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Sitka Health Summit picks three priority projects


Sitka residents want to view "waste" as an asset and increase composting efforts; create a safe, sustainable, accessible and attractive community playground with public art and youth input on the designs; and promote and expand indoor and outdoor physical activity opportunities for all ages and abilities in Sitka.

Those were the three community health priorities Sitka residents chose to work on this next year when they met during the Sitka Health Summit's community planning meeting on Friday, Sept. 30, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Sitka residents chose these three projects out of dozens of brain-stormed ideas, and each project will have $500 of seed money from the summit's Health Initiatives Fund to start working on meeting the health goals.

The groups working on each project are setting up their first meetings and getting their contact lists together, and Sitka residents who want to participate are welcome to contact the interim group leaders (through the group's first meetings, group leaders may change after the first meetings) listed below to find out more information.


  • Sitka composting project, Justin Overdevest, 747-7509, justin@sitkawild.org, first meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.
  • Sitka community playground, Alice Marcus, 738-5089, aliceinayurt@gmail.com, first meeting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at Mt. Edgecumbe High School music room (potluck dinner, childcare provided).
  • Promote and expand indoor/outdoor physical activity, Kerry Tomlinson, 321-7898, ktomlinson@scpsak.org, or Chase Brumfield, (337) 356-9262, brumfieldchase@gmail.com, meeting time and location TBA.

The fifth annual Sitka Health Summit took place on Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. In addition to Friday's community planning meeting, The Sitka Health Summit opened with a Community Wellness Awards Celebration on Thursday night that featured a keynote speech from Don Lehmann, MD, a family physician/sports medicine specialist at Sitka Medical Center who spoke about "Health for the Long Run," and the presentation of a series of community wellness champion awards. Saturday featured the Sitka Community Health Fair, where people could have basic lab tests done, check out Nolan the Colon and learn about what programs are available in Sitka.

The Sitka Health Summit is brought to you by Sitka Community Hospital, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), Silver Bay Seafoods and the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus. Additional financial help and in-kind donations were provided by the Crossett Fund, the City and Borough of Sitka, Sitka Moose Lodge No. 1350, Sitka Medical Center, Sitka Sound Seafoods, Wells Fargo, White's Inc./Harry Race Pharmacy/White's Pharmacy, Brave Heart Volunteers, Seafood Producers Cooperative, Scott Insurance Services and the State of Alaska Division of Public Health Nursing. The Sitka Health Summit's vision is "to serve our great state as a model for community wellness by creating a healthy community where all Sitkans strive for and enjoy a high quality of life."

For more information, call Doug Osborne at 966-8734 or Alyssa Sexton at 747-0388, or go to our website at http://www.sitkahealthsummit.org/.

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