• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 19s

Healthy habits highlighted at Alaska Federation of Natives Convention

By Hope Miller 6:09 PM October 15, 2015
ANCHORAGE –

The Alaska Federation of Natives Convention is known for being a gathering with cultural performances, discussions and speeches, but it’s also a chance for Alaska Natives to keep tabs on their health.

In its seventh year, people can get a flu shot, find advice on quitting smoking, receive healthy eating tips and more at the AFN health fair. More than 20 booths line a hallway on the second floor of the Dena’ina Center for the fair, which started Thursday morning and continues Friday.

A mobile mammography unit parked outside the Dena’ina Center is a new addition at the free fair this year.

“The mobile mammography unit screens for breast cancer,” said Dr. Gary Ferguson, senior director of community health services at Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. “Breast cancer is on the rise in Alaska Native people, as well as all populations. So it’s a really important screening to have.”

Hot pink decor made one booth stand out. Julie Stayden — a health educator with Southcentral Foundation — helped staff a table Thursday focused on breast and cervical cancer awareness. As a breast cancer survivor, underscoring prevention is a personal matter for her.

“Early detection saves lives,” said Stayden, who was sporting a bright pink kuspuk at day one of AFN.

health fair 1

Cancer is the leading killer of Alaska Natives, according to a 2015 report. For Native women, breast cancer is the most common. For Native men, colorectal and lung are the leading cancers.

AFN is a good opportunity to reach a big group of people, Ferguson said.

“AFN is our largest gathering of Alaska Native people and having a health fair here is … it’s one of those things where leaders and all of our customer-owners are here at once,” Ferguson said.

The fair has also expanded over the years, offering more services. In years past, the health fair was confined to rooms at the Dena’ina Center.

“We’ve got a large showing already,” said Ferguson as dozens of people milled about the fair Thursday afternoon.

This year, ANTHC, Southcentral Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services helped put on the fair.

If you go:

Where: Second floor of the Dena’ina Center

When: Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Free

Latest Stories

  • Politics

    Special session off to sluggish start: Lawmakers still stuck on oil tax credits

    by Liz Raines on May 23, 23:00

    The first day of the special legislative session came and went, with legislators working less than two hours. The House and Senate gaveled in for brief floor sessions, but neither body held a single hearing. Last week, controversy over oil tax credit reform kept lawmakers from finding a compromise on a state operating budget before […]

  • News

    Wasilla boy wins 3-wheeled bike, new sense of independence

    by Shannon Ballard on May 23, 22:55

    Riding a bike is a treasured childhood experience, but sadly, many children with special needs miss out. An 8-year-old Wasilla boy was one of them until recently. Eric Edwards was born with cocaine in his system and later diagnosed with cerebral palsy and other movement disorders that affect his ability to stand, sit and speak. He went […]

  • News

    Combating heroin on the Kenai: Meet the faces on the front line

    by Sierra Starks on May 23, 22:45

    In an undeveloped cul-de-sac, located just off the main highway between Sterling and Soldotna, lies evidence of a drive-up heroin party. Broken syringes, used baggies and burned aluminum foil line the asphalt and nearby grass. The users are long gone from the area, but Dennis and Anita Merkes say the presence of avid heroin use […]

  • News

    BioBlitz takes scientific snapshot of Arctic wildlife

    by Heather Hintze on May 23, 22:40

    The National Park Service celebrated its 100-year anniversary by holding BioBlitzes around the country. For the community of Anaktuvuk Pass on the North Slope, it was their first chance to hold an event like this in the Gates of the Arctic National Park. A BioBlitz is basically a scavenger hunt for scientists. “One of the main […]

  • Lifestyle

    Living Alaska: Life without a campfire

    by Megan Edge on May 23, 22:35

    Sometimes we sat on wooden stumps, the tailgates of our pickup trucks or cheap polyester camping chairs. We’d situate seats in a circle and move from spot to spot, trying to avoid the moving cloud of smoke that plumed from the fire. In those seats, I watched my grandpa stoke a fire in the rain […]

  • Lifestyle

    Alaska woman invents special coat to protect small pets from eagles

    by Bonney Bowman on May 23, 21:44

    When a pair of eagles nested in Janet Wass’s former backyard, she wanted something to keep her small dog, Juju, safe. She did some research and My Invisible Pet was born. Wass made Juju a dog coat out of shiny, reflective material. The coat has a light on the back with a bright beam. “It […]

  • News

    Providence hospital to expand emergency department for children

    by Lauren Maxwell on May 23, 20:00

    Providence Alaska Medical Center has received permission from the state to add 13 new treatment rooms to its emergency department, raising the number of rooms from 37 to 50, including two trauma rooms. Providence CEO Dr. Richard Mandsager said 10 of the 13 rooms will be devoted to a new pediatric area that will focus on children […]

  • Lifestyle

    Alaska villages compete for energy project funding

    by Alexis Fernandez on May 23, 19:26

    Rural Alaska villages are competing for funding to pay for projects that will bring down energy costs in their communities. The competition launched in January, and is part of a $4 million grant awarded by the U.S. Deptartment of Energy (DOE) to rural Alaska for energy projects. A total of 67 communities applied for the […]