The second annual Sitka Health Summit, "Working Together for a Healthier Sitka," on May 14-16 was a big success and the steering committee would like to thank everyone who helped make this event happen.
Several groups gave financial support, including the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, Sitka Community Hospital, the SEARHC Steps to a Healthier Southeast Alaska program, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, the City and Borough of Sitka, Scott Insurance Services, Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka Medical Center, the Shee Atiká Group, White's Inc./Harry Race Pharmacy, University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus, Old Harbor Books, Sitka Physical Therapy, Rotary Club of Sitka, Neurobehavioral Consultants LLC, Daily Sitka Sentinel, Center For Community, Charles Morgan Ph.D., and Rose McIntyre.
Matthew Turner and Kayla Boettcher of Sitka Advancing Our Community served as event facilitators, helping us organize the Sitka Health Summit so things ran smoothly. The Daily Sitka Sentinel, KCAW-Raven Radio, KIFW/KSBZ-The Rock, the Juneau Empire and Capital City Weekly helped us get the word out, and Dan Etulain at Northstar TV videotaped the presentations so more people could benefit from seeing the events.
Buzz Dick and the crew from SEARHC Nutritional Services prepared a delicious halibut meal for the community dinner and awards banquet. Stacie Bolan, Amy Christel and Nora Blumenstein helped with clean-up, and the staff at Harrigan Centennial Hall was awesome. Last, but certainly not least, we also would like to thank all the hundreds of individuals who participated in the events.
Our keynote speaker, Dan Burden, discussed the importance of having healthy people, a healthy planet and a healthy economy. All three ingredients are needed in order to have a sustainable and prosperous town. Our 2008-09 priorities were selected by a diverse group of Sitkans at the Community Planning Session: Next Steps meeting. The top five goals include creating a local foods and crafts market, building a community greenhouse that will help put more local fruits and vegetables on the table and provide food security for all, building vibrant community centers with green spaces and discovery places for kids, continuing to support the Hames Athletic and Wellness Center, and doing a walkability analysis of Sitka so we can make our town more pedestrian friendly. All of these initiatives will move us toward our shared vision "to serve our state as a model for community wellness by creating a healthy community where Sitkans strive for and enjoy a high quality of life." More information about Sitka's 2008-'09 health and wellness priorities can be found online at www.sitkahealthsummit.org/, and there are separate pages to keep people updated about each project.
Gunalchéesh and thank you.
Grace Brooks and the Sitka Health Summit Steering Committee
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