Neighbors Briefs

Posted: Friday, March 01, 2002

Fishermen's Fund council to meet

The Fishermen's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council will hold its fall meeting during the week of March 4, 2002 in the Tongass Room of the Goldbelt Hotel, 51 Egan Dr., Juneau.

The business portion of the meeting, which is open to the public, convenes at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, March 4, 2002. A review of the current financial condition of the fund as well as the policies and regulations governing its administration are on the agenda. Between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Monday, the council will hear public testimony on services and matters pertinent to the Fishermen's Fund program.

After the business portion of the meeting, the council will review claims for benefits that have not been approved by the fund administrator. Those individuals who have their claim(s) scheduled for review have been or will be notified ten days in advance.

The Fishermen's Fund assists injured and disabled fishermen who have incurred emergency medical costs as a result of injuries or illnesses directly connected with operations as a fisherman in Alaska, not otherwise covered by public or private insurance. Coverage is limited to $2,500 unless an extension is granted. The Alaska Department of labor and Workforce Development administers the Fund, which is paid for by a portion of the revenue derived from commercial fishing license or permit fees.

Council members representing fishermen throughout the state will be in attendance.

Local veterinarian on Iditarod medical team

Elizabeth "Nene" Wolfe of Juneau will join the international team of veterinarians to serve as a trail doc for the 30th anniversary Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which begins tomorrow in Anchorage.

The race rambles through the shadow of Denali and over 1,150 miles of desolate arctic wilderness to the winners' arch in Nome.

Thirty-four veterinarians are attending the race dogs this year, said race director Joanne Potts. They include one from Spain and one from Australia, she said.

Wolfe has received specialized training in sled dog evaluation and arctic medicine and has worked the race in past years. Still, there are elements of the unknown in every Iditarod. Race logistics become unstable because of Alaska's weather and the impulsive nature of moose who walk the trail. The 57 mushers will scramble to be first.

Veterinarians, at a moment's notice, cram 60 pounds of gear into a rucksack and leap-frog by bush plane to the next check point on the trail. Race veterinarians keep the same demanding schedule as mushers, staffing the 25 check points around the clock, checking every dog at every stop, whether it's 20 degrees at noon or 50 below in a midnight blizzard.

In spite of the difficult conditions, Wolfe and her colleagues see to it that sled dogs receive the medical attention that befits their status as canine, world-class athletes.

Teen health fair set for March 7

To come up with subjects for this year's Teen Health Fair, the Teen Family Center conducted a survey of all freshman and sophomore health classes at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Bridget Easaw and Christina Armelin conducted the surveys several weeks ago, and found that family health history and healthy snacks were the items of highest concern to those polled. The other 13 top scorers, all getting about the same number of votes, were: Eating disorders, substance abuse/drug abuse, smoking, happy relationships, exercise, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, depression, sports medicine, water and marine safety and careers and health care. All 15 subjects will be addressed at the Fair, 2:30 to 5 p.m., in the JDHS Commons, March 7.

The fair is free. Voter registration will be available, as will blood pressure readings, weight and height measurements and vision tests, Armelin said. Free healthy snacks such as smoothies and popcorn will be available, and parents are welcome to attend.

The Red Cross, SHANTI, AWARE, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Juneau Department of Public Health and other organizations will have representatives at the fair to inform teens about health issues that affect them. Hundreds of teens attended last year, Armelin said.

For details, call her at the Teen Family Center, 463-5437.

Scholarships available for conference

A training conference titled Alzheimer's Disease or Related Disorders is scheduled for April 25-27 at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka campus. Deadline to apply to attend at no cost is March 8.

Participants will have their expenses paid by a grant from the Alaska Commission on Aging/Mental Health Trust Authority, including travel, lodging and per diem, as well as training supplies and tuition. Potential attendees include caregivers, respire workers, personal care attendants, home health workers, assisted living workers, nursing home staff and supervisors for related services.

Call (800) 478-6653 X 733 or X 728 for details including a brochure and application form. Those selected to participate will be notified by March 18.

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