Nenana Wellness Coalition
April 5, 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 and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.
We had 9 participants today: Bonnie Reed, Kat McElroy, Ed Herrgard, Rose Allen, Mary Alexander, Virginia Young, Wendy Berg and Jim and Cindy Hautlla.
We enjoyed meatball soup, mixed green salad, sourdough bread with butter and honey/garlic cream cheese, salmon salad with crackers, Ritz crackers with sliced cheese and mixed raisins and pecans for lunch.
WELCOME and READING OF MISSION STATEMENT: By this week’s chairperson: Bonnie Reed
SPIRITUAL MOMENT: was lead by Ed, with a short prayer and a reflection upon our community commitment to Choose Respect.
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There was one item 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.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: Jim reintroduced himself and his wife Cindy introduced herself; she is cooking at the Living Center and he is a resident advisor.
Public Health: Wendy came to our health fair Saturday and had a table focusing on disease prevention. She said she really enjoyed the fair and got to speak to a lot of people. A large part of prevention for public health centers is immunization. But that isn’t all that they do. She noted Alaska has a high STD rate so providing information on sexual health is important. Public health nurses, she said, often are providing services to populations that otherwise would have no health care. She enjoys that aspect of her position.
Wendy is doing some TB testing at the school as we have four new students. Then she will be going down the Healy. The school there has a new nurse who serves the entire Tri-Valley school district: Healy, Anderson and Cantwell schools. Wendy will be working with her on protocols for hearing and vision tests. Then she is off to Koyokuk.
Wendy said that if there are any topics we would like her to present upon in the health care arena, she would be glad to research and prepare a presentation for WIN.
We had a long discussion then about the need to provide for the physical, mental and emotional health of our youth. It would be helpful to have behavioral health counselors in the school to work with the students, as well as at the Living Center. Jim talked about anticipate partnering with the Food Bank in Fairbanks, the Nenana Native Councilbut also rewarding. He mentioned that there was a position that has been advertised for awhile in the school district for a counselor for the upper division classes.
Kat mentioned that Railbelt has just completed the Rural Human Services grant application they just submitted part of which would be specifically to train an RHS worker for the school/living center and another to work through the tribe. The RHS model intention is to place A Counselor In Every Village by training local people with deep roots in the communities they serve.
Nenana Food Pantry/Soup Kitchen: This grant was completed and submitted yesterday. We should know within three weeks if it has been accepted. We anticipate partnering with the Food Bank in Fairbanks, Nenana Native Council, the city, and St. Mark’s church, amongst others. Part of the grant is to create a food pantry so if people are experiencing food shortages in their household, they could come to the food pantry and make up a box. In addition to donations from the community and food bank foodstuffs, we would like to get on the roadkill list so we could have moose meat as well.
Another part of the grant is a soup kitchen. Initially we want to provide one meal a week to at least 20 individuals. Kat has noted doing drive by Soupings that sometimes households do not have the wherewithal to cook; some households have no stove, only a microwave, or they have a stove, two burners work but not the oven. The soup kitchen will give us an opportunity to provide nutritious meals and do outreach to see if there are other barriers in a household to being able to eat healthy meals from day to day. It is hoped that we can expand upon this portion of the grant to include more frequent meals.
A third goal of the grant is to provide workshops for people interested in learning more about food preparation, preservation and nutrition. We would like to have classes in jam making, canning, bread making, sprouts, fermented foods, etc. Lastly, it is the intent of this grant to help RMHA identify other unaddressed needs in the community so we can make referrals for services that are available that people may not be aware of or not know how to access them.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: Each man is good in the sight of the Great Spirit.
Sitting Bull, Teton Sioux
Virginia: As the result of the health fair, she went to the local clinic and is getting treatment for high blood pressure. They were very pleasant. She talked to a PA who comes down to our clinic three times a week.
Book Club meeting was last night. They discussed Ken Keasy’s Sailor Song and enjoyed smoked salmon and ice cream.
Her daughter is having shoulder surgery. Virginia will go visit to help tend to her two year old grandchild. Her son Roland has been in Uganda looking into Eucalyptus tree farming.
Mary: She and Wes flew over to Fort Yukon to play for the Spring Carnival. They played two nights. It was a good time had by all. “Everyone was so hospitable to us.” She will be going to Minnesota to visit her grand children.
Wendy: Enjoyed to health fair and looks forward to coming to future WIN meetings.
Jim: Has been looking at some ag land parcels down by Rex bridge and three 20 acre parcels out by MP 309 coming up for sealed bid.
Kat: It’s been all about baby piggies, newborn calves, cheese-making and sourdough bread at her house.
Ed: Wednesday evening he came down to join singing and soup at Meda Lord then back again Thursday for Choose respect. He continued down the highway, visited friends in Cantwell, then on to Wasilla to attend an NA fundraiser and Anchorage to speak with the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline people.
Bonnie: There will be a steak dinner Friday night, 5PM, at the school, a fund-raiser for student activities, $20.00 a plate. At 6:30 PM that night there will be a free performance of Winter Bear, an award winning Alaska based play.
Ice Watch Picnic, Noon, Friday, April 15th.
ADJOURNMENT: 2:05 PM