Sitka Health Summit planning day set for Thursday, Oct. 4

The 12th annual Sitka Health Summit planning day is planned for 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, in Room 229 on the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus. All ideas and people are welcome, and lunch is provided.

Participants will brainstorm, evaluate and select two community wellness goals to pursue over the next year, and then plan steps to launch the new initiatives. The two chosen community wellness goals will be eligible for $2,000 in seed money. This year’s theme is “Working Toward an Equitable Future.”

There have been several food-related Sitka Health Summit community wellness goals over the years, such as starting a local foods/farmers market, compiling the Sitka Community Food Assessment, planting fruit trees around town, launching the Fish to Schools program, starting the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen, and more. Other past Sitka Health Summit community wellness goals include building an ADA-accessible community playground and becoming a more walk-friendly and bike-friendly community, among other projects. In 2017, Sitka residents chose reducing Sitka’s carbon emissions and starting a series of trauma-informed community conversations as the two Sitka Health Summit projects.

“The Sitka Health Summit planning day provides a great chance to turn a good idea into a practical goal that has funding and support,” said Doug Osborne, Sitka Community Hospital health promotion director. “For 12 years, the motto has been all ideas and all people are welcome. If you can’t make it, but would like to submit an idea for consideration, please call me at 747-0373 so it can be shared on the big day.”

The Sitka Health Summit is coordinated and funded by a coalition of local groups that includes the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), Sitka Community Hospital, Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka Counseling and Prevention Services, and the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus. Additional support is provided by the State of Alaska Division of Public Health-Section of Public Health Nursing, Southeast Radiation Oncology Center, White’s Pharmacy, the Sitka Food Co-Op, ALPS Federal Credit Union, Sitka Vision Center, Dr. Marley’s Family Dentistry, the Sitka Community Hospital Foundations, and the Sitka Health Summit Coalition.

For more information about the Sitka Health Summit, contact Loyd Platson at 747-3636, or go to the website at http://www.sitkahealthsummit.org or the Sitka Health Summit page on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/SitkaHealthSummit.

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Sitka Health Summit chooses two community wellness projects for the next year

Starting a series of trauma-informed community conversations and reducing Sitka’s carbon emissions were the theme as Sitka residents gathered to choose two community wellness projects to pursue in 2017-18 at the 11th annual Sitka Health Summit, held Oct. 11-13, at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus and Sitka Public Library. The Sitka Local Foods Network got its start through a couple of Sitka Health Summit projects.

This year, the summit featured Justin Rivas, MPH, MIPA, of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, who also works with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Rivas led a boundary-spanning leadership workshop on Wednesday morning to help leaders learn how to be more inclusive in their planning. He also gave a presentation on health equity on Wednesday night.

The Sitka Health Summit Planning Day was expanded to a day and a half this year, with Rivas facilitating. On Thursday afternoon, Rivas discussed health equity and also went over some of the Sitka and Alaska health information gathered from the RWJF County Health Rankings (http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/). He also discussed the site’s What Works For Health project (http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/policies) that lists hundreds of possible health projects and the evidence-based research that shows how they work. On Friday, about 30-40 Sitkans gathered to select the two community wellness projects to pursue for the next year.

“The Sitka Health Summit team was successful in using data and evidence to inform the goal-setting process at this year’s planning day,” Rivas said. “They also met the challenge of strategically incorporating health equity in the selection of the year’s goals.”

There were 33 initial projects proposed, in a variety of categories such as physical activity, nutrition (including two people suggesting a veggie prescriptions project), mental health, health equity, etc. They were narrowed down to five semifinalists, and two of those were combined to make it four semifinal projects. The two chosen projects each will receive $2,000 in seed money, as well as some facilitation services from the Sitka Health Summit advisory team, to help get the projects off the ground.

“The planners chose two important goals for this year,” Sitka Health Summit Coalition member Doug Osborne said. “The first group decided to have some critical conversations about our community’s past and present as well as the kind of future we want for all of our residents. Understanding our ‘history’ (including the painful parts that often don’t get discussed), becoming a trauma-informed community, and uniting to end racism are going to contribute to a healthier Sitka that’s built on a foundation of mutual respect.

“The second goal the planners chose was to help protect our ocean, forest, and quality of life by reducing carbon emissions and addressing climate change. As the planners brainstormed ways to reduce CO2 emissions (the main greenhouse gas) it was clear that the solutions had several layers of benefits, such as saving money, improving air quality, promoting fitness and more. I wish both of the groups the best of luck as they work to make our world and our town healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable.”

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. More information about the projects, their kick-off meetings, and contact people are listed below.

  • Reduce carbon emissions in Sitka — 6:30-8 p.m., Monday, Oct. 23, Harrigan Centennial Hall, contact Heather Bauscher, 747-7509, heather@sitkawild.org (NOTE: Second meeting is 6-7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 30, at the Island Institute offices across from Baranof Elementary School) — Sitkans have a direct self interest in healthy oceans, forests and quality of life. By being better stewards of our resources, we can save money while helping the environment, protect our quality of life, help the next generation, and create a livable world now and in the future. All are invited to discuss CO2 reduction, stewardship, and a sustainable Sitka. (Note: Growing local food can be a part of this project.)
  • Trauma-informed community conversations — 6-7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9, Harrigan Centennial Hall, contact Loyd Platson, 747-3636, lplatson@scpsak.org (NOTE: This is a change from the time, date and location originally announced for this meeting) — This project’s goal is in bringing together partners interested in community healing and equity, fostering community healing and understanding through dialogue, increasing cross-cultural understanding and respect, and creating a forum where conversations can be brought together. We as a community recognize that historical trauma affects the well-being and health equity of our community. We are going to have continuing conversations surrounding these topics, and this will be a safe space to talk about these things and our shared experience.

The Sitka Health Summit is coordinated and funded by a coalition of local groups that includes the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), Sitka Community Hospital, Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka Counseling, the State of Alaska Division of Public HealthSection of Public Health Nursing, the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus, Southeast Radiation Oncology Center, White’s Pharmacy, 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.

Cross boundaries at the 11th annual Sitka Health Summit on Oct. 11-13

The 11th annual Sitka Health Summit will be October 11-13 at various locations around Sitka.

​​Justin Rivas, MPH, MIPA, from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute will be leading two workshops and then providing facilitation for the planning days. All the events are free and open to the public.

The summit opens with the boundary spanning leadership workshop from 10:30 a.m. to noon, on Wednesday, Oct. 11, in Room 229 at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus. This interactive workshop comes from the Center for Creative Leadership and is based on the book Boundary Spanning Leadership by Chris Ernst.

For a diverse group of stakeholders to effectively cross boundaries and work together, partners must first define and understand the lines that differentiate them. You must be able to clearly see group boundaries before you can span them. This important step is often skipped in forming new partnerships. Throughout this class five types of universal boundaries will be examined and deconstructed with the goal of improving teamwork and, ultimately, results.

The next event is a presentation by Rivas on health equity and the impact income, race and geography has on health outcomes. This event takes place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the Sitka Public Library. Information and case studies about public health efforts to understand and address disparities, while promoting access and equity for all, will be shared and discussed.

This year we’ve expanded the Sitka Health Summit planning day into a day and a half of planning community wellness projects. They will take place from 1-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, in Room 229 at the UAS Sitka Campus. For lunch during Friday’s events, Chef Edith Johnson of Our Town Catering will prepare a lunch with locally caught coho salmon and a locally grown kale and mixed-green salad with a champagne vinaigrette.

All ideas and all people are welcome to brainstorm, evaluate, select two inspiring health goals that will promote equity and well-being in Sitka. Each of the newly selected initiatives receives $2,000 in start-up funds, initial facilitation services, technical assistance, and a letter of support. Some of the past community initiatives include the Sitka Farmers Market, Sitka Kitch, Fish to Schools, Hames Athletic and Wellness Center, Sitka Community Playground, and earning Bicycle Friendly Community and Walk Friendly Communities designations, among other projects.

Sponsors for this year’s Health Equity themed Summit include the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), Sitka Community Hospital, Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka Counseling, White’s Inc./Harry Race Pharmacy, Southeast Radiation Oncology Center, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services-Section of Public Health Nursing, the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus, and the Sitka Health Summit Coalition.

For more information or to save your spot at any the three events, contact Doug Osborne at 747-0373 or dosborne@sitkahospital.org or Holly Marban at 966-8938 or holly.marban@searhc.org. Doug and Holly also are requesting people RSVP for the events, to help planning.

Please email them and let them know if you plan to attend the Wednesday morning workshop with Justin Rivas at UAS Sitka Campus (Event A), the health equity presentation Wednesday night at Sitka Public Library (Event B), and/or the Sitka Health Summit Planning Days on Thursday and Friday at UAS Sitka Campus (Event C).

Scenes from the Sitka Kitch’s Cooking Around The World series class on Turkish cooking

Students learned how to make several Turkish dishes on Monday, April 17, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. This was the last of five classes in the Cooking Around The World class series offered this spring.

The class was taught by Suat Tuzlak, the former owner of the Alpine Bakery in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and co-author of “Little Cookbook For The Great Outdoors.” Suat is in Sitka teaching several yoga classes at Yoga Union and two Cooking Around The World classes for the Sitka Kitch.

In this class, students learned how to make a vegan and gluten-free Turkish dinner that included red lentil soup (with onions, garlic, carrots and tomatoes), green beans with olive oil (also with onions, garlic and tomatoes), a festive rice pilaf with black currants and pine nuts, and a fusion dessert of pudding made with chia seeds, maple syrup and coconut milk.

This was the last class in the Cooking Around The World series, which also featured classes on Moroccan cooking, Chilean cooking, Thai cooking and Austrian strudel. The Sitka Kitch programming team currently is developing some new classes for later this spring and into the summer (including a Preserving The Harvest series in the summer). Watch the Sitka Kitch page on Facebook or our online registration page to see when these and any future classes are scheduled.

When registering, students should prepay for the class through the Sitka Kitch online registration site, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com, using PayPal or credit/debit card. If you need other payment arrangements, contact Chandler or Clarice of Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509 to arrange a time when you can pay with cash or check. To qualify for a partial refund, please notify us at least three days in advance if you need to cancel. The registration deadline is three days before each class so our instructors have time to purchase materials. Please email sitkakitch@sitkawild.org with any questions.

A slideshow of scenes from the Turkish cooking class follows below.

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Scenes from the Sitka Kitch’s Cooking Around The World series class on Austrian strudel

Students learned how to make a variety of types of Austrian strudel on Wednesday, April 12, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. This was the fourth of five classes in the Cooking Around The World class series offered this spring.

The class was taught by Suat Tuzlak, the former owner of the Alpine Bakery in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and co-author of “Little Cookbook For The Great Outdoors.” Suat is in Sitka teaching several yoga classes at Yoga Union and two Cooking Around The World classes for the Sitka Kitch.

In this class, students learned how to prepare the strudel dough, including a rolling trick using a bedsheet. They also tried four different types of fillings — three savory (spinach and feta cheese; kale, mushroom and onions; and cabbage, onion and caraway seeds) and one dessert filling (apple, raisin, nuts and cinnamon).

The final Cooking Around The World series class is:

  • Turkey — 5-7:30 p.m., Monday, April 17, taught by Suat Tuzlak. For this class, Suat, who is Turkish, will teach students how to make a Turkish dinner that is vegan and gluten-free without using sophisticated ingredients. You will learn to make red lentil soup, green beans with olive oil, festive rice pilaf with currants and pine nuts, and a fusion dessert, chia-coconut pudding. The registration deadline is 9 p.m. on Friday, April 14.

When registering, students should prepay for the class through the Sitka Kitch online registration site, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com, using PayPal or credit/debit card. If you need other payment arrangements, contact Chandler or Clarice of Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509 to arrange a time when you can pay with cash or check. To qualify for a partial refund, please notify us at least three days in advance if you need to cancel. The registration deadline is three days before each class so our instructors have time to purchase materials. Please email sitkakitch@sitkawild.org with any questions.

Watch the Sitka Kitch page on Facebook or our online registration page to see when these and any future classes are scheduled (there will be a Preserving The Harvest class series this summer).

A slideshow of scenes from the Austrian strudel class follows below.

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Scenes from the Sitka Kitch’s ‘Nourish’ series class on spring detox

Students learned how to make a variety of dishes for a spring detox on Monday, April 3, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. This was the fifth of five classes in the Nourish: Using Food As Medicine For Optimum Health class series offered as part of National Nutrition Month this March.

The class series was taught by Holly Marban, a Sitka nutritionist and holistic health coach. In this class, students made a detoxifying green goddess salad, red beet hummus, creamy cauliflower and leek soup with homemade basil pesto, and green smoothies. Previous Nourish class topics included nutrition foundations (March 6), balancing blood sugar with whole foods (March 13), everyday superfoods (March 20) and foods to fight inflammation (March 27).

While the Nourish series is over, the Sitka Kitch still has two classes remaining in its five-class Cooking Around The World class series with space available. These classes are:

  • Austria6-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 12, taught by Suat Tuzlak. Suat is the former owner of the Alpine Bakery in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and co-author of “Little Cookbook For The Great Outdoors.” For this class he will teach students how to make a savory strudel with two fillings and a sweet strudel with apples that’s great with ice cream. The registration deadline is 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 9. (Note, this class is sold out, but you can email sitkakitch@sitkawild.org to get on our waiting list if space opens up.)
  • Turkey — 5-7:30 p.m., Monday, April 17, taught by Suat Tuzlak. For this class, Suat, who is Turkish, will teach students how to make a Turkish dinner that is vegan and gluten-free without using sophisticated ingredients. You will learn to make red lentil soup, green beans with olive oil, festive rice pilaf with currants and pine nuts, and a fusion dessert, chia-coconut pudding. The registration deadline is 9 p.m. on Friday, April 14.

When registering, students should prepay for the class through the Sitka Kitch online registration site, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com, using PayPal or credit/debit card. If you need other payment arrangements, contact Chandler or Clarice of Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509 to arrange a time when you can pay with cash or check. To qualify for a partial refund, please notify us at least three days in advance if you need to cancel. The registration deadline is three days before each class so our instructors have time to purchase materials. Please email sitkakitch@sitkawild.org with any questions.

Watch the Sitka Kitch page on Facebook or our online registration page to see when these and any future classes are scheduled (there will be a Preserving The Harvest class series this summer).

A slideshow of scenes from the spring detox class follows below.

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Scenes from the Sitka Kitch’s Cooking Around The World series class on Thai cooking

Students learned how to make a Thai chicken coconut soup and panang muu (aka, panang pork curry) on Tuesday, March 28, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. This was the third of five classes in the Cooking Around The World class series offered this spring.

The class was taught by Nancy Knapp, a longtime Sitka health program manager who also spent several years living and working in Laos and Thailand. She also taught a Thai cooking class last year, and both classes were sold out.

Future Cooking Around The World series classes include:

  • Austria6-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 12, taught by Suat Tuzlak. Suat is the former owner of the Alpine Bakery in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and co-author of “Little Cookbook For The Great Outdoors.” For this class he will teach students how to make a savory strudel with two fillings and a sweet strudel with apples that’s great with ice cream. The registration deadline is 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 9.
  • Turkey — 5-7:30 p.m., Monday, April 17, taught by Suat Tuzlak. For this class, Suat, who is Turkish, will teach students how to make a Turkish dinner that is vegan and gluten-free without using sophisticated ingredients. You will learn to make red lentil soup, green beans with olive oil, festive rice pilaf with currants and pine nuts, and a fusion dessert, chia-coconut pudding. The registration deadline is 9 p.m. on Friday, April 14.

When registering, students should prepay for the class through the Sitka Kitch online registration site, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com, using PayPal or credit/debit card. If you need other payment arrangements, contact Chandler or Clarice of Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509 to arrange a time when you can pay with cash or check. To qualify for a partial refund, please notify us at least three days in advance if you need to cancel. The registration deadline is three days before each class so our instructors have time to purchase materials. Please email sitkakitch@sitkawild.org with any questions.

Watch the Sitka Kitch page on Facebook or our online registration page to see when these and any future classes are scheduled (there will be a Preserving The Harvest class series this summer).

A slideshow of scenes from the Thai cooking class follows below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.