Sitka Health Summit chooses two community wellness projects for 2021-22





SITKA, Alaska (Sept. 23, 2021) — Ending homelessness in Sitka and rebuilding the community schools program were the themes as more than 40 Sitka residents gathered to choose two community wellness projects at the 13th annual Sitka Health Summit planning day, held Thursday, Sept. 23, using Zoom online meetings. These projects will be pursued in 2021-22.


This was the first Sitka Health Summit planning day since 2018. In 2019, the planning day was postponed because the community of Sitka was honored with a Culture of Health Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, an application submitted by the Sitka Health Summit Coalition. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the event.


Sitka residents were invited to submit project ideas online before Sept. 14, which generated a list of about 100 projects in a variety of categories, such as physical activity, nutrition, mental health, health equity, etc. The project proposals were split into 10 categories, with participants on Thursday picking their top proposals in each category to submit for final consideration. The top two projects will receive up to $2,000 in seed money, in addition to some facilitation services from the Sitka Health Summit Coalition, to help get the projects off the ground.


“The day is designed to bring out the wisdom of all 40 of the citizen planners and the community at large,” Sitka Health Summit Coalition member Doug Osborne said. “It all came together beautifully, and the group selected two inspiring goals that are ambitious and doable”


Each of the two chosen community wellness projects will host a kick-off event in the near future, and these events are open to the public and anybody who wants to help with the project. The projects, their kick-off meetings, and contact people are listed below.


· End homelessness in Sitka by building a 12-cabin tiny home neighborhood for the homeless at the top of Jarvis Street — 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 13, over Zoom, contact Gayle Young, 747-7978, sitkahc@gmail.com, https://www.facebook.com/Sitka-Homeless-Coalition-100657291539689

· Revive a sustainable community schools program for youth and adults — 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 13, at a location TBA, contact Andrew Friske, 738-3141, andrewf@mehs.us


In addition to the two project kick-off meetings, the monthly Sitka Health Summit Wooch.een (Tlingít for “Working Together”) health networking lunch meeting will be at noon on Thursday, Oct. 14, online using Zoom. Every Wooch.een meeting includes goal updates and opportunities to support the projects. For more information, contact Doug Osborne at 966-8674 or Amanda Roberts at 966-8745.


The Sitka Health Summit is coordinated, funded, and supported by a coalition of local groups that includes the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), Sitka Counseling/Hope Coalition, Sitka Tribe of Alaska Social Services, Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV), Sitka Salmon Shares, Sitka Conservation Society, Harry Race Pharmacy/White’s Inc., First Bank, the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus, the State of Alaska Division of Public Health-Section of Public Health Nursing, Southeast Radiation Oncology Center, Outer Coast, Spinning Moon Apothecary, Sitka School District, and the Sitka Health Summit Coalition.


For more information about the Sitka Health Summit and its current and past projects, go to http://www.sitkahealthsummit.org/. Photos from the summit are posted on the Sitka Health Summit page on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/SitkaHealthSummit.

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