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Summit offers Unprecedented Support for 2014-2015 Citizen Health Initiatives

Sitka Health Summit Planning Day Just 4 Weeks Away!

The Sitka Health Summit is proud to announce that our 8th Annual Planning Day will take place on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. The day will run 8:30am – 4:30pm and take place at Harrigan Centennial Hall. A healthy, locally-sourced lunch will be provided. The fish taco lunch will salute the highly successful and nationally-recognized Fish-to-Schools program, which was a 2010 Sitka Health Summit Planning Day initiative.

In our 8th year, the Sitka Health Summit has reached an organizational milestone. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we have been able to grow our capacity, so that we will be able to provide this year’s initiatives with unprecedented support. Each initiative will receive $2,000 in start-up funds. Additionally, the Health Summit has been able to hire an Executive Director, Sitka’s own Melissa Marconi Wentzel, who will provide each action group with on-going organizational support in the form of group facilitation, PR and outreach, and social media exposure. Our goal is to do all we can to set the two chosen initiatives up for success.

The Sitka Health Summit’s approach to citizen-centered health improvement is unique in the nation, and was recently recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Sitka Health Summit was named one of only 12 finalists, from a national pool of 250 applicants, for the Foundation’s prestigious Roadmapst to Health Prize (see the press release on our website -

Planning Day is the central event in the Sitka Health Summit’s Community Health Initiatives Program. Planning Day engages a diverse body of 50-60 community members in a day of collaboration and consensus-building around the issue of community health and wellness improvement. The challenge before planners is to adopt two engergizing, concrete and attainable health and wellness goals that action groups will work on over the course of one year. Beginning with large group brainstorming, the day will transition into break-out groups, and by the close of the day, planners will use modified consensus to choose 2014’s initiatives.

The Program has a strong track record of success, with initiatives that have had a deep and lasting impact on Sitka’s health and wellness landscape, many of which have attracted national attention. Past initiatives include but are not limited to: the Fish-to-Schools Program, the Sitka Farmer’s Market, the Choose Respect Mural project, the Hames Center, Revitalize Sitka and the Downtown Revitalization Project, becoming a nationally-recognized Walk- and Bike-Friendly community, and the Sitkans Together Against Meth Program. For a full list of initiatives, visit our website:

The Sitka Health Summit encourages public participation in Planning Day. The success of both Planning Day and the chosen initiatives lies in one key ingredient: diversity. All people and all ideas are welcome. Indeed, they are necessary.

Consider the questions:

What does community health and wellness mean to you?

What community health and wellness improvements would you like to see?

What will improve the quality of life of Sitka’s citizens?

How can I help?

Register for Planning Day today.

Register online at

Or call Director, Melissa Marconi Wentzel at (907) 738-0462.


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