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Legislative Health Caucus Seeks Success Stories

Alaskans’ knowledge can help solve Alaska challenges

The Alaska State Legislature’s Joint Health Caucus wants to hear from Alaskans who have successfully reduced health risk factors, improved health for the uninsured, or confronted the onset of a medical condition.

“As the battle over health reform rages and the economic recession increases demands on the health care safety net, individuals and organizations across the state who are improving their health using community-based resources and support need to tell their stories and share the lessons they have learned,” caucus co-chair Representative Sharon Cissna (D-Anchorage) said.  “The bipartisan Health Caucus is all about sharing useful information with Alaskans, and Alaskans possess a wealth of important knowledge.  From the urban centers to rural villages, we want to share Alaskans’ stories to benefit all of us.”

For over six years, the goal of the Joint Legislative Health Caucus has been to provide a forum to inform and educate policy makers about the complexities of the constitutional mandate to promote and protect health.  The Health Caucus meets monthly in the Alaska State Capitol with teleconference connections statewide and is co-chaired by Rep. Cissna and Senator Donny Olson (D-Nome).

March’s Health Caucus topic is “The State of the Uninsured: Ensuring Their Health.”   Caucus members will spotlight solutions to ensuring health for all Alaskans.  Participants will present current data and information about the state of the uninsured in Alaska, along with initiatives addressing the issue.  The forum will also gather information from health educators and support program providers, finding out about self-care experiences that reduce risk factors and improve health for the uninsured.

This month, the Joint Legislative Health Caucus will meet Wednesday, March 24 from Noon to 1:00 pm. The meeting will be hosted in Juneau at the Capitol Building, Butrovich Room 205.  Anyone may attend through local Legislative Information Offices or the legislative teleconference system at 1-800-922-3875 for more information.

Five types of uninsured identified by the Department of Health & Social Services are underserved, including:

· Seasonal workers;

· Small business employees;

· Self –employed people;

· Women under 65; and

· Teens out of school – young adults (16 to 24). 

The Health Caucus seeks success stories from individuals who:

· Confronted a personal risk or the onset of a medical condition;

· Became educated about their risk or condition;

· Altered their lifestyle choices; and

· Are engaged in self-management activities.

To share a success story or information about a self-care resource for the uninsured, please contact Rep. Sharon Cissna’s office at 907-465-3875 or 800-922-3875, or Sen. Olson’s office at 907-465-3707 or Senator_Donny_Olson@legis.state.ak.us

For more information, visit www.akhealthcaucus.org.

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