Outgoing, bubbly, and energetic is a good way to describe Melissa Bunch; known to her friends and peers as Mel, she also is a cancer survivor. The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation defines a survivor as anyone living with a history of cancer — from the moment of diagnosis, through the remainder of life.

June is National Safety Month and as we enjoy the warmth and sun of the summer months, remember to be safe! The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Division of Public Health reports unintentional injuries are the third leading cause of death in Alaska.

Southcentral Foundation is one of three sites in the United States conducting research for cardiovascular studies, which are part of the Native-Controlling Hypertension and Risk through Technology (Native-CHART) grant.

Part of Southcentral Foundation’s role as a two-time Baldrige Award winning organization is to share its best practices with other companies. SCF’s award winning Administrative Support Training Program was designed over 15 years ago to provide administrative support employees skills that go beyond standard practices and cultivate mental models that help them become successful future leaders.

Southcentral Foundation will be hosting the 9th Annual Nuka System of Care Conference at the Nuka Learning and Wellness Center from June 17 to 21. SCF looks forward to the annual conference, as it provides the opportunity to share the story of the Nuka System of Care, which was designed and built by Alaska Native people.

Southcentral Foundation partnered with Harvard Medical School to host students from HMS during a four-week clerkship. While visiting Southcentral Foundation students learned from, and worked with, SCF employees who represent multiple disciplines across the Nuka System of Care.

Southcentral Foundation’s Board of Directors Chairman James Segura received the National Indian Health Board Public Health Innovation Award this spring. The award honors individuals, Tribes, organizations, and programs that have enriched and improved Alaska Native and American Indian public health.

News reports are full of stories about rising costs of prescription drugs these days. Last month Southcentral Foundation reported that prices overall increased by about 10-11% annually. Medications that were once affordable are procured by drug companies and have skyrocketed in cost. In some cases, producers are bought by investors who then drive up cost dramatically, taking advantage of the critical need for that medication and the fact that no one else produces it.

We make many friends throughout our lifetime. While some stick with us through thick and thin, others are in our life just for a season. Whatever the reason, friends come and go over the years. Sometimes friends are found in unexpected places; do yourself a favor and remember some of your best pals: your feet! They carry you when you are tired, they have taken you on adventures, and if cared for properly — can take you on many more.