On behalf of the Alaska Public Health Association, it is my pleasure and honor to welcome you to the 36th Alaska Health Summit. This year’s conference theme, “Diverse Stories Inspiring Community Action,” celebrates the good work of many, highlighting the following sub-themes:
Partnerships to Promote the Public’s Health – We actively seek to both recognize well-established partnerships and welcome new ones, particularly non-traditional partners from outside the formal public health and health sectors. This is consistent with the national Public Health 3.0 initiative, the growing recognition of the importance of the social determinants of health, and the need for health in all policies.
Strength-Based Approaches to Health Promotion – We recognize the unintentional consequence of potentially stigmatizing those in our communities who bear a disproportionate burden of disease, illness and injury, often for complex socio-cultural reasons beyond their control. We are excited to highlight strength-based approaches to addressing identified problems.
Cultural Attunement and Community Engagement – We recognize that our state is home to a rich multi-cultural tapestry of traditions and includes some of the most culturally diverse zip codes in the country. We know, too, that people often have unique and valuable insight into the nature of the challenges they face and that they should be actively engaged in the development of potential solutions.
We have a full schedule with outstanding speakers who will engage us in thinking about some of the most critical issues affecting public health in Alaska today. It is my hope that you will fully engage with the learning and networking opportunities and come away inspired for your own work and partnerships. We encourage you to explore the many pre- and post- Summit offerings, too.
Our Steering Committee made a commitment and concerted effort to make the 36th AK Summit even more ‘green’. This year we offer an electronic short program and a mobile friendly website that includes the full schedule that participants will be able to sort by conference day.
We are also reviving a previous practice of asking participants to ‘recycle’ old conference and meeting bags by bringing them to the Summit and sharing with others. As in the past, a few prizes will be given for some fun categories such “bag from farthest away”, “most colorful”, “most ancient but still functional” and “most Alaskan”.
The annual Health Summit is a flagship event of the Alaska Public Health Association, but it is not all that we do! The Board of Directors invites you to join us for the reception and annual meeting on Tuesday, January 22 at 5:00 p.m. at the Hotel Captain Cook Quarter Deck to find out more about our work and how you can be involved.
Rhonda M. Johnson
President, Alaska Public Health Association
Chair, 2019 Alaska Health Summit