHA) Conference in Girdwood: Jeff Jessee, Vice Provost; Kathy Craft, Interim Associate Dean of Planning; Jane Shelby, Director of the WWAMMI program; Marianne Murray, Director of the UAA Nursing program; Robert McClung, Director of Allied Health programs; and Gloria Burnett, Director of the Area Health Education Center (AHEC). The conference addressed upcoming trends in healthcare delivery, reimbursement, and workforce needs in Alaska. The conference provided the COH team the opportunity to discuss strategic collaborations with constituents and community partners. Much was learned about the current situations health care partners face related to a growing workforce need. COH directors and associate deans manned a conference table, providing information on COH programs and answering questions from industry members.
Jeff Jessee and Marianne Murray Visit Valdez, Discuss Nursing Student Attrition
Photo credit: UAA Green and Gold, 7/1/15
On September 19, Jeff Jessee and Marianne Murray visited Valdez on a beautiful sunny day surrounded by an astonishing landscape of mountains and ocean. Dr. Dan O Connor, Director of the Prince William College, served as an excellent guide. At Prince William College, Jeff and Marianne enjoyed a tour of the Maxine and Jesse Whitney Museum, which contains one of the largest collections of Native Alaskan art and artifacts in the world. Kelly Mitchell, nurse anesthetist at the Providence Valdez Medical Center and nursing faculty, demonstrated the simulation capability available for nursing students in Valdez. The team also met with physicians and administrators at the Providence Valdez medical center and discussed the value of keeping Valdez nursing students in the community post-graduation. The attrition rate in Valdez has been quite high in the past two cohorts, so they deliberated on strategic measures to improve student success.
Unit Updates
Center for Community Engagement and
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Urban in Alaska Conference to Take Place October 17
The Urban in Alaska Conference is scheduled for October 17, 9 am - 1:45 pm (with optional afternoon sessions). The conference is free and open to faculty, staff, students, and community members. It features our faculty's community-engaged work in morning breakout sessions with a Rapid Fire Community Engagement session at noon, made up of 2-minute presentations from approximately 25 faculty and a "Report from the Field" on Marsha Olson's Campus Vote Project. Afternoon sessions include a case study on mental health equity, a Dialogues for Public Life workshop, and a forum for ARISE (Anchorage Realizing Indigenous Student Excellence)--a collective impact project in the community focused on Alaska Native Student Success. Registration is open, with more details coming:
National Manager for The American Democracy Project to Speak at Conference
CCEL will host Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, the National Manager for The American Democracy Project (ADP), on campus October 26-27 ( She is the keynote speaker for the Urban in Alaska conference on Friday, October 27. Dr. Domagal-Goldman will also be available for meetings on Thursday, October 26. Faculty are invited to lunch with her to learn about ADP initiatives that may connect to their classes or research. ADP is an initiative of the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) that started as a project with the New York Times in 2003. It was intended to be a 3-year project but is now in its 15th year.
CESAs Awarded Scholarships for Faculty Projects
Community-Engaged Student Assistants (CESAs) were awarded scholarships for Fall 2017 to support the following community-engaged teaching, research, and creative activity of COH faculty:
  • Donna Aguiniga, Social Work -- Bean's Café / UAA collaboration service-learning
  • Donna Aguiniga, Social Work, and Stephanie Bauer,  Philosophy -- Dialogues for Public Life Program
  • Gabe Garcia, Health Sciences, and Joy Mapaye, Journalism and Communication -- Selling Health: Documentary and Community
  • Jordan P. Lewis, WWAMI -- Successful Aging of Urban Alaska Native Elders
  • Tracey Burke, Social Work -- Managing Economic Security: The Role of St. Francis House in Making Ends Meet
  • Travis Hedwig, Health Sciences -- Alaska Center for FASD Supports/Advocates for Needs of People with FASD
  • Travis Hedwig, Health Sciences -- FASDx Diagnostic Services & UAA Undergraduate Student Research
  • Vanessa Meade, Social Work -- Veteran's Pathway Data Analysis
New CCEL Office Manager Hired
Christina Gheen started her new job as Office Manager for CCEL on October 2. Christina has a long history with the university working with faculty and students. We are happy to have her joining us!
Center for Human Development - - - - - - - - - - - -
Conducting Effective Training on Brain Injury
Eric Boyer and Danielle Reed presented on the Center for Human Development's (CHD) statewide Traumatic and Acquired Brain Injury (TABI) training efforts at the 28th Annual State of the States in Head Injury Conference in Tempe, AZ. CHD works with the State of Alaska Senior and Disabilities Services on a federal Administration for Community Living grant to develop a comprehensive, sustainable system of training that crosses a variety of provider groups, from direct service providers and community health aides to Division of Juvenile Justice clinicians and medical providers. In the past year, CHD piloted ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) TABI for medical providers and offered 11 trainings in brain injury to over 250 direct service providers, community members, professionals, and medical providers.
(l-r) Eric Boyer, UAA CHD; Danielle Reed, UAA CHD; Liz Harnois, Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts; Gabriela Lawrence-Soto, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission; and Anastasia Edmonston, Maryland Behavioral Health Administration
Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sign Up Now for the HPER Know Your Numbers Employee Wellness Program!
Know Your Numbers (KYN) is a service to all UAA employees provided by the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER). The KYN program is a series of exercise tests that will assess your current fitness level to give you the information you need to create health and fitness goals. To reach those goals, your fitness professional will: design an exercise program just for you based on your exercise test results, teach you how to do the exercises correctly, and keep you inspired.
Sign-up is now open online, and the first day of testing begins October 31. Testing is only $10. For more details, and to sign up, visit: Questions? Contact HPER at 786-4006 or Sign-up NOW!
Department of Health Sciences - - - - - - - - - - - -

Rhonda Johnson Named President-Elect of ALPHA
Dr. Rhonda Johnson, Professor of Public Health, was recently voted President-Elect of the Alaska Public Health Association (ALPHA). She will assume the presidency at the Alaska Health Summit to be held in Anchorage in January 16-18, 2018. The mission of ALPHA is to advance the public's health, and its core values are equity, integrity, excellence, and leadership. Dr. Johnson joins a long tradition of ALPHA leadership from the Department of Health Sciences. These include past Presidents Dr. Larry Weiss (MPH Faculty, 2003), John Riley (MEDEX faculty, 2007), and Sheila (Soule) Shinn (MPH alum, 2012), along with past board members Dr. Gabe Garcia (MPH Faculty), Tammy Zulz (MPH alum), and Natasha Pineda (MPH alum), and current board members Dr. Nancy Nix (MPH faculty) and Lillian Ruedrich (MPH alum). For more info on ALPHA or the Alaska Health Summit, visit: or
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October is Ultrasound Awareness Month!
Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month (MUAM) is held annually to increase awareness of the integral role that ultrasound plays in the medical community. Ultrasound is not only used for pregnancy, but to create diagnostic images of soft tissues, internal organs, blood vessels, and the heart. Sonographers operate specialized equipment that transmits high frequency sound waves into a patient's body. Structures within the body reflect the sound to form cross-sectional images. Sonographers are highly trained professionals with a strong knowledge of human anatomy used to obtain quality images. Diagnostic medical sonography is one of the fastest growing occupations in the country. For more information on sonography as a profession, visit: 
If you are interested in learning more about sonography, attend our upcoming information session on October 27 from 12-1:30 pm at AHS 147. Also, check out UAA's Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at or like us on Facebook at
School of Nursing - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Inter-Professional Foot and Wound Care Clinic Advances Skills and Helps Homeless
In January 2017, a project to develop and conduct a foot and wound care clinic at Central Lutheran Church was approved and launched. Two grants were approved to develop a sustainable foot and wound care clinic, partnering with Central Lutheran and Brother Francis Shelter. WWAMI medical students, UAA School of Nursing nurse practitioner students, and baccalaureate nursing students embarked on a foot and wound care curriculum to develop skills while offering foot and wound care to homeless individuals of Alaska.
Students were trained in both foot and wound care while conducting clinics at Central Lutheran Church and Brother Francis Shelter. Over 60 individuals have received therapeutic foot care since February 2017, including a complete lower extremity assessment, skin and nail interventions, and massage. Dozens of shoes, socks, and inserts were donated and distributed.
The project has been a tremendous success for clinical providers, recipients of care, and UAA partners Brother Francis Shelter and Central Lutheran Church. The students reflected on how much they enjoy learning and developing foot and wound care skills, working together as a team, and giving back to the community.
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Social Work Faculty Member and Colleagues Receive Funding for Advancing Community Engagement in Anchorage
In collaboration with faculty from the Departments of Philosophy, Journalism and Communication, and English, Professor Donna Aguiniga, School of Social Work, is undertaking a project funded by Campus Compact's Fund for Positive Engagement. Campus Compact awarded 40 colleges and universities grants to experiment with ways to strengthen relationships among groups in local communities. The UAA interdisciplinary project will promote voter registration, public deliberation, and cultural understanding. Additional team members include Stephanie Bauer (Philosophy), Marsha Olson (Journalism & Communication), and Jackie Cason (English). The funding by Campus Compact was an outcome of team building the members achieved at the Community-Engaged Intensive offered by the Center for Community Engagement and Learning in May 2017.

UAA-UAF National Child Welfare Workforce Institute Project Enters Fifth Year
Under the leadership of Professor Kathi Trawver (UAA School of Social Work) and Professor Retchenda George-Bettisworth (UAF Department of Social Work), the collaborative child welfare workforce development project is entering its fifth year, with funding from a workforce development grant awarded to UAA by the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI). The collaborative project provides specialized leadership training for Alaska's Office of Children's Services' (OCS) middle managers and its supervisors, and a national Leaders hip Academy brings together social work and state child welfare directors to collaborate on local projects.  
The project provided financial support to 23 social work students who received specialized training in child welfare. It has created a professional mentorship program to assist trainees to successfully transition from student to child welfare professional. In the fifth year, an additional 10 students have begun their training and are completing placements in public child welfare settings across Alaska, both with OCS and tribal programs. Upon completion of their training, NCWWI trainees are obligated to seek employment with OCS or a tribal organization.
Justice Center - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Alaska Justice Information Center Releases Alaska Results First Initiative Report
The  Alaska Results First Initiative is a new report from the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) at the Justice Center. It shows that most of Alaska's evidence-based adult criminal justice programs are seeing positive return on state investment of money. Notably, all but one of those programs are shown to measurably reduce recidivism (the likelihood that an inmate will re-offend when released), which not only improves public safety, but saves the state the costs associated with criminal activity. Learn more at:
Brad Myrstol Discusses Justice Center Research on Talk of Alaska
On October 3, Dr. Brad Myrstol , interim Justice Center director and director of the  Alaska Justice Information Center and Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center, spoke on KSKA Public Radio's Talk of Alaska  about SB91 and its impact on crime rates. This was part of a panel including: Greg Razo, chair of the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission; Susanne DiPietro, executive director of the Alaska Judicial Council; Jahna Lindemuth, Alaska Attorney General; and Clint Campion, Anchorage District Attorney. Dr. Myrstol told listeners to look at Justice Center research, including the newly released Alaska Results First Initiative report ( and Alaska Victimization Survey (, to see data showing the effectiveness of current adult criminal justice programming at reducing recidivism and the trend in sexual violence and victimization.
Gov. Walker Cites Justice Center Research, Urging Alaskans to Reduce Violence
Gov. Bill Walker  urged Alaskans to do everything in their power to reduce and eliminate violence, citing the following statistics from the Justice Center's  Alaska Victimization Survey: "59% of adult women in Alaska have experienced intimate partner violence or sexual violence, or both, in their lifetime." In his One Alaska Update, Governor Walker wrote: "October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month...Domestic violence thrives on indifference; it is our responsibility to acknowledge the prevalence of this plague, and do everything in our power to reduce and eliminate violence in our homes and communities."
Faculty Senate President Chamard Chairs UAA Chancellor Search
Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty, became UAA Faculty Senate President in May and was recently appointed chair of the UAA Chancellor search committee. In her role as Faculty Senate President, Dr. Charmard presides over a monthly forum and a committee structure that addresses university life issues (curriculum, student success, institutional organization, and professional development) and represents the Faculty Senate as part of UAA shared governance on a variety of groups, including the Council of Deans and Directors, Faculty Alliance, and University Assembly  
Sharon Chamard Provides technical Assistance to Town Square Park Redesign
Dr. Sharon Chamard , Justice faculty, served as a member of the Technical Advisory Group for the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department to develop a new Anchorage Town Square Park design. Two proposals for going forward were  released Sept. 27. The Technical Advisory Group on which Dr. Chamard served includes a group of designers and planners with a history of work, a body of knowledge, and an understanding of past efforts regarding the development of Town Square Park.
Family Law Practitioner Blake Quackenbush Speaks to Society of Law and Justice
The Society of Law & Justice, a UAA student club, met Oct. 5 and featured a discussion with Anchorage family law practitioner Blake Quackenbush.
Upcoming Events/Deadlines
  • October 16 - Faculty development and research/travel grants due to OAA*
  • October 30 - Sabbatical requests due to OAA with Dean's/Director's signature
  • November 23-24 - Thanksgiving Holiday
  • December 17 - Fall Commencement
  • December 25-26 - Christmas Holiday
  • December 27-31 - Winter Holiday, campus closed