Premera Funds to Help Bolster Rural Health Care in Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A health insurer in Alaska has announced plans to provide $5.7 million to help bolster rural health care in the state.

The funds pledged by Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska will go toward the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, the University of Alaska Anchorage and a new grant-making program administered by the Rasmuson Foundation in partnership with the Alaska Community Foundation, reported the Juneau Empire.

The grant-making program, which will be known as the Rural Health Care Fund, will get $3 million of the pledged funds. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 will be given to rural outpatient clinics, community health centers and hospitals for small capital improvement projects and medical equipment, said Jeff Roe, president and CEO of Premera Blue Cross.

Read the full article here.

Source: Premera funds to help bolster rural health care in Alaska – AP

Friday Focus: All about the community

Evon Peter, vice chancellor for rural, community and Native education (UAF photo by JR Ancheta)

The community college mission is essential to meeting Alaska workforce needs and providing career pathways for students of all backgrounds. It is an entry point into postsecondary education that is open to all people interested in pursuing technical skills and academic knowledge, independent of where they are in their educational journey.  Some begin while still in high school through college partnerships, such as with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District to become a certified nurse aide. Others start later in life or return to pursue a second or third career transition.

At UAF, we deliver on this mission through the UAF Community and Technical College and the College of Rural and Community Development, with its five rural campuses: Chukchi Campus (Kotzebue), Northwest Campus (Nome), Bristol Bay Campus (Dillingham), Kuskokwim Campus (Bethel) and the Interior Alaska Campus (Interior).

The community college mission is all about community partnership and responsiveness. Each of our six community campuses has a local advisory board composed of local business leaders, public and private organizational leaders, and community members. They help bridge campus relationships with local and regional entities to maximize the focus and benefit of programs and opportunities offered through the campus.

Read the full article here.

Source: Friday Focus: All about the community – UAF News

UAA Looks to Expand Nursing School to Help with Increasing Demand for Nurses in Alaska

It’s one of the most in-demand professions in the country and Alaska is no exception. The Alaska Department of Labor estimates the state will need an additional 1,141 registered nurses by 2026.

Marianne Murray, director of the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing,  said the demand for nurses is increasing as the state’s population ages.

“One of the reasons why is because Alaska has what we call a ‘silver tsunami’ which is, our population is aging,” she said. “And of course, with an aging population, we have an increase in health care needs.”

Murray said UAA is actively working to help fill the gap for health care workers, especially nurses. The nursing school offers both a four-year bachelor’s and two-year associate’s degree in the profession. Although, realistically, Murray said the associate’s degree takes three years to complete.

Watch the video and read the full article here.

Source: UAA looks to expand nursing school to help with increasing demand for nurses in Alaska – KTVA

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