SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


POW community meetings scheduled to plan for health needs


November 07, 2007
Wednesday AM

Klawock - Craig, Alaska - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska Program will be hosting a series of community meetings Nov. 19-20 on Prince of Wales Island to present results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) study and help the POW community plan for its health needs.

There will be two brief hour-long meetings on Monday, Nov. 19, where the BRFSS survey data will be presented and explained. The first meeting takes place at noon at the Craig Community Association building, and the second meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Klawock Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. POW residents from around the island interested in improving the health of their community are welcome to attend either meeting. The BRFSS study looked at several behavioral risk factors related to individual and community health, such as tobacco use, physical activity, nutrition, diabetes and asthma rates.

A community mapping seminar takes place 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Craig Community Association building (with breakfast and lunch provided). This meeting will focus on the results of the BRFSS study and what next steps are necessary to improve the health and wellness of the community as a whole. Besides looking at community strengths and weaknesses, this meeting also will look at the assets available to help the community improve its health. The series of meetings is open to individuals, municipalities, government agencies, faith-based organizations, tribal organizations, local businesses and non-profit organizations.

"The community mapping seminar is a great opportunity for people concerned about the health of their community to learn tools and resources for addressing the health disparities found within Southeast Alaska," said Gretchen Clarke, SEARHC Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska Program Community Coordinator. "We will be taking the information learned from the health surveys (presented in Monday's meetings) and use it to come up with community-created action plans to improve the overall quality of life on the island."

"This process allows community members a chance to gain a better awareness of their own potential for effecting change," Clarke added. "This will be a community-driven process. The more community members from all over the island who attend, the more successful we will be, as it is the people who live and work there that have the best insight into what the community needs and wants."

Individuals and organizations who attend the meetings will be eligible to apply for small grants through the SEARHC Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska Program in February so they can work to improve the health of the POW community.


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Ketchikan, Alaska