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Sixth Sitka Health Summit takes place on Oct. 6, 8, 10 and 12

SITKA, Sept. 27, 2012 — Sitka residents are invited to join their neighbors in honoring our local wellness champions, planning our health priorities for the next year and attending a community health fair during the sixth annual Sitka Health Summit on Oct. 6, 8, 10 and 12 at various locations in Sitka.

There are four main community events during this year’s Sitka Health Summit:

  • Sitka Community Health Fair and Neighborhood Block Party — Saturday, Oct. 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Sweetland Hall on the Sitka Fine Arts Camp/Sheldon Jackson Campus (with Alaska Health Fair Inc. providing low-cost blood tests and health screenings, and information booths from a variety of local health-related organizations and businesses); the Neighborhood Block Party features a variety of community groups at the Sheldon Jackson Campus hosting companion events at the same time.
  • “Exercise Is Medicine” Lunch-and-Learn with Don Lehmann, MD — Monday, Oct. 8, from noon to 1 p.m., at Kettleson Memorial Library (bring your lunch and listen to a presentation from the 2011 Sitka Health Summit keynote speaker).
  • Sitka Health Summit Community Wellness Champions Awards Celebration — Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Sheet’ká Kwáan Naa Kahídi (desserts and awards for community members whose healthy habits inspire us all).
  • Sitka Health Summit “Planning Day: Selecting Community Wellness Goals” — Friday, Oct. 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Sweetland Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus (Sitka residents pick our projects for next year).

The summit opens on Saturday with the Sitka Community Health Fair and Neighborhood Block Party, which will feature companion events from other groups at the Sheldon Jackson Campus. These events include free admission at Hames Athletic and Wellness Center for Sitka Community Health Fair participants (must present proof of attendance, call 747-5080); free admission to the aquarium from 10 a.m. to noon at the Sitka Sound Science Center (747-8878), a free all-level community class from 9-10 a.m. and an open house from 10-11 a.m. at Yoga Union (Kellogg Building at 801 Lincoln St., 738-2443); indoor and outdoor activities from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sheldon Jackson Museum (747-8981); an open house with the Sitka Summer Music Festival from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Stevenson Hall (with refreshments, building tour and a documentary film from the 2011 festival, 747-6774); an open house with Youth Advocates of Sitka from 9 a.m. 1 p.m. (Annette Becker, 747-3687); an open house from 11 a.m. to noon with the Sitka Fine Arts Camp/Yaw Art Center after-school programs (Celtic dance demonstration in Allen Hall, Kris Fulton, 738-3103); and the Island Institute hosts Sitka Writers Read from noon to 1 p.m. at the Yaw Chapel (bring your lunch and listen to local writers read their works).

This year’s Sitka Health Summit Community Wellness Champion Awards on Wednesday will honor Jake Denherder and the Sitka Contra Dance Organizers for physical activity; Tracy Gagnon and the Sitka Conservation Society’s Fish To Schools program and Linda Behnken for nutrition; P.J. Ford Slack and the Challenge Day Organizers at Sitka High for safety/injury prevention; Dan Etulain for tobacco prevention; Grace Brooks and the Alaska Native Brotherhood/Alaska Native Sisterhood for holistic health; and the Baranof Barracuda Swim Club, Peter Williams and Mary Kambak for general wellness. Desserts will be provided by Sitka Spruce Catering.

Friday’s planning day allows Sitka residents to set the community’s health and wellness goals for 2012-13. Some of our past goals resulted in Sitka becoming Alaska’s first official Bicycle Friendly Community, the creation of the Sitka Farmers Market, getting local fish into local schools and painting a Choose Respect mural. This year’s top health goal projects will receive start-up funds from the Health Initiatives Fund, plus an afternoon of facilitated action planning. Participants in Friday’s planning day also will enjoy a lunch of fish tacos.

The Sitka Health Summit is brought to you by Sitka Community Hospital, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), Alaska Communications and the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus. Additional financial help and in-kind donations were provided by the City and Borough of Sitka, Guardian Flight Inc., Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, Scott Insurance Services, Shee Atiká Inc. AC Value Center/Lakeside, Sitka Vision Clinic, Sitka Wells Fargo, White’s Inc. (Harry Race Pharmacy/White’s Pharmacy/Seasons), Spenard Builders Supply, Hames Corp. and the State of Alaska Division of Public Health Nursing/Sitka Public Health Center. 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.com/.

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