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

Alaska January Economic Trends

Trends begins 2019 with the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development annual jobs forecast. For this year, they forecast a small amount of overall job growth. Regionally, the Fairbanks area’s employment will grow the most, largely tied to the preparations to house two F-35 squadrons at Eielson Air Force base over the next couple of years as well as the accompanying personnel and their families.

Source: Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development

Report Highlights MSIs as ‘Underutilized Resource’ for Strengthening STEM Workforce

Providing early research experiences and creating supportive campus environments are among the promising and intentional strategies outlined in a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine focused on the impact and role of minority-serving institutions (MSIs) in producing graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Dr. Kent McGuire

The academy’s report “Minority-Serving Institutions: America’s Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce” reaffirms the relevance of MSIs and notes an urgent need to invest in the institutions to not only graduate and prepare MSI students for in-demand STEM careers, but also to sustain and enhance the nation’s economic prosperity, global competitiveness and national security, according to committee members sponsoring the report.

“This country can’t strengthen the STEM pipeline and bring more people into it without engaging the institutions where the students actually are,” said Dr. Kent McGuire, co-chair of the Committee on Closing the Equity Gap: Securing Our STEM Education and Workforce Readiness Infrastructure in the Nation’s Minority-Serving Institutions. “The conversation isn’t about, ‘Well, we can’t work with these schools because they don’t have this or they don’t have that.’ The conversation has to be, ‘We won’t actually be competitive internationally if we don’t help these schools do well what it is they do.’”

McGuire, who is also program director of education at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, added that, among other things, the report speaks to the variation among MSIs in how they serve students and also the challenges they face collectively and individually. America’s nearly 700 two- and four-year MSIs include historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs).

Read the full article here. It also mentions the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) at the University of Alaska Anchorage that embodies the strategies in the report by targeting students earlier in the pipeline – as early as sixth grade – and supporting and nurturing their intellectual growth and interest in STEM fields as they matriculate through their postsecondary education.

Source: Report Highlights MSIs as ‘Underutilized Resource’ for Strengthening STEM Workforce – Diverse Issues in Higher Education