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Health Caucus Scheduled for Noon Feb. 10

Domestic violence, sexual assault to be discussed

The Feb. 10, the Joint Legislative Health Caucus will focus on the Governor’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Initiative. The forum will be from noon to 1 p.m. in the Capitol Building Butrovich Room, 205. Outlining the governor’s initiative, Alaska’s Attorney General, Dan Sullivan. Commissioner Bill Hogan of the Department of Health and Social Services presentation will highlight the department’s role in the initiative. Speaking as a member of the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and director of the Alaska State Troopers, Col. Audie Holloway will present issues and strategies of the Council and the Department of Public Safety.

Southcentral Foundation Chief Executive Officer Katherine Gottlieb, will present statistics from a Center for Disease Control study that document increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer stemming from adverse experiences such as domestic violence and sexual assault. New Hope on the Last Frontier Life Skills program director Gloria Sinnett will describe curriculum used with men, women and youth to help them break free from destructive behavior.

Summing up the recommendations and planning that will shape strategies and collaborative efforts will be the director of the Alaska Health Care Commission, Deborah Erickson.

Studying issues and providing a forum to inform and educate policy makers about the complexities of the constitutional mandate to promote and protect health has been the goal of the Joint Legislative Health Caucus for over six years. Senator Donny Olson of Nome and Representative Sharon Cissna of Anchorage are Co-Chairs for the caucus. Olson said, “ ... we’re finally trying to get a handle on this significant issue that is very destructive to families.”

The public is welcomed at the Capitol host site or the statewide teleconference system. Check with your local Legislative Information Office to confirm their hours during this forum, and call 1-800-922-3875 for toll free number for the statewide teleconference. Public discussion will occur if schedule allows.

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