Opportunity Created for Alaska Native People
Judith Muller, MHA, MEcon
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC)
“Alaska Native people lead the nation in incidence and mortality from colorectal cancer. It is a problem that needs to be addressed in our tribal health system and statewide. I found the Prevent Cancer Foundation when looking for a conference that would contribute to my knowledge about colorectal cancer and in turn translate into materials and programs that might be useful within our tribal system.
The Alaska Native Health System includes a tertiary hospital in Anchorage and six regional hospitals and health associations around the state. Here at ANTHC we needed to create an opportunity to bring people from the regions together to talk about colorectal cancer and how we might support each other in addressing this health concern. The Dialogue for Action on Colorectal Cancer provided a structure and impetus for that gathering. With funding from PCF we were able to organize a meeting in Anchorage and invite and fund representatives from each of the regions to attend and share the unique situations they faced in each of their communities.
Working with Prevent Cancer Foundation we had the opportunity to bring the Prevent Cancer Super Colon™ exhibit to Anchorage in October 2009 for the annual Federation of Natives Convention. We received grant funding and technical support from Prevent Cancer Foundation which supported our development of several printed pieces including a flip chart on cancer screening which is being distributed to 230 rural village health clinics for patient education and also for assistance in producing a :30 section TV spot entitled Love Your Colon. This spot has reached Alaskans statewide.”
Editors Note: this blog post is part of the 25th Anniversary testimonials initiative.