Nenana Wellness Coalition
February 23, 2016
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, masticate and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.
We had 13 participants today: Bonnie Reed, Kat McElroy, Ed Herrgard, Mary Alexander, Wendy Berg, Harriet Borst, Virginia Young, Jeannie Bennett, Amie, James & Kenneth Verhagen, Maryellen Robinson and Tim Horn.
We enjoyed hearty beef short rib stew Mexicali with onions, sweet red peppers, potatoes and corn, with kimchee and pickled purple cabbage, sliced veggies and fruit, Ritz crackers with sliced cheese and mixed raisins and pecans for lunch.
WELCOME and READING OF MISSION STATEMENT: By this week’s chairperson: Jeannie Bennett
SPIRITUAL MOMENT: was led by Bonnie, with a short pray.
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There were no items added to the agenda.
MINUTES: Minutes were posted at the WIN link at http://www.railbelt.org and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list, with no corrections.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: Wendy Berg introduced herself. She is the public health nurse newly assigned to our region; she attended one previous WIN meeting. She has lived in Alaska since 1976, moving here from Minnesota, has two adult daughters, and recently became a grandmother.
Nenana Health Fair: Planning continues for the 10th annual Health Fair which will be held April 2, at the Civic Center. Blood draws will be provided from 8 AM-Noon and exhibits will be available from 9 AM-1PM. Jeannie reported that exhibitors and volunteers have begun to submit their applications online to the Alaska Health Fair, Inc web site, here: http://alaskahealthfair.org/ There are separate links along the top of the main web page for volunteers or exhibitors. Click on the appropriate link to register. It would be helpful to Jeannie in her planning process if she knew who has registered for what, so drop a quick post or call to her when you register.
She says that Walgreen in Fairbanks has donated several electronic tooth brushes and other items for incentive prizes. They will be at the Health Fair and available to provide immunizations and to answer general questions regarding medications.
Phlight Club/Camp: Kat explained to Wendy that Phlight Club/Camp is a youth prevention program adapted by our school. It is a resiliency based model that teaches students to identify their personal webs of support, to recognize strengths and incorporate strategies for strengthening their webs in area where they lack support.
The youth were making ice cream when Kat arrived Friday evening. The put sweetened half and half with cream into baggies, sealed tight, then set each baggie inside a gallon freezer bag filled with shaved ice. The students were all busily shaking and jostling the bags to freeze the contents of the baggies and Kat was surprised how quickly the mixtures turn into ice cream which the kids ate out of the baggies with a spoon. The youngers made extra ice cream bags to share with the older students who were in the Pit doing a trust building group activity.
Kat did story telling with the combined groups. She talked about discernment, our innate ability to separate fact from fiction using our brains and our understanding of the world. Then she told a series of three stories, one of which she informed the students would be a Big Fat Lie. She challenged the kids to listen and to see if they could individually and as a group discern which were true and which one was not true. Afterwards, a couple of the students opted to tell us a story and we got to guess if these were truth or fiction. Later the kids did an activity making friendship bracelets.
The LC students went home Friday night but the youngers camped out at the school. Kat and David went Saturday morning to have breakfast with them. They had a very busy schedule. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the experience immensely. Kudos to our teachers and support staff and community members for being here for our kiddos.
Next Phlight Club Kat would like to do some food prep activities with the kids to teach about better nutrition and the value of Slow Food.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: “We’ve got to learn what’s going on today in the world and we’ve got to get an education so we can survive.” –Jimmy Jackson, OJIBWA
Bonnie: There is a Community Pride Village Safety meeting this Wednesday, 2-24-16, 6:30 PM, at the Tribal Hall. It is a pot luck. Everyone is invited.
Next basketball home game against Glenallen February 26 &27.
Elections last Wednesday for Senior Center board; Margie, Harriett and Dave Shaw were re-elected. Thank you for your service to our community.
Maryellen: Will be taking four youth to Anchorage Friday for the Alaska Tobacco Control Alliance conference.
March 9th is Kick Butts Day and PINK has scheduled a series of activities. They will also be doing educational units on how to the tobacco industry targets youth for advertising of tobacco products and have an I Kick Butts Because…. poster contest.
March 29 &30 is the two day I ACT Free coalition training in Fairbanks. Kat is willing to provide transportation if any WIN members wish to attend that Tuesday. There will be a panel discussion with former smokers on why and how they quit, a Policy 101 training, updates on the dangers associated with e-cigarettes.
March 31st is the annual Choose Respect march. Maryellen is soliciting donations for funds to make a new series of tee shirts for participants in the walk which will start with a rally in the gym at 11:30 AM and proceed with a March around the community. This is for all K-12 grade students, and all community members wishing to support our youth in violence free homes, school and community.
Kat: David is taking three more pigs to slaughter today. Nenana Urban Farm has hams being processed right now for sale for Easter, average size seven pounds, price $7.00 per pound. Call, text or email Kat or David to order now.
Ed: Gathering a lot of input from the community. Roads were good on the trip down; slippery in a few places but all sanded. Sad to find that he won’t be here for Tripod Days, as he will be out of state. Thinks the WIN Coalition is a major asset to our community.
Wendy: Has been the public health nurse assigned to this region now since December 1st, responsible to serve Nenana, Anderson, Healy and Cantwell on the road system as well as Coldfoot, Central, and Circle. She can provide immunizations, well child check-ups, prenatal care, post partum care, birth control, STD’s screening, child safety all with a focus on community health. They do have a request for payment form they use but the do not refuse services due to inability to pay. She said she really loves her job and looks forward to attending WIN. She agrees with Ed that the coalition is a plus for Nenana. Her office direct line number is 451-1680. Leave a message and she will return your call.
Mary: After WIN last week she had a planning meeting with Virginia in regards to the school garden and strategies to get students involved in that activity. They did some brain-storming and worked a proposal to Joe Degrande.
Virginia: The plan involves having Joe appoint an NSLC staff person to act as a go-between and coordinate NSLC students participation in seed-starting activities in May and harvesting when they return to school at the end of the summer. She mentioned that Beth Norman has applied for and apparently received a grant to do a green house at the school; this would be a good partnership.
Harriett: Both of her sons are experiencing health issues. She reminisced with us about her experiences being a foster grandparent to the students at Garfield Elementary School. She said that Nenana is the only place she has ever felt at home.
Virginia: Brice is having a community meeting for an update on the road across the river at the tribal hall tonight at 5:30PM.
Tim: The Nenana Book Club is reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexi and will meet the evening of March 7th to discuss it.
They will have a jam session and singing at Bonnie’s house Thursday evening, 7 PM, to celebrate Ayyám-i-Há; everyone is invited to join and please bring your instruments if you have one.
The next Coffee House will be at the School the evening of March 5, 7-9 PM. in the Pit.
She would like Kat to tell the stories to WIN that she told to the students at Phlight Club.
ADJOURNMENT: 2:00 PM