SITKA – As a result of the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnership (MAPP) strategic planning process, the Sitka Health Summit Steering Committee has identified health concerns and opportunities in our community. The MAPP Project has revealed many positive health trends in Sitka. Most notably there have been declines in the rates of cardiovascular disease and tobacco use. The gains we see in these, and other areas, are a direct result of the hard work and dedication of individuals and organizations in our community. Though there are positive trends, there is still work to be done.

Through analyzing the data collected during the MAPP process, healthy weight was identified as the key focus area. Increasing healthy weights will reduce rates for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke in Sitka. To accomplish this, the Sitka Health Summit Steering Committee has identified two strategies: increasing access to and use of traditional and other healthy foods and beverages, and increasing health literacy.

SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), in conjunction with Sitka Health Summit, is requesting project proposals that will address this key area using the identified strategies that also address the health status of Alaska Native people. Projects must use one of these strategies and plan an intervention based on evidence-based policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes. PSE changes will increase access to and use of traditional and other healthy foods or increase health literacy by making them more readily available at home, work, and in the community. PSE changes are long term changes and reach a large proportion of the population. PSE changes can occur in the community, tribal organizations, schools, healthcare systems, childcare facilities, worksites, or in families.

Selected projects will be awarded up to $10,000 for the project period of November 1, 2015, through October 31, 2016. Applications are due October 23, 2015, by 5:00 pm. Notification of the intent to fund or decline will be October 30, 2015, and selected projects are expected to begin to work on November 1, 2015.

For more information, or to request a digital or hard copy of the application, please contact Lauren Hughey at (906) 966-8797 or lauren.hughey@searhc.org.