WIN Minutes 07-23-13

Nenana Wellness Coalition
July 23, 2013

The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, celebrate, and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.

There were 10 in attendance today, including: Kat McElroy, Jessica Durtsche, Bonnie Reed, Shelly Reed, Miles Martin, Virginia Young, Bonnie Reed, Leon & Olivia McElroy and Tim Horn. We enjoyed shell pasta with meatballs and mixed green salad, Ritz crackers with sliced cheese and raisins and pecans for lunch.

WELCOME followed by the READING OF MISSION STATEMENT, by this week’s chair-person: Virginia Young.

PRAYER was led Bonnie Reed, followed by the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIENCE

PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There was on additions to the agenda as presented.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes were posted at the WIN link at and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list.

INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: No new guests today. Olivia McElroy has visited us before; she is Leon’s sister and Kat’s grand-daughter. Shelly has been here before, also; she is Bonnie’s daughter, Tim’s sister.


Promoting Wellness: Kat put this on the agenda because she wanted WIN at large to recognize ways we have promoted wellness in our communities. The fact that we held our seventh annual Health Fair is an example of this, she said; we have no organization per se and no formal funding but because we work bottom up we are able to accomplish the goals we establish. There has been a shift, Kat said, in how people in Nenana think about wellness. Some of the forces driving the shift are external: TCC mandating the local clinic to provide services for anyone who presents for care there instead of limiting their services to enrolled tribal members and beneficiaries is an example of this. But WIN has also pushed dramatic changes: there is less Us/Them dialogue heard and people look to local resources for solutions; Kat attributes this to WIN successes, the sober dances, Freecycles, sing-alongs, game night at the senior housing, etc. WIN has created a venue for people to envision and strategize wellness and a cohort of people willing to put effort into identified goals.
Virginia mentioned the Friends of the EMS concept as an example of this. Our Emergency Services need financial support to be operational even though most of the providers are volunteers. How do other communities support their EMS and Fire Departments. Local people are opposed to borough formation yet the city funds our EMS/Fire Response and provide those services to people who live outside the city thus do not contribute to the tax base. Maybe one of the things Friends of EMS needs to do is to find out how other rural/remote villages fund their emergency services

Galena Flood Assistance: Miles has been thinking that maybe for the next Freecycle, we should make a community effort to collect needed household goods, etc., for the families who have lost their homes and everything to the big flood at break-up. He was listening to an interview on the radio and people were saying they need furniture, household goods, and tools, not clothing He said he has boat engine parts and fishing nets he would be willing to donate, cans of nails. Discussion ensued regarding items that would most likely be needed and the logistics involved in getting goods to Galena.
He volunteered to contact Endil Moore at Crowley Marine Service to see if they would be willing to palletize and transport goods down river to Galena.

WELLNESS THOUGHT: The race goes not so much to the swift and strong as to the slow and steady.

Sober Pot Latch at Old Minto Family Recovery Camp, Friday, July 26th. Boats will be running all afternoon from Nenana. Come early and help prepare.

Shelly: Thanks for having me.

Miles: Garden update—his lettuce was stalled for over a month, no growth. He used a chemical fertilizer and in three days they were full grown.
He has to turn himself in to the federal pen in Oregon next week to begin serving his sentence.

Tim: Just back from family reunion in Anchorage; more family members will be joining them.
Friday, July 26th, they will have a BBQ/Musical Devotions at Bonnie’s. 5:30 for food and 7:00 for devotions. There will be guitars and ukuleles.
Softball practice Monday and Wednesday evening, 7 PM, at the baseball field.
August 2nd is our Freecycle, most likely at the RV Park.
The next book club meeting will be Monday, August 6th, 7 PM at Karen Harvey’s house. They are reading The Great Bridge.
Tuesday, August 6, Patty will be showing the final HBO segment of The Weight of the Nation for Envisioning Wellness followed by discussion. Teacher in-service days are August 14-16, August 19 s a teacher work day and August 20 is the first day of classes.

Bonnie: Senior lunch tomorrow at Noon.
Jessica: has been picking berries. The raspberries are out and ripe. She has gone south out of town two times this past week and picked blueberries.

Kat: David is out cutting hay. He brought the heifer Bessie hoe last night because she kept running amok out on pasture. The pigs are getting big.

Virginia: Agrees that the blueberries are awesome.
There will be a farm tour by the Peony Growers Association this weekend. Friday they will be touring her peony operation.
Fairbanks farms are having Open House farm tours Sunday, 10 AM-5PM. For more information see:


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