Tlingit elder receives award

Gov. Sean Parnell recently awarded the 2011 Shirley Demientieff Award to Tlingit elder Ethel Lund at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage. The award is given each year at AFN by the governor of Alaska for advocacy on behalf of Alaska Native women and children.

Lund, originally of Wrangell, is one of the founders of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium. She has served as its president. SEARHC began in 1975 as a small organization led by an Alaska Native volunteer board of directors — mostly women from remote villages. Over the last three decades, SEARHC has grown into one of the largest health care organizations in Alaska.

“Ms. Lund charted a course for youth to embrace careers in the health care field,” Parnell said. “Her work is lasting. This can be seen with one of the nation’s oldest Native-run health care organizations bearing her name: Juneau’s Ethel Lund Medical Center.”

Lund was chair of the Alaska Native Health Board from 1978 to 1981. She was instrumental in developing a landmark memorandum of agreement with the Indian Health Service in 1978. Lund has chaired the Alaska Tribal Health Directors and served as vice chairwoman of the National Indian Health Board.

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