5th Alaska Native Health Research Conference

Anchorage, Alaska
Monday, October 16, 2017


Jessica Black, PhD
Dr. Jessica Black is a Gwich’in Athabascan from the village of Fort Yukon, Alaska. She currently serves as a health board member for Tanana Chiefs Conference. Jessica’s passions are prevention, well-being and tribal governance, as it pertains to Alaska Natives, American Indians, and other Indigenous Populations. In her current job as Assistant Professor for the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development and Tribal Management at UAF Jessica teaches, co-leads several research projects, and serves her Alaska Native community in various ways.


Michael Bruce, MD, MPH
Michael Bruce is a public health physician and medical epidemiologist trained in Internal and Preventive Medicine. He is the Epidemiology Team Leader at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Arctic Investigations Program in Alaska, USA.

For the past 17 years, his work has focused on improving health in Alaska Native communities, creation of a sentinel surveillance system in Alaska for detecting infection caused by Helicobacter pylori, and setting up, managing and analyzing data from the international circumpolar surveillance (ICS) system for invasive bacterial diseases. He has received numerous awards and has published over 100 scientific articles and book chapters.

Mine Çiçek, PhD
Mine S. Çiçek, Ph.D., is a senior associate consultant II-research in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Dr. Çiçek is director of the Biospecimens Accessioning and Processing (BAP) Core Laboratory, Biorepository Program, in the Center for Individualized Medicine. She joined the staff of Mayo Clinic in 2008 and holds the academic rank of assistant professor of laboratory medicine and pathology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Dr. Çiçek earned her B.S. in biology at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey, followed by her M.S. and Ph.D. at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. She subsequently completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, and a fellowship at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Çiçek 's expertise is in molecular cancer genetics. She is trained as a lab-based researcher in the cancer genetic epidemiology field and worked on multiple solid tumors. Her research is funded by the National Cancer Institute, Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program Biobank, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. She has given presentations on her research both nationally and internationally and has authored numerous journal articles, abstracts and other written publications. She also holds reviewer responsibilities for prominent scientific publications.

As director of BAP Core Laboratory, Dr. Çiçek contributes her expertise in research studies and clinical trials and supports Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, SPOREs, and clinical trials networks Alliance and ACCRU. She gives guidance in study design, biospecimen collections and processing. She continuously brings knowledge to BAP to improve automation, expand storage capacity and educate investigators on best practices for biospecimen usage. In addition, she collaborates with investigators on grant applications and writing manuscripts. Dr. Çiçek is a member of International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories.

Shane Coleman, MD
Dr. Coleman is was born and raised in North Pole, Alaska and participated in the Alaska WWAMI program, matriculating medical school at the University of Washington. He went on to complete his adult psychiatry residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital within the Harvard Medical School system and was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, affording a two-year fellowship studying the integration of mental health services into primary care. Throughout his career, Shane has worked with culturally diverse populations, specifically among those with significant health disparities. Examples include experiences working in Cambodia, Guatemala, and rural Alaska, as well as with HIV positive individuals and those with severe and persistent mental illness.

Since arriving at SCF, Dr. Coleman has worked and consulted in the areas of depression; the interface of chronic medical disease and mental health; systems of integrated primary care; and health services data collection and evaluation on a local, national, and international basis within tribal and non-tribal systems.

Dana Diehl, BA
Dana Diehl is the Director of the Wellness and Prevention Department at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) where she oversees five statewide programs including: Elder Outreach, Food Distribution, Health Promotion, Injury Prevention, and Tobacco Prevention. Dana has over 10 years of experience working on public health initiatives in Alaska communities. Prior to working for ANTHC Dana was the the Health Equity Coordinator for the State of Alaska, Tobacco Prevention and Control Program where she worked with community partners to implement strategies to reduce tobacco-related disparities.
Originally of Aniak in Southwest Alaska, Dana is both Yupik and Athabascan and enjoys gardening, running with her black lab, following sled dog races, cutting fish, and eating delicious native foods.

Abigail Echo-Hawk, MA
Abigail Echo-Hawk, MA is an enrolled member of the Kitkehahki band of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. She is also a member of the Upper Athabascan people of Mentasta Village, Alaska. She was born in the heart of Alaska where she was raised in the traditional values of giving, respect for all and love. She is a graduate of the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and Minor in Human Rights, and a Master of Arts in Policy Studies. She previously served as the Co-Director and Tribal Liaison for Partnerships for Native Health at Washington State University-Spokane. In this role she oversaw the implementation and dissemination of 24 NIH funded grants with topics ranging from suicide prevention, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and more. Ms. Echo-Hawk focuses on policy advocacy in areas such as: maternal and child health, domestic violence, sexual assault, youth prostitution and educational disparities. Her greatest accomplishment however, is her place within her extended family. She is a wife, a mother, an auntie, a daughter, a granddaughter, a friend and a community member. Abigail strives to serve them with love and to be a small part of ensuring a great future for the next generations.

Kelly Edwards, PhD
Kelly Edwards is a faculty and Associate Dean at University of Washington. Her work has focused on ethics of partnerships and collaborations, ethics of our learning environments, and research training. In research ethics projects, she is interested in policies and practices that foster trustworthiness, campus-community partnerships, and cross-sector partnerships to enhance research translation and relevance.  In her education programming and mentorship, she emphasizes responsibility of researchers to engage with the public and communicate with and about their work to broad audiences.  Threads of social and environmental justice run throughout her funded work and teaching.

Carrie Eischens, PhD
Dr. Carrie Eischens is the Research Program Coordinator for the US Arctic Research Commission in Anchorage, Alaska. Carrie facilitates the agency’s Arctic Mental Health Working Group and Arctic Renewable Energy Working Group. Prior to working with USARC, Carrie conducted work in science program management and marine ecosystem research.




Karol Fink, MS, RDN
Karol Fink, MS, RDN leads the State of Alaska’s public health obesity prevention team to ensure every Alaska child has the opportunity to grow up at a healthy weight, free from preventable weight-related diseases. Ms. Fink’s team implements proven strategies to ensure healthy choices are available for Alaskans where they live, work, learn and play. She is the state’s expert and spokesperson on nutrition and physical activity, a key public health strategist among local health professionals, and principal architect behind the Alaska Alliance for Healthy Kids obesity prevention plan. Ms. Fink has been a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for almost 25 years and has a Master of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Washington.

William Freeman, MD, MPH, CIP
Dr. Freeman has a distinguished history with PRIM&R as an active member of PRIM&R and Applied Research Ethics National Association (ARENA), PRIM&R’s former membership division. He served on PRIM&R’s Board of Directors from 1994 to 2012 He was ARENA president in 1988, and he has served on the faculty of numerous PRIM&R conferences. Inspired by his work with the Indian Health Service, Dr. Freeman has worked hard to promote greater diversity within PRIM&R’s membership. In addition, he has been a strong advocate for the Certification of IRB Professionals (CIP®). Dr. Freeman is always ready to volunteer, roll up his sleeves, and get to work, digging in to all issues with dedication and intensity. He has also advocated tirelessly for the protection of vulnerable populations in research.

Dr. Freeman is the director of Tribal Community Health Programs and human protections administrator at Northwest Indian College. In these roles, he serves as teacher, IRB administrator, and principal investigator. In addition, he works as a private consultant, advising numerous universities and organizations, including American Indian, Alaska Native, Canadian First Nations, and Inuit communities and organizations. He also consults for various IRBs and research ethics boards. Dr. Freeman is the past director of research with the Indian Health Service and has served in numerous leadership and advocacy roles for American Indian and tribal communities. His research and clinical experience have focused on the health of native populations, diabetes, community and participatory research, and the ethics of research involving vulnerable populations. Dr. Freeman is one of those rare professionals who lives and works in accordance with the values he promotes.

R. Turner Goins, PhD
R. Turner Goins is a Professor at Western Carolina University in the College of Health and Human Sciences. She received her MS in 1994 and her PhD in 1997 in gerontology from the University of Massachusetts-Boston. She also completed a National Institute of Aging’s post doctoral research fellowship at Duke University Medical School. For the last 17 years, her research has focused on American Indian and Alaska Native aging- and health-related issues. Her training has been complemented by intensive mentoring by leaders in the field of American Indian and Alaska Native health. Dr. Goins has 70 peer-reviewed research publications with 43 on American Indian and/or Alaska Native health. Her research has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and local and regional foundations. In addition to her research, she has mentored over 26 junior faculty and students. More than half of her publications include her students or junior faculty mentees as co-authors, reflecting her commitment to preparing the next generations of young Native scientists. She recently received a Fulbright Award to examine aging issues among the Māori where she will be at the University of Auckland February 2018 through June 2018.

Mouhcine Guettabi, PhD
Mouhcine Guettabi is an assistant professor of economics at ISER, with a PhD in economics from Oklahoma State University. His fields of specialization are regional and urban economics, health economics, and applied microeconomics. Before coming to ISER, He was a research economist at the (CAER) Center for Applied Economic Research at Oklahoma State University where he conducted public policy analysis, regional economic development and economic forecasting. At ISER his recent work includes understanding the effect of technology on improving children’s physical activity, assessing the economic impacts of the fiscal options, analyzing wage differences between the private and public sectors, and updating ISER's economic forecasting model for Alaska, and co-writing studies of the economic costs to Alaska of higher fuel prices and of the economic importance of the Bristol Bay salmon fishery. His academic work uses quasi-experimental methods to evaluate the effect of policy shocks on outcomes of interest.

Tom Hennessy, MD, MPH
Tom Hennessy, MD, MPH is the Director of the Arctic Investigations Program (AIP), CDC’s field station for infectious diseases in Anchorage, Alaska. Dr. Hennessy joined the US Public Health Service in 1990 and served on the Navajo Reservation until he joined CDC in 1994. Tom is a graduate of Antioch College, the Mayo Medical School and Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. He is trained in Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine, and is a graduate of the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service. Tom has worked at AIP since 1998 and has been director since 2006.

Tom’s interests include vaccine preventable diseases, food and waterborne infections, zoonotic infectious diseases and reducing health disparities. He represents CDC on the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, which developed the US Government Arctic Research Plan for 2017 - 2021. Tom is an affiliate faculty member of the University of Alaska, Anchorage in the Department of Health Sciences. He is the US Representative and Co-chair for the Arctic Human Health Experts Group, a multinational advisory group to the Arctic Council.

Rhonda Johnson, DrPH, MPH, FNP
Rhonda M. Johnson, DrPH, MPH, FNP is Professor of Public Health at University of Alaska Anchorage, and recent past Chair of the Department of Health Sciences (2005-2015) and MPH Program Coordinator (2004-2014). She is still actively involved in the UAA distance-delivered graduate program in public health that is focused on northern and circumpolar health issues, and was recently voted President-Elect of the Alaska Public Health Association (ALPHA). She also worked as a primary care provider for almost two decades, including serving several years as Clinic Director and clinician in the Alaska Tribal Health System, and as a past member of the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board (AAIRB). She is part of the administrative core and advisory team for the new NIMH-funded Alaska Native Collaborative Hub for Resilience Research (ANCHRR), and current Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Circumpolar Health. She teaches courses in circumpolar health, public health and society, health administration and policy, and public health ethics.

Jennifer Kue, PhD
Dr. Jennifer Kue has 20 years of experience working with refugees and immigrants, and medically underserved minority populations. Her expertise is in community health promotion and achieving health equity in underserved ethnic minorities, community-engaged research, and refugee and immigrant health. Dr. Kue’s research applies the principles of community-engaged research to understanding and addressing cancer health disparities, including breast and cervical cancer prevention, cancer screening, and survivorship. Dr. Kue’s research examines the influence of culture, historical and refugee trauma, and intergenerational communication on cancer screening and health behavior.

Jordan Lewis, PhD, MSW, CPG
Dr. Jordan P. Lewis, Aleut from the Native Village of Naknek, is the new Director of the UAA National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders as the incoming Director. Dr. Lewis is also an Associate Professor with the University of Alaska Anchorage, WWAMI School of Medical Education. Trained as a cross-cultural community psychologist and social worker (BSW, MSW), and a credential professional gerontologist (CPG), Dr. Lewis’s has worked with Alaska Native Elders for many years in numerous capacities, including federal policy in Washington, DC, state and local capacities with education and program development, and tribal health programs in rural and urban Alaska.

Dr. Lewis’s research identifies characteristics that enable Alaska Native Elders to age well and become role models for their families and communities. Using the lessons and experiences of elders, Dr. Lewis develops generative-based approaches for family and community members to improve the health of all generations, from long term care programs, dementia caregiver education programs, peer based alcohol interviews, to community-based programs to support aging in place. His past research has explored cultural understandings of successful aging, intergenerational programming in tribal communities, as well as collecting stories to improve program and service delivery in long-term care settings. Jordan received his BSW from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, MSW from Washington University in St. Louis, and PhD from University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Angela Manderfeld, MS, RDN, LD, CDE
Angela is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and has her Master’s degree in Food and Nutrition specializing in Community Nutrition. She has spent the last 15 years working with people with diabetes in an outpatient setting. She has extensive experience working with people who have Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. She has been the the diabetes nutrition consultant with the Alaska Native Diabetes Program for the last 8 year.






Brian McMahon, MD, MACP
Brian J. McMahon is a clinical Liver Specialist (Hepatologist) and the Scientific Program and Clinical Director of the Liver Disease and Hepatitis Program at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska, guest researcher at the Arctic Investigations Program of the Centers for Disease Control in Anchorage, Auxiliary professor at University of Alaska Health Sciences Program and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Washington. He obtained his undergraduate degree in philosophy and premed at Seattle University, his medical degree from The University of Washington in Seattle, WA, then completed his internship at the LA County University of Southern California Medical Center and his residency at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City, IA.
He has directed the vaccination programs in Alaska Natives that have reduced the rates of acute hepatitis A and B from the highest in the US to the lowest in the world. He has been active in research in viral hepatitis A, B, and C, as well as other liver diseases among Alaska Natives/American Indians, for over 30 years. He directs research in Viral Hepatitis in Alaska Natives including prospective outcome studies of persons with chronic hepatitis B (1350) and chronic hepatitis C (1500), and related hepatocellular carcinoma as well as long-term protection studies on hepatitis A and B vaccines. The program consists of hepatologists, nurse practitioner, research nurses, computer specialists and a molecular biologist, working closely with the Arctic Investigations Laboratory of the CDC.
Dr. McMahon is the co author of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) US Practice Guideline on Chronic Hepatitis B and co-chair of the WHO hepatitis B Guidelines Committee. He was elected as a Master in the American College of Physicians and received from them the Alvan R. Feinstein Memorial Award for notable contributions in the field of clinical epidemiology. He was selected as the 2007-2008 Science in Medicine Lecturer by the University of was the Hepatitis B Foundation Scientist of the year in 2010. He received an Honor Award Certificate from CDC for exemplary leadership in promoting health equity among American Indians and Alaska Natives and a Certificate of Appreciation from the National Indian Health Board.
He was on the Institute of Medicine Committee that published recommendations for Hepatitis and Liver Cancer in 2010. He is the author or co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed papers, 50 book chapters, review articles, or editorials.

Romy Mohelsky, MPH
Romy Mohelsky, MPH is an Epidemiologist at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Alaska Native Epidemiology Center. In this capacity she reports on health status of the Alaska Native population, provides technical assistance to tribal health organizations, and manages a health disparities program. She serves as co-Chair for the Healthy Alaskans 2020 Data Team, as well as the Alaska MCH & Immunization Conference. Prior to working at ANTHC, Romy worked at the CDC NIOSH Alaska Pacific Office. Romy received a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Waterloo in 2010. Her public health interests are focused around minority health, health disparities, injury prevention, and maternal child health.

John Molina, MD, JD, LHD
Dr. John Molina is the Corporate Compliance Officer for Native Health, in Phoenix, AZ. Prior to this he was Director of Health Systems for the Dena’ina Wellness Center, for the Kenaitze Indian Tribe in Kenai, AK. His former positions were as Chief Executive Officer for Phoenix Indian Medical Center, and the Assistant Director and Medical Director for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona’s Medicaid Program.
Dr. Molina is a graduate of the University of Arizona, College of Medicine, and Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law. His specialty training is in Obstetrics and Gynecology with his clinical practice having been with the Indian Health Service and Las Fuentes Health Clinic, a community clinic he established in his hometown of Guadalupe, Arizona. He has published peer-reviewed articles on the integration of Native American culture and medicine.
Dr. Molina received an Honorary Doctoral Degree in Letters from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, Kirksville, Missouri, for his humanitarian work. His academic interests is in Native American healthcare law and policy, indigenous healthcare leadership and patient centered medicine. His hobbies are traveling internationally and participating in cultural events with his wife Stephanie Big Crow (Oglala Lakota) and their daughter Ta’te Was’aka Win (Strong Wind Woman).

Helen Morrin, Curator
Helen has been involved in biobanking for 17 years in her role as curator of the Cancer Society Tissue Bank Christchurch, New Zealand and has a background in cancer research and diagnostic pathology.

Her special interest is in ethics, legislation and social issues, arising from the desire for practical regulatory oversight that meets the needs of all stakeholders and particularly those of New Zealand’s indigenous people.

Helen is currently the International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) Vice Chair of the Science Policy advisory committee, member of the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee (Health) and editorial board member of the journal Biopreservation and Biobanking. She still remains research active with an interest in colorectal, breast and neuroendocrine tumours.

Usha Menon, PhD, RN, FAAN
Usha Menon, PhD, RN, FAAN is Professor and Associate Dean of Research and Global Advances in the College of Nursing; co-PI of the NIH-funded All Of Us Research Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Menon is a recognized expert in behavior change theory and interventions. A major emphasis of her research is on health equity for aging and vulnerable minority populations and the reduction of health disparities in cancer prevention and early detection using rigorous theory-based models of inquiry. She has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health and national foundations garnering about $20 million in total research funding. Dr. Menon is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and a Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame inductee, and honored as a Top 100 Alumni Legacy Leader by the Indiana University School of Nursing.

Diane O’Brien, PhD
Dr. Diane O’Brien is a nutritional physiologist with expertise in stable isotope ratios as biomarkers of diet and metabolic physiology. She has been on the faculty of the University of Alaska Fairbanks since 2004, and was promoted to Professor in 2015. She earned her PhD from Princeton University in 1998 and was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University and the Carnegie Institution of Washington Geophysical Laboratory, where she trained in stable isotope biogeochemistry. Her research focuses on biomarker development and application in nutritional epidemiology. She is currently involved with 2 NIH R01 grants, as PI and co-I, validating new, objective biomarkers of dietary sugars intake.

Kyan Olanna, JD
Kyan Olanna is the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. She has a Rural Development degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a law degree from Yale Law School. Prior to working at ANTHC, she served as General Counsel for the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation and the Norton Sound Health Corporation, and has worked as an attorney in the law firms of Perkins Coie and Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Miller & Munson. Olanna served as law clerk to former Chief Justice Bryner of the Alaska Supreme Court. She has also been an adjunct professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Alaska Pacific University.

Susannah Olnes, MD
Susannah Olnes is a pediatrician works at South Central Foundation in the Pediatrics Clinic. She sees patients in our Healthy Lifestyles Clinic with a pediatric endocrinologist, behavioral health consultant, exercise physiologist, and a nutritionist.  She is very interested in helping to reduce Alaskan Native’s childhood obesity rates by working one on one with children in clinic and the healthy lifestyles clinic.  She is a graduate of Uniformed Services Medical School and INOVA/Fairfax Pediatrics Residency.  She served in the Public Health Service in the Indian Health Service for 14 years which allowed her work with children in various parts of the country.   She loves camping, hiking and being with her husband and three kids.

Xiomara Owens, MS
Xiomara “Xio” Owens, MS, grew up in Wasilla, Alaska and currently lives in Anchorage with her wife and 11-year-old son. Xio obtained her bachelor and master degrees in psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage and she is a PhD Candidate in the UAA-UAF Clinical-Community Psychology program. She completed her pre-doctoral internship as a clinician in Bethel, Alaska and has worked at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium for seven years, serving tribal partners throughout the state. As the BHA Program Manager, Xio seeks to understand statewide behavioral health concerns, align training needs and resources, and assist in the continued development of a culturally sensitized behavioral health workforce to serve rural Alaskan communities. Xio was a consultant in the development of the Healthy Healers curriculum, a co-trainer with the second pilot of the program, and designed the training-for-trainers for Healthy Healers instructors.

Evon Peter, Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community and Native Education
Evon Peter was appointed vice chancellor for rural, community and Native education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks by Chancellor Brian Rogers in July 2014. A UAF alumnus, Peter is Neetsaii Gwich’in and Koyukon from Arctic Village, Alaska where he served three years as the tribal Chief. He currently serves as a board member to the Gwich’in Council International, which represents Gwich’in nation interests in the Arctic Council forum. His international work also includes participation in the United Nations forum and locally has focused on implementing health, leadership and workforce development projects. Evon co-founded Native Movement with his wife Enei Begaye Peter (Navajo) in 2004, a national non-profit Indigenous youth leadership development and sustainability organization. Since 2009, he served as CEO of Gwanzhii, LLC, a firm providing strategic planning, program development and other services to private and public institutions throughout Alaska. He holds a Baccalaureate degree in Alaska Native studies and a Masters degree in rural development. He resides in Fairbanks with his wife and four children.

Sherman Powell
Sherman Powell works as the Compliance Officer for the Norton Sound Health Corporation in Nome, Alaska. Sherman also serves as the staff liaison for NSHC’s Research Ethics and Review Board (RERB). He has been in this role since April of 2015.







Terry Powell, MBA
Terry J. M. Powell has been a member of the Alaska Area IRB since 1994, and she currently serves as the IRB administrator. Mrs. Powell is the daughter of Bob and Esther Mulcahy, the eldest of five children, and a lifelong Alaskan. She was born in Cordova, AK, and grew up in Bethel and Kodiak, AK. She is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is a member of the Chugach Alaska Corporation and and a member of the Eyak Tribe. Her interests include research ethics, tribal healthcare research, bioethics, and fishing. Mrs. Powell has been married to her college sweetheart, John, for 37 years, and she is the proud mother of two adult children and four Alaskan grandsons.

Cheryl Rosa, DVM, PhD
Dr. Cheryl Rosa is Deputy Director and Anchorage-based Alaska Director of the United States Arctic Research Commission (USARC), an independent federal agency of Presidential appointees that advises the White House and Congress on Arctic research matters and works with executive branch agencies to establish and execute a national Arctic research plan. The Commission also facilitates cooperation with local and state governments and recommends means for developing international scientific cooperation in the Arctic.

Dr. Rosa is trained as a Wildlife Veterinarian and Wildlife Biologist and has worked with subsistence communities on the North Slope and in the Russian Far East on a wide range of studies involving wildlife health and zoonotic disease, marine mammal stranding response, subsistence food safety and oil spill/offshore discharge research. She is a member of the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee, as well as numerous other federal and non-federal boards and steering committees.

Presently, she is involved in running USARC’s Alaska Rural Water and Sanitation Working Group, the Arctic Renewable Energy Working Group and the Arctic Mental and Behavioral Health Working Group.

She received a PhD in Biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Tufts University and a BS in Animal Science and a BS in Zoology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Renee Robinson, PharmD, MPH, MSPharm
Renee Robinson, PharmD, MPH, MSPharm, is an officer in the US Public Health Service and a the Senior Researcher leading the Medical Services Research Team at Southcentral Foundation (SCF), a tribally-owned and operated healthcare facility in Anchorage, AK. Dr. Robinson’s primary research interests focus on the health needs of the community she serves and include; health disparities, health services research, chronic disease management, and maternal and child health. As part of Native-Chart home blood pressure monitoring, Dr. Robinson works with Dr. Dillard to co-lead dissemination activities at SCF.

AJ Salkoski MA, HHS
AJ Salkoski is the Senior Program Manager for The Tribal Air Quality Program & The Healthy Homes Program at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) and has 9 years of environmental health experience in Alaska.  He currently works on studies and projects to find the relationship between indoor air quality and need for respiratory medical care among high risk Alaska Native Children and to work on air quality issues in Alaska Native Communities. He also has experience with projects focused on solid waste management, community planning, and energy efficiency in communities in rural Alaska. AJ holds a master’s degree and undergraduate degrees from the University of Indianapolis.

Ada Sue Selwitz, MA
Ada Sue Selwitz, MA, is responsible for assisting the University of Kentucky in developing institutional policies pertaining to a variety of compliance issues such as protection of human subjects, scientific misconduct, humane care and use of animals, and data retention. Since 1979, she has worked at the University of Kentucky in a variety of roles including director of sponsored program development, director of the Office of Research Integrity, and executive integrity/compliance advisor. She has an adjunct associate professor appointment in the Department of Behavioral Sciences in the College of Medicine. Ms. Selwitz has co-authored publications and given over 150 national/state presentations. Ms. Selwitz has been involved in research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Scientist Center on Animal Welfare, and the National Science Foundation. She has been the recipient of several national awards such as Society of Research Administrators Excellence Award, Applied Research Ethics National Association Distinguished Service Award, ARENA Appreciation Award, and the National Council of University Administrators Outstanding Achievement in Research Administration Award. Ms. Selwitz has served a leadership role within the state and nation through her participation in several national and federally sponsored education and policy development initiatives. She served on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Advisory group on the Public Health Service Responsible Conduct of Research policy, the NIH Regulatory Burden Committee, the DHHS Secretary Advisory Committee on Human Research Protection, and the CITI Advisory Board. Ms. Selwitz was co-faculty in the Investigator 101 CD-ROM which was distributed by the Office for Human Research Protections to institutions with assurances. She co-founded PRIM&R’s IRB 101sm program and served on the PRIM&R Board from 1987 to 2016.

 Rosalyn Singleton, MD, MPH
Rosalyn Singleton graduated from Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago in 1982, and completed a Pediatric residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, and a MPH from Loma Linda University. She worked as a pediatrician 1985-88 in a Navajo hospital. From 1988-2014 Dr Singleton worked as a part-time pediatrician at Alaska Native Medical Center and Immunization Program Director for Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). In 2015 Rosalyn worked for the State of Alaska on vaccine financing solutions, and remained part-time with ANTHC. During 2016 she returned to ANTHC as a research physician. Since 1988 to present she has also worked as a guest researcher with Arctic Investigations Program – Centers for Disease Control, conducting clinical studies with Alaska Native people related to vaccine preventable infections, respiratory infections, vitamin D deficiency and bronchiectasis.

Mary Williard, DDS
Dr. Williard is the Director of the Alaska Dental Therapist Educational Program at Ilisagvik College and the Department of Oral Health Promotion for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in Anchorage, Alaska.  She has worked in American Indian/ Alaska Native dental programs since 1996. Her professional experience includes; 2-year GPR with Carolinas Medical Center, clinical care in IHS clinics, Area Dental Officer for Alaska, Director of the Alaska Dental Preventive and Clinical Support Center, clinical supervision of dental therapists and dental therapy curriculum development and instruction.  Dr. Williard is a sought after national expert and speaker on dental therapy practice, supervision and education.

Abbie Willetto Wolfe, MA
Abbie holds a BS in Biology and an MA in Educational Leadership both from Northern Arizona University. In Alaska she has worked as a researcher for Chugach Regional Resource Commission and Southcentral Foundation. She served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage in the M.Ed. program for 7 years. Her early career included; teaching middle and high school science, staff development, educational leadership, and curriculum development. She has worked with the National Science Foundation as Co- Principal Investigator of a nationwide systemic initiative. Throughout her career she has worked to improve the opportunities for underrepresented groups to increase access to the areas of mathematics, science, research and evaluation. Currently she leads the ANTHC Abstract, Manuscript & Proposal Review Committee and works closely with the ANTHC Health Research Review Committee and is the Manager of Research Services at ANTHC. She has served on numerous national and statewide committees that focus on science, mathematics, and multiculturalism. She is a member of the Navajo Nation and lives with her family in Anchorage, Alaska.






Mary Cwik, PhD
Mary F. Cwik, PhD (Licensed Psychologist) is an Associate Director and Associate Scientist at the Center for American Indian Health in the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She has a joint appointment in Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Cwik has conducted research in suicide, substance use and trauma, focusing on preventing Native American mental health disparities for the past 10 years. Dr. Cwik’s research, in collaboration with the White Mountain Apache Tribe, has helped to identify unique risk factors impacting these disparities, the importance of protective factors including cultural identity, and promising interventions associated with a reduction in the Apache suicide rate. Mary has expertise in community academic partnerships, developing mental health interventions for different cultural contexts, training community mental health specialists, screening, surveillance (Apache model recognized by SAMHSA, Indian Health Service/IHS and the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry), mixed methods designs, RCTs, and Emergency Department settings. Dr. Cwik has received two teaching excellence citations and serves on the APA Committee on Human Research, Suicide Prevention Resource Center steering committee, and Zero Suicide National Implementation Team for American Indians and Alaska Natives. 
Cheryl Dalena, BS, C-TTS
Cheryl Dalena is a program coordinator for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s Tobacco Prevention Program and serves as a Co-Chair for Healthy Alaskans 2020. Cheryl is a certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist and has coordinated and/or worked in several tribal cessation programs including rural village counseling through tele-video, phone-based programs and hospital based programs.  During its initial two years, Cheryl coordinated the Growing Up Tobacco-Free in Alaska project, a collaborative community initiative between ANTHC and RurAL CAP to decrease the prevalence of tobacco use in Head Start families.  Cheryl has a wide variety of education and healthcare experience ranging from volunteer work to program development, coordination and evaluation.  Cheryl has lived and worked in Alaska for the last 17 years and understands the challenges of public health initiatives and implementation in rural and tribal communities. Cheryl Dalena has extensive experience and education as a teacher, an educational leader and as an adult learning trainer/facilitator.  Within the last 5 years, Cheryl has presented poster and lecture sessions at local, state, national and international conferences.  Cheryl is originally from Connecticut, married to a southern gentleman and they love to camp, travel and tour or spend time spoiling their fur children!

Roberto Delgado, Jr., PhD
Dr. Delgado is a Health Science Administrator in the Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He coordinated RISING SUN (Reducing the Incidence of Suicide in Indigenous Groups – Strengths United through Networks), a mental wellness initiative under the 2015-2017 US Chairmanship of the Arctic Council; serves as a Project Scientist for Cooperative Agreements on Collaborative Research Hubs to Reduce the Burden of Suicide among American Indian and Alaska Native Youth; and represents NIMH on the NIH Tribal Health Research Coordinating Committee. Before NIMH, Dr. Delgado was at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Division of Polar Programs, where he engaged in program management, helped develop NSF-wide funding opportunities for research and training, and led science and policy activities across federal interagency committees and international working groups. Prior to NSF, Dr. Delgado was a research faculty member at the University of Southern California (USC) with joint appointments in the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Biological Sciences. Dr. Delgado received his PhD in Biological Anthropology & Anatomy from Duke University, and his BS in Biological Sciences, with a dual minor in Neurosciences and Psychology, from USC.

Michael Dickey, MPH
Michael Dickey is the Quality and Performance Improvement Manager for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health and serves as the co-Chair for Healthy Alaskans 2020. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of South Carolina. Over the past 15 years, Michael has worked on National, state and local health initiatives in the areas of Performance Improvement, Coalition Development, Health Equity, Behavioral Health, and Policy, Systems and Environmental Change. Prior to his current position, he worked for the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health. Before making his way to Alaska, Michael worked in Washington DC serving as the Director of Public Health Services for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, as the Assistant CEO for the Society for Public Health Education and as Director of National Data Services for the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Denise Dillard, PhD
Denise A. Dillard, Ph.D., (Inupiaq Eskimo) is the Research Director of Southcentral Foundation (SCF), a tribally-owned and operated health care organization in Anchorage, Alaska. She oversees the direction of a variety of SCF research projects in behavioral health, cancer, and other areas of health disparity conducted by a staff of 25. She works with SCF’s Board of Directors as they review and consider approval of research involving Alaska Native people in and around Anchorage. Additionally, she serves on the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board. Within N-CHART, Dr. Dillard is a lead of the Alaska Satellite Center and a multilevel prevention trial targeting blood pressure control among Alaska Native people diagnosed with hypertension.


Shannon Haggitt, MSW
Shannon Haggitt is the Program Coordinator for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s Tobacco Prevention Program and serves as a Co-Chair for Healthy Alaskans 2020. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis with concentration in social and economic development. Shannon has worked with ANTHC’s Tobacco Prevention Program for two years and prior to her current position, she worked with ANTHC’s Finance Department as an Outreach & Enrollment Coordinator to promote, educate and enroll people across the State for healthcare coverage, including the Health Insurance Marketplace and ANTHC’s Tribally-Sponsored Health Insurance Program.  She has five years of experience working in behavioral health as a Clinical Associate with Southcentral Foundation. Shannon is Yup’ik, originally from the village of Eek located in southwest Alaska.

Joseph Klejka, MD
Joseph A. Klejka, MD, has worked for YKHC since 1992, first as a front line Family Medicine physician at the hospital, and for the last 21 years as the Corporate Medical Director, which duties include directing the Human Studies review process for YKHC. Dr. Klejka received his Medical Degree from North Eastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM) in 1989 and finished a 3 year residency in Family Medicine in 1992 at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio.

Andy Jones, BS
Andy Jones is the Director for the Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention within the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). Andy was on staff within DHSS when asked by Governor Bill Walker to lead the effort in combating the opioid epidemic. Mr. Jones currently serves as the Deputy Incident Commander for Alaska’s Opioid Epidemic
Response.




Denise Morris, Director of Corporate Compliance
Denise is Southcentral Foundation’s (SCF) Compliance and Privacy Officer and directs SCF’s compliance and regulatory programs. She also acts as SCF’s Research Integrity Officer and serves on the Research Oversight Committee, Quality Assurance Committee, and Compliance Committee.

A longtime advocate, Denise has served on numerous boards and commissions promoting social justice, equality, health care, and victim rights. She is a member of the Alaska Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She is the former Chair of the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission and was appointed by Governor Knowles as a member of the Tolerance Commission.

Denise is known for her advocacy in justice, equality and health care at the local, state, and federal level. She is a founding member of Alaska Native Women’s Sexual Assault Committee, a founding member of the Alaska Innocence Project and a former board member of STAR. She served on the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Task Force: Preventing Violence Against Indian and Alaska Native Women; advisory Board Member for the University of Alaska, Institute of Social and Economic Research; and advisory Board Member U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Victims of Crime,

She earned her BA in Justice from the University of Alaska, and was a member of the inaugural class of Alaska Pacific University’s Alaska Native Executive Leadership Master’s Program. She holds a Master’s Certificate in Health Care Compliance from George Washington University and has earned Certifications in Health Care Compliance and Healthcare Privacy Compliance. Her family hails from the Pribilof Islands and she is of Aleut heritage.

 Stacy Rasmus, PhD
Stacy Rasmus, PhD, is a Research Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Institute of Arctic Biology and the College of Rural and Community Development at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is also an affiliated Research Faculty at the Northwest Indian College in Bellingham, Washington. Dr. Rasmus is trained in the social and behavioral sciences with specific expertise in the translation of Indigenous knowledge and practice into health interventions that are community-driven and culturally-centered. She currently leads several federal grants that focus on increasing strength and resilience and reducing risk for substance use disorders and suicide in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Her most recent award, through the National Institute of Mental Health, will establish the Alaska Native Collaborative Hub for Resilience Research (ANCHRR) as a centralized resource for developing statewide partnerships and disseminating strategies and successes in suicide prevention.

Jordan Skan, MS
Jordan Skan, MS, is a doctoral candidate in the joint University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Anchorage Ph.D. Program in Clinical-Community Psychology. Jordan was born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska. He is currently the Cardiology Research Program Manager and leads the Healing and Empowering Alaskan Lives Toward Healthy Hearts (HEALTHH) Study. Additionally, Jordan is the principle investigator on a sub-study under HEALTHH that looks to explore alternative ways of obtaining informed consent remotely with Alaska Native men and women living in rural villages.

Jennifer Shaw, PhD
Jennifer Shaw is a Senior Researcher at Southcentral Foundation, an Alaska Native, non-profit health organization serving 65,000 people in Anchorage, the Mat Su Borough and 55 rural villages. At SCF since 2010, she participates in tribal research review and leads a team of investigators that specializes in behavioral health services, with studies currently focused on preventing suicide through caring text messages, behavioral treatment of alcohol misuse, and culturally-tailored communication for advance care planning.  Before coming to SCF, she conducted mixed-methods, applied health research topics ranging from immigrant children’s access to health care, to medication adherence of adolescents with cancer, and the role of subsistence in the wellbeing and aspirations of Alaska Native youth. Dr. Shaw earned her PhD in medical anthropology at Case Western Reserve University, her MA in anthropology at University of Kansas and her BA in psychology and anthropology at Mount Holyoke College. After living in Alaska for 15 years, she misses prairie thunderstorms and fireflies, but loves camping, hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing in Alaska with her husband and their two Bernese Mountain Dogs, Princess Buttercup and Kismet.

Danielle Varney
Danielle Varney is a Yupik eskimo, born and raised in rural Alaska, and now calls Anchorage home. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast and has traveled and adventured extensively throughout our beautiful state.  She has had the privilege of working for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium for the last 17 years.  She began her career with ANTHC as a high school student, continued through college and after her graduation from the University of Alaska Anchorage.  She has been a research associate providing clinic and research support with the Liver Disease and Hepatitis Program for the past 8 years.



Lisa Wexler, PhD, MSW
Lisa M. Wexler, Ph.D., M.S.W. is an Associate Professor of Community Health Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her expertise includes community education, Alaska Native suicide prevention and participatory research. She has been working in Northwest Alaska for over 20 years, and in this time engages community members and service providers in studies that investigate resilience and work to prevent Alaska Native youth suicide. With community partners, she considers the ways that cultural and social systems shape patterns of resilience within families and communities. In collaboration with tribal service organizations, her research considers the ways that prevention programs, health and mental health services can better meet the needs of rural Alaska Native communities and persons.


R. Brian Woodbury, BA
R. Brian Woodbury is a Researcher at Southcentral Foundation. He has a BA in the History and Philosophy of Mathematics and Science from St. John’s College and a certificate in Premedical Studies from Johns Hopkins University. His work experience includes four years as licensed practical nurse in the U.S. Army, three years as a program assistant and research associate at the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), and experience managing and advising public health-oriented developmental aids projects in rural Nepal. As a research associate at NAM, Mr. Woodbury contributed to consensus reports on treatment of cardiac arrest, public health approaches to vision impairment and eye disease, and the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. At SCF, Mr. Woodbury supports research projects on participatory research, data-sharing, and precision medicine in the context of Alaska Native and American Indian communities.
Tina Marie Woods, PhD
Tina Marie Woods is Aleut originally from St. Paul Island, Alaska and Chamorro from the Island of Guam. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and received a Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology with a Rural Indigenous Emphasis from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She maintains longevity working within the Alaska Tribal Health System (15+ years) with majority of her time as an administrator for the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA). She is currently the Senior Director of Community Health Services for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

She particularly enjoys utilizing Talking Circles as a tool to help others begin their healing journey. Her passion for Talking Circles led to a dissertation and first known empirical investigation of the effectiveness of Talking Circles among Alaska Native individuals demonstrating that psychological research with Alaska Native Peoples can be conducted in a scientifically rigorous, yet still culturally sensitive and respectful manner. Additionally, she participated in research that tried to understand potential cultural barriers (e.g., acculturation, stigma, historical trauma) to Alaska Native Peoples seeking professional mental health services; and attitudes and behaviors that they have toward mental health help-seeking.

She respectfully blends both Western science and indigenous practices based on teachings from Elders. She has dedicated her academic training and career towards working with Alaska Native Peoples to provide quality, holistic and comprehensive health services. She presents with “lived experience” and leverages such experience in combination with science for teaching others about trauma informed care. She strongly believes in going upstream with prevention efforts in order to make a significant difference for future generations.


 

Contact Information

Payment Instructions

  • Checks, purchase orders and credit cards will be accepted for payment and must be received by Monday, October 9, 2017. If we have not received payment in full on or before this date, you will be asked to pay your registration fees onsite.

    Checks:
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    i do Events LLC
    2500 Winterchase Circle
    Anchorage, AK 99516
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    i do Events LLC
    2500 Winterchase Circle
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    Cancellation Policy
    All requests for registration additions, changes and / or cancellations must be in writing via mail, fax or e-mail and received no later than Tuesday, October 3, 2017. All cancellations will be incur an administrative processing fee of $25.00. No refunds or credits will be made after Tuesday, October 3, 2017, however a substitute may be assigned with proper notice. Refunds will be processed after the conference. No refunds will be issued for those who register, but do not attend the conference.
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