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Governor Parnell Names Alaska Health Care Commission Members

September 15, 2010, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today appointed Patrick Branco, Emily Ennis, Col. Paul Friedrichs, Dr. Timothy (Noah) Laufer, and David Morgan to the Alaska Health Care Commission.

Senate Bill 172, passed by the 26th Legislature and signed by Governor Parnell, extends the Alaska Health Care Commission and establishes it in state law. The purpose of the commission is to recommend and develop a statewide plan to address the quality, accessibility, and availability of health care for all citizens of Alaska.

Senate Bill 172 also provides for the reappointment of the current commission members. They are Keith Campbell, Valerie Davidson, Jeffery Davis, Dr. Ward Hurlburt, Wayne Stevens, Dr. Larry Stinson, Linda Hall, Representative Wes Keller, and Senator Donny Olson.

Branco, of Ketchikan, is the regional CEO of Ketchikan General Hospital. He has also served in the administration of Divine Providence Health Center in Ivanhoe, Minnesota as well as the Fairview-University Medical Center in Hibbing, Minnesota. Branco served in the U.S. Navy from 1979 - 1995 as a strategic medical planner, medical staff administrator, and director of ambulatory care. As the chair-elect of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association (ASHNHA), he is appointed to a seat representing ASHNHA.

Ennis, of Fairbanks, is the executive director of Fairbanks Resource Agency, a non-profit corporation serving Interior Alaskans with disabilities. She is the president of the Alaska State Association on Developmental Disabilities, in addition to her service on the American Network of Community Options and Resources. Ennis is a former mental health specialist with the Marion County (OR) Mental Health Program, and is appointed to a seat representing the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.

Friedrichs, of Anchorage, is the commander of the Air Force/Veterans' Affairs Joint Venture Hospital. He is also the Air Force representative to the American Medical Association. He has served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years in several capacities, including chief of operations of the Air Force Space Command, and commander of numerous medical squadrons in Iraq. He is the recipient of the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal as well at the Bronze Star. Friedrichs is appointed to a seat that represents the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Laufer, of Anchorage, is a physician at Medical Park Family Care in addition to serving as president. He also practiced at Valley Family Medicine and Valley Medical Center Rapid Care Clinic. Laufer is appointed to a primary care physician seat.

Morgan, of Anchorage, is the director of reimbursement for Southcentral Foundation. He is also the chairman of the Municipality of Anchorage Health and Human Services Commission. Morgan is a member of the Alaska Primary Care Association, the Medicaid Tribal Task Force, the Healthcare Financial Manager Association, and the Alaska Medical Group Management Association. He has worked in health care for 31 years, and is appointed to a seat representing community health centers.

Campbell, of Seward, is a retired hospital administrator. He holds national positions with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), including the national board of directors. Campbell served as CEO of the Seward General Hospital for 20 years, in addition to service at the Wesleyan Rehabilitation Center and the Seward Chamber of Commerce. He has held elected positions with the Seward City Council and school board, and the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Campbell is reappointed to a seat representing health care consumers. 

Davidson, of Anchorage, is senior director of legal and intergovernmental affairs for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. She serves on the Alaska Tribal Health Compact, the Tribal Medicaid Task Force, and the National Indian Health Board. Davidson formerly worked as vice president and general counsel for Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation and as a legislative staffer. Davidson is reappointed to a seat representing the Alaskan tribal health community.

Davis, of Anchorage, is the president of Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska. He also chairs the Alaska Comprehensive Health Insurance Association and is a member of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation. Davis is reappointed to a seat representing the Alaskan health insurance industry.

Hurlburt, of Anchorage, is the chief medical officer for the State of Alaska and the director of the Division of Public Health. Hurlburt served in the U.S. Public Health Service for 32 years and has executive experience in health care organizations in Washington, Utah, and Oregon. As medical director for the Department of Health and Social Services, he is reappointed as the chair of the commission.

Stevens, of Juneau, is the president and CEO of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce since 2004. He formerly worked for the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, the Kodiak Alaska Visitors Association, and for Wien Air Alaska. Stevens served in leadership positions with Kodiak's hospital, and was an elected member of the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly. Stevens is reappointed to a seat reserved for a representative of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce.

Stinson, of Anchorage, is the co-founder of Advanced Pain Centers of Alaska, which operates clinics in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Wasilla. He has served as an anesthesiologist, a surgeon for the 6th Infantry Division (Light) at Fort Wainwright, and as a clinical instructor for the University of Arizona. He is a member of the WWAMI Community Advisory Board, the American Medical Association, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Stinson is reappointed to a health care provider seat.

Hall, of Anchorage, has served as the director of the Division of Insurance since 2003. She is an experienced commercial insurance broker, and served as president of the Alaska Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association. Hall is reappointed to a nonvoting, ex-officio seat representing the Office of the Governor.

Representative Keller, of Wasilla, has served District 14 in the House of Representatives since 2007. He is co-chair of the House Health and Social Services Committee and chair of the Administrative Regulation Review Committee. Keller has previously served as a legislative aide, as an Alaska Air National Guard pilot, building contractor, oilfield worker, and contracting trainer. He is reappointed by House Speaker Mike Chenault to a nonvoting, ex officio seat representing the House of Representatives on the commission.

Senator Olson, of Golovin, has represented Senate District T since 2000. He is chair of the Community and Regional Affairs Committee. Olson is a physician, commercial pilot, and reindeer herder. He is a member of the Alaska State Medical Association and a former member of the State Medical Board. He is reappointed by Senate President Gary Stevens to a nonvoting, ex-officio seat representing the Senate.

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