The first bridging ceremony for Benteh Nuutah Four Directions Outpatient Treatment Center participants was held this summer. Individuals who completed the program are invited to gather to acknowledge their journeys. A bridging ceremony honors the transition from being in treatment to living in recovery.

The imagery of Alaska Native and American Indian youth pulling nets abundant with fish from the mouth of the Kenai River seemed but a distant memory for Southcentral Foundation’s Raise Program during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As families prepare their households for back-to-school schedules and fun, applying for or renewing health insurance can save money and time.

There could be many reasons not to schedule recommended exams and screenings — “I don’t have any concerning symptoms” or “I feel healthy, there’s no need,” to name a few. However, even without signs or symptoms, these appointments could be lifesaving. September is Gynecological Cancer Awareness month and a great reminder of the importance of scheduling well-woman exams.

The season is ripe for one of Alaska’s sweetest traditions: berry picking.

Although breastfeeding is natural, it may not always come naturally. Research suggests parents experience more success and less frustration when offered extra lactation support while establishing a breastfeeding routine.

Adolescent youth face many challenges today, including access to harmful substances. By offering guidance, connection to culture, and an ear to listen, we can make a difference and help build resiliency amongst our youth. Substance use in youth is a public health concern affecting communities throughout Alaska. One in five American Indian and Alaska Native young adults, aged 18-25 years, has a substance use disorder, including 10% with alcohol and 11% with illicit substances.

Southcentral Foundation values family as the heart of the Alaska Native Community. To support the goal of building healthy families, SCF now has a Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children office available to customer-owners and residents in the Anchorage area. WIC addresses the nutritional needs of pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, postpartum non-breastfeeding mothers, and children under age 5. The program provides breastfeeding support, free healthy foods, nutritional counseling, health screenings, referrals to additional programs, and more. While often associated primarily with nutrition, WIC strives to promote breastfeeding support to as many families as possible.

Across the world, Indigenous communities revere Elders as culture bearers, wise counselors, and leaders. Honoring and caring for Elders is an Alaska Native and American Indian value.

“A community health aide is everything in the village; we are 911 dispatch, the first responders, the clinic provider, we do it all,” Southcentral Foundation Community Health Aide Practitioner Amanda Bybee said.