Mat-Su Regional Expands Services, Adds Local Jobs

The new hyperbaric therapy center brought 10 jobs to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, which is also expanding to its third floor with a $16.5 million renovation.

Mat-Su Regional Medical Center is now the only place in Alaska where patients can receive hyperbaric treatment.

The program relies on altering air pressure around patients, which can markedly improve patients’ recovery.

“Essentially what we do is dive them down to 66 to 70 feet below sea level with 100-percent oxygen,” said Dr. Rachel Cuevas, explaining the procedure. “(It) gives them more oxygen in their system to help heal.”

Cuevas is the medical director for the Advanced Wound Care and Hyperbaric Therapy Center that opened in October. She said the new equipment has changed the way staff care for patients. People with frostbite, for example, used to have to fly to Seattle for treatment or risk amputation.

“One of the first patients we ran in the chamber had lived her entire life out there in the Valley,” Cuevas said. “She had blood clots go to her toes and they were looking at amputating seven of her toes. We put her in the hyperbaric chamber for a number of treatments and we saved all of her toes.”

Not only is the center providing a new kind of care, it’s also brought about 10 jobs to the Mat-Su.

During Alaska’s recession, health care continues to be a bright spot.

The latest report from UAA’s Institute for Social and Economic Research shows Alaska gained 600 health care jobs in 2018; another 500 are expected to be added this year too.

Cuevas isn’t surprised by that data.

“Health care is one of those things you can’t do without,” she said.

Mat-Su Regional currently has more than 800 employees. The hospital will add dozens of more jobs as it expands operations to the building’s third floor and opens a new behavioral health unit.

“We’re in the east wing of our medical surgical unit, we’re expanding and adding 35 beds,” said CEO Dave Wallace, showing off the new area that’s still under construction. The entire renovation will cost about $16.5 million.

Wallace said Mat-Su Regional’s emergency room is often overcrowded, but the addition means more space for treatment to meet the growing needs of the region’s rising population.

“There are also nursing homes coming to the Valley for the first time and other services we work in tandem with, so we’re excited about developing the work force and making this a great place for health care workers to come,” he said.

Source: Mat-Su Regional expands services, adds local jobs – KTVA

February is CTE Month®

What is CTE?

Career and technical education, or CTE, is education that directly prepares students for high-wage, high-demand careers. CTE covers many different fields, including health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, hospitality and management and many more, as described in the national Career Clusters® and ACTE’s What is CTE? page and Sector Sheets. CTE encompasses many different types of education, from classroom learning to certification programs to work-based learning opportunities outside the classroom.

What is CTE Month? 

Career and Technical Education Month®, or CTE Month®, is a public awareness campaign that takes place each February to celebrate the value of CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country.

What can I do to celebrate CTE Month?

See Alaska Governor’s Proclamation here.

Source: CTE Month® | ACTE

Anchorage Teacher One of 4 Finalists for National Teacher of the Year

Alaska Native Cultural Charter School teacher Danielle Riha, center, was named the 2019 Alaska Teacher of the Year by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development at an assembly on October 29, 2018. Anchorage School District superintendent Deena Bishop is at left, and the school’s principal Sheila Sweetsir is at right. (Marc Lester / ADN)

An Anchorage teacher is one of four finalists for this year’s prestigious National Teacher of the Year award.

Danielle Riha, 51, teaches seventh- and eighth-grade students at the Alaska Native Cultural Charter School in the Anchorage School District. She was named the 2019 Alaska Teacher of the Year in October. That put her in the running for this year’s National Teacher of the Year award as Alaska’s official nominee.

Riha was named one of four finalists in the national competition on Wednesday. A committee selected her from a nationwide group of 57 nominated teachers. It’s the first time an Alaska teacher was picked as a finalist for National Teacher of the Year since 1995, according to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

“I feel really excited,” Riha said. “Not just for me, but for my school.”

This year’s other finalists are Donna Gradel from Oklahoma, Kelly Harper from Washington, D.C., and Rodney Robinson from Virginia, said a statement from the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Washington,D.C.-based nonprofit that runs the award program.

Read the full article here.

Source: Anchorage teacher one of 4 finalists for National Teacher of the Year – ADN