2022 Alaska MCH & Immunization Conference :: Advancing Wellness Across the Lifespan

2022 Agenda to come

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Past Conference Agenda:

Program front cover image
2018 Conference Program

Plenary Speakers

September 26, 2018

Opening Remarks  1-1:30 PM

Roald Helgesen photoRoald Helgesen, MS, BA is Chief Executive Officer and Hospital Administrator at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). Prior to joining ANTHC, Mr. Helgesen was the President and CEO of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). Mr. Helgesen serves as a member of the Alaska Tribal Health Directors and the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association. Helgesen grew up in Sitka and is an enrolled Tribal member with Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Earning his Master of Science degree in Health Care Administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Helgesen is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Opening Remarks  1-1:30 PM

Valerie Davidson photoValerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson, JD was appointed Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS) by Governor Bill Walker in December 2014. She leads eight state divisions within the department to promote and protect the health and well-being of Alaskans. Under Davidson’s leadership, Alaska expanded Medicaid providing health care to thousands of Alaskans. She also worked with the Alaska Legislature to negotiate a bi-partisan Medicaid Reform bill, providing for the redesign of Alaska’s Medicaid program, including comprehensive Behavioral Health Reform. Davidson has worked to improve partnerships with Tribes and Tribal organizations in the delivery of health and child welfare services. She also negotiated a new tribal claiming policy to extend health care services by leveraging partnerships between tribal and non-tribal health organizations. Davidson earned her Juris Doctorate, with a certificate in Indian law, from the University of New Mexico School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in education with a specialty in early childhood education and a minor in bilingual education from University of Alaska Southeast. Davidson, a Yup’ik was born in Bethel and is an enrolled tribal member of the Orutsararmiut Native Council (ONC). Most important, Davidson is a mother to four children.

September 27, 2018

Keynote Speaker  8:30-9:45 AM

Milton Kotelchuck photoMilton Kotelchuck, PhD, MPH is Vice-President and Co-Founder of Day Before Birth. Dr. Kotelchuck is winner of the 2010 Martha May Eliot Award, the top honor given for Maternal Child Health by the American Public Health Association. Dr. Kotelchuck is now Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Senior Scientist in the Maternal Child Health Center in the Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital.

September 28, 2018

Keynote Speaker  8:30-9:30 AM

Mark Sawyer photoMark H. Sawyer, MD is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and a Pediatric Infectious Disease specialist at the UCSD School of Medicine and Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego. He is the medical director of the UCSD San Diego Immunization Partnership, a contract with the San Diego County Agency for Health and Human Services to improve immunization delivery in San Diego. He is a current member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases and a past member of both the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee and the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Keynote Speaker  11:45 AM-1:00 PM

Mark Sawyer photoNicolle L. Gonzales, (Diné - Navajo), RN, MSN, CNM is the Executive Director and Founder of Changing Woman Initiative, a Native American women-led health collective. Mrs. Gonzales received her Bachelor’s of Nursing and her Masters of Nurse-Midwifery at the University of New Mexico. She is a member of the American College of Nurse Midwives and is certified with the American Midwifery Certification Board. She has over 12 years experience as a nurse and has worked as a Nurse-Midwife doing full-scope midwifery for the last 7 years. Through the years, she has worked on several community projects around birth equity and she has served as the founding board president and vice board president of two birth centers in NM. In addition to attending births, Nicolle was a contributing author to the “American Indian Health and Nursing” in 2015 and is a contributing writer for the Indigenous Goddess Gang online magazine, where she discusses indigenous birth, midwifery, ceremony, reproductive justice, and indigenous feminism.

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