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YCHC Newsletter

Updated: Jul 5, 2022

July | August | September

Yakutat Community Health Center Upcoming Closures: July 4th, September 5th.

Brittany Johnson receives Certification as a Community Health Aide

Developed in the 1960’s in response to a number of health concerns, the Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) finds its origins in the tuberculosis epidemic, high infant mortality and high rates of injury in rural Alaska. In 1968, CHAP received formal recognition and congressional funding. The long history of cooperation and coordination between federal and state governments as well as Native tribal health organizations has facilitated improved health status in rural Alaska.

CHAP now consists of a network of approximately 550 Community Health Aides/Practitioners (CHA/Ps) in more than 170 rural Alaska villages. CHA/Ps work within the guidelines of the 2006 Alaska Community Health Aide/Practitioner Manual, which outlines assessment and treatment protocols. There is an established referral relationship that includes advanced practice providers (APP’s), physicians, regional hospitals and the Alaska Native Medical Center. Additionally, providers such as public health nurses, physicians and dentists make visits to villages to see clients in collaboration with the CHA/Ps.

The Alaska Area Native Health Service (AANHS) has the responsibility of providing medical and health-related services to Indian Health Service beneficiaries residing in Alaska. These services are provided by tribal organizations within the Alaska Native Health Care System. The village-based CHA/Ps are a vital link in the delivery system.

Community Health Aides (CHAs) are selected by their communities prior to receiving training. Training centers are located in Anchorage, Bethel, and Nome. Traditionally, there are four sessions of CHA training, each of which lasts three to four weeks. Currently, there are distance learning opportunities for session training limiting time spent away from their communities. Between sessions, CHAs work in their clinics completing a skills list and practicum. After successfully completing the four-session training curriculum and a clinical skills preceptorship and examination, the CHA qualifies as a Community Health Practitioner (CHP). CHA/Ps at any level of training may obtain certification by the Community Health Aide Program Certification Board (CHAPCB).

Having Brittany attain this certification is a major step forward for the Yakutat Community Health Center, as well as, our Community. Please join us in congratulating Brittany Johnson on obtaining this amazing achievement!


Keeping to your dental appointment is crucial to your dental health and it is as important as your yearly health check up. Most people assume as long as their teeth do not ache, gums do not bleed and mouth does not have an odor, their dental health is in perfect order. On the contrary, such people could be having dental problems without even realizing it.

4 Reasons Why You Should Never Forget to Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year:

1. Dentists help to maintain your oral health

The appointment is essential to maintaining good oral health. Dentists will provide end-to-end care for your teeth and will make sure that you look good and feel great. Keeping to your appointments may feel cumbersome and time-consuming; and many associate these appointments with pain and discomfort, resulting in fear and anxiety. So people resign to brushing and flossing regularly, hoping these measures will take care of all of their dental needs. However, to maintain good and healthy pearly whites, you need the services of a dentist.

2. Dental appointments can prevent gum diseases

Dentists will be able to identify the early signs of a gum infection. Gum disease is dangerous and also annoying. There are several types of dental problems that lie just beneath the gums. These parts of the gums cannot be reached by a toothbrush and hence, cannot be cleaned. Taking an X-ray may not be very pleasing, but it is an essential procedure to save your teeth.

3. Improve your smile

A dentist can improve the way you smile significantly. People who ignore their teeth usually do not have a pleasing smile. There are many reasons, like chipped and cracked teeth, discolored teeth, and gaps, that can mar the beauty of your smile. A regular dental appointment can maintain your teeth and ensure they are at their very best at all times. Modern dental technologies are so advanced that they can detect dental problems before they can be discerned by the naked eyes and preventive measures can be taken before the problem progresses. These dental procedures are very safe and good for your smile.

4. Advanced treatments

If there is a need for advanced treatment, such as dental implants, it can be identified at an early stage. Many problems can be discovered even before they start and be rectified right at the root. Procedures, like dental implants and veneers, can increase the life of your gums and teeth significantly. Some procedures are cost-effective and help people who want their teeth back without having to spend a fortune. Sticking to your appointment with your dentist can bring in several benefits. If you have to replace your teeth, then go for dental implants to ensure better oral health in the future.

Good oral health is directly related to overall health. When your dentist sees you regularly, we are in a better position to catch and fix problems early. And we also get a chance to catch up with you and all the exciting events in your life.

If you haven’t seen a dentist in a while, give us a call at (907) 784 3275 Ext. 140

We would love to hear from you.


Last Quarter Moments

Here are some pictures from previous YCHC Wellness Activities:

Wellness Basketball League on May

May 5, National Day of Awareness For Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Yakutat School Career Fair

Wellness Earth Day

Elite Basketball Camp

Swimming Lessons Collaboration with Yakutat Surf Club


Upcoming Dental Clinics

Nolan Davis, DDS.-

July 11- 15

September 1-7

Jennifer Sanbei, DH.-

July 11- 20

August 22- 26

September 19- 23

David Prince, DDS.-

July 15, 18 & 19

September TBD

Jessica Blanco, DMD.-

August 8- 11

September 14- 16

Mary Shorey, DH.-

August 22- 26

September 26- 30

To schedule an appointment, please call (907) 784 3275 Ext. 140

All dates are subject to change. YCHC Dental will contact you before your appointment if the dates change.


Specialty Clinics July, August and September

Dr. Ed Prince -Orthopedic

July 15, 18 & 19 | September TBD

  • Shoulder

  • Sports Medicine

  • Hip and knee

  • Reconstructive surgery

  • General orthopedic surgery

  • Fracture care

Dr. Paul Young & Assistant Kelly Willett- OB/GYN

September TBD

  • STI testing

  • Gynecological screenings

  • Well woman exams

  • IUD insertions

  • Bladder issues.'


Get to know our team:

Kristy Supsook is Inupiaq from the native villages of Nome and Point Hope. Kristy was raised equally in Fairbanks and the surrounding villages and spent most holidays and summers visiting family in the Southeast villages. She is the mother of three boys and loves quality time with her family, beading, traveling, hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, and exploring nature and all it has to offer. She has worked for Indian Health Services (IHS) within the Alaska Tribal Health System for over thirteen years. During these thirteen years, she has gained professional experience in the areas of Indian Health Services, Quality Improvement, Patient/Customer Experience, Purchased and Referred Care, and Behavioral Health. Working in different departments, within Alaska Tribal Health Services, has given her extensive knowledge of the Alaska Tribal Health System.

She is a member of the Patient Experience and Quality Improvement team, as the YCHC Patient Experience Advocate, stationed permanently in Anchorage, Alaska. Her role as Patient Experience Advocate gives her a deep embedded sense of purpose knowing we are working together to provide the highest quality health services for our community. As part of YCHC’s team, Kristy is dedicated to advocating for our patients and serving as a liaison between patients, family members, hospital, and clinical staff to ensure both patient’s and family’s desires, expectations and needs are considered and met through Patient and Family Centered Care. She coordinates/assists with inpatient and outpatient discharge planning in conjunction with the discharge care coordinators and social workers. She also works collaboratively with YCHC and ANTHC/ANMC Services (Customer Service, TMO, Housing, and Clinical Teams/Departments) to identify and improve processes using the Quality Improvement (QI) methodology. As she has built relationships at ANMC with staff, she has been able to effectively affect positive change in processes and initiate QI studies. She is a Nationally Certified Patient Advocate (Beryl Institute). One of her goals for is to earn a certificate in Patient Experience Leadership to expand her knowledge in experience excellence.

Kristy is excited to expand her relationships and experience with the YCHC staff, and she is honored to serve the Yakutat community.


YCHC Behavioral Health Services

We have some exciting things going on within Behavioral Health!

Robin Murdock is now onsite full time as our Behavioral Health Director. If you see her around town congratulate her. We just signed on 2 new Psychologists, Dr. Brad McConnell, PsyD, MSCP, ABPP & Courtney McConnel, PsyD.

Dr. Brad McConnell & Courtney McConnel

The McConnell’s offer ADHD, learning disabilities, and psychological assessments as needed, as well as a variety of other services. ADHD testing for adults, adolescents, and children are available for disability accommodations for school, high school, and college. Some examples of disability accommodations include getting 1½ the amount of time to take tests, note-taking, and audio recordings of class lectures. We just finished our first onsite testing clinic with them, and we hope to bring them back in the near future.

Jordan Gibson M.A., BCBA

Jordan Gibson has a broad range of training in ABA, social skills groups, and school-based interventions for adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum. He began his training in 2011 at the Center for Autism Research and Treatment at UCLA. Since then, has worked with individuals with autism in schools, clinics, and community settings in New York City, Philadelphia, South-East Alaska, and Hawaii. He has experience as a researcher at both UCLA and University of Pennsylvania, studying the effects of ASD interventions in school settings. He is especially interested in culturally sensitive applications of evidence-based interventions. Jordan received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Yale University, where he played Division I Basketball, and his Master’s degree in Anthropology and Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College. ​ Jordan is a certified PEERS® Social Skills trainer and leads our Social Skills and Executive Function Skills groups.

Brenda Thayer's Upcoming Clinics:

July 1st- 8th

August 1st- 8th

September 4th- 9th


Upcoming Wellness Events


Surf Camp- July 6th- 10th

Surf Camp July 23rd- 24th

Crafting Corner- July 14th & 28th


Fairweather Day- August 6th

Crafting Corner- August 11th & 25th

Surf Camp- August 27th & 28th


Surf Camp- September 3rd & 4th

Crafting Corner- 8th & 22nd

Basketball League w/ Shea Jackson & Rose Fraker- Sept 12th

Self Defense Workshop w/ Chris Bryan- Sept 28th-30th & Oct 1st

Personal Training Sessions w/Chris Bryan- Sept 28th-30th & Oct 1st


YCHC at Fairweather Day 2022

Yakutat Community Health Center's Theme for Fairweather Day 2022:

YCHC will be present at Fairweather Day Celebration this year with Department Booths: Patient Experience, Dental, Behavioral Health, Medical, COVID-19 and Wellness. We will be hosting kids games, patient experience surveys, giveaways, prevention and informational booths.

2022's Grand Prizes: A kayak and a paddle board!.

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