Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Wednesday, June 28 2017 @ 04:28 PM AKDT

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Public health centers to waive immunization administration fees during National Infant Immunization Week

Health and WellnessState public health centers, along with the Municipality of Anchorage, will waive all immunization administration fees for all ages during National Infant Immunization Week, April 18–25, 2015. The annual observation is a perfect time to update your and your children’s vaccinations at no cost for those who qualify.

National Infant Immunization Week highlights the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrates the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities. Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. “We all want to do what is best for our kids and grandkids. As the recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough have reminded us, as long as vaccine-preventable infections are anywhere in the world, they are a threat to us in Alaska. The shield of immunity is the best protection,” said Jay Butler, MD, an infectious diseases physician and Chief Medical Officer, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

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Medicaid Reform and Expansion Gains Support

Health and WellnessApril 9, 2015 JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker today thanked the 153 municipalities, organizations and businesses that have expressed their support for Medicaid reform and expansion in Alaska.

“I’m encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received on Medicaid reform and expansion,” Governor Walker said. “It’s clear that Alaskans think this is the right thing to do for our state. I am also grateful for the dozens of Alaskans who took time on their Saturday to testify in support of this bill."

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Ancient Anglo-Saxon cow bile and garlic potion kills MRSA

Health and WellnessHere's an interesting article about the findings by scientists of the effectiveness of old remedies: " A thousand-year-old medieval remedy for eye infections which was discovered in a manuscript in the British Library has been found to kill the superbug MRSA.

Anglo-Saxon expert Dr Christina Lee, from the School of English, at Nottingham University, recreated the 10th century potion to see if it really worked as an antibacterial remedy. "

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Alaska Begins Market Conduct Examination of Premera

Health and WellnessThe Alaska Division of Insurance is participating in a multi-state market conduct examination of Premera Blue Cross (Premera). Insurance regulators use market conduct exams to investigate whether an insurer has complied with insurance laws on the distribution of insurance products and the settlement of claims. Led by the State of Washington, Alaska and Oregon may also be joined on the exam team by other states impacted by Premera’s national provider network.

“The Alaska Division of Insurance takes the privacy of insurance consumers very seriously,” said Lori Wing-Heier, director of the Division of Insurance. “Alaskans should be assured that we will use all available resources to ensure that consumers are protected.”

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Troopers Hit The Trail Once Again For Suicide Prevention Crusade Across Alaska

Health and WellnessAlaska Wildlife Troopers will once again hit the trail, this time snowmachining more than 1,000 miles across Alaska in two weeks in an effort to prevent suicides. This year, Alaska Wildlife Troopers Darrell Hildebrand, Thomas Akelkok and Jon Simeon, accompanied by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Officer Brad Honerlaw, plan an ambitious journey to reach adults and school children in at least 10 villages in rural Alaska. Other troopers and law enforcement will join the expedition for sections of the trek as they wind their way across the Interior to the Northwest Arctic region and back. The trip is expected to launch from Bettles on March 24 and reach Kotzebue on April 1. Allakaket will be the first school on the visit followed by schools in Hughes, Kobuk, Shungnak, Ambler, Kiana, Noorvik, Selawik and Buckland before turning around after talking to school kids in Kotzebue. If trail conditions and weather allow, the group will head home via the Kobuk River to Huslia and take the trail back through Galena and up the Yukon and Tanana rivers, stopping in schools along the way on their journey to Fairbanks. The Fish and Wildlife Service also provided a sponsorship of $6,000 to cover fuel costs. You can track their progress online via a SPOT locator.
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Governor Introduces Medicaid Bill

Health and WellnessMarch 17, 2015 JUNEAU– Governor Bill Walker today transmitted legislation to provide health care coverage to up to 42,000 low-income Alaskans, reform Medicaid, and bring more money into the state.

“As Alaskans, we have a long tradition of caring for each other when times are tough,” Governor Walker said. “This proposal will save money and save lives. It provides health care for more Alaskans using less state money. It’s the right thing to do.”

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Iron Dog racers partner with state to promote suicide prevention

Health and WellnessANCHORAGE—2015 Iron Dog racers Robert Strick and Steffen Strick Jr. have added their names to the list of Iron Dog riders who race to raise awareness of suicide prevention.

The brothers from McGrath, Team 12, are sharing a message of hope and purpose:

1. Suicide is preventable. People who are considering suicide usually give warning signs, and we can learn to recognize them. We can also do things to build our resilience as individuals and communities, such as exercising, which is good for both mental and physical health, and organizing community activities like the Iron Dog halfway banquet in Nome today.

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Identity Protection Offered for Those Affected by Anthem - Premera Data Breach

Health and WellnessAccording to data released by Anthem and Premera on Monday, close to 34,000 Alaskans may be impacted by the recent Anthem data breach. Customers who used their Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance in one of the states where Anthem operates may be impacted. Information accessed includes member names, member health ID numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and employment information. No credit card or confidential health information seems to have been compromised in the data breach.

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ACA Special Enrollment Period Announced

Health and WellnessThe federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced on Friday an additional special http://HealthCare.gov enrollment period for consumers who did not have coverage in 2014 and who were unaware of the tax penalty. Alaskans who “first became aware of, or understood the implications of, the shared responsibility payment in connection when preparing their 2014 taxes” will have the opportunity to avoid the penalty in 2015 by signing up during a special enrollment period between March 15 and April 30. To qualify for the special enrollment period, consumers must certify that they filed their tax returns and paid the penalty for not having coverage in 2014.

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Do you have health insurance?

Health and WellnessIt's not too late to get covered. The deadline to enroll is 15 February 2015. Visit http://getcoveredalaska.org or call 1.800.478.2221 to find free, local help and pick a plan that is right for you.

You may qualify for savings! Go to http://healthcare.gov to shop and remember: Alaskans are standing by to help if you need it!
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Governor Walker Announces Medicaid Expansion and Reform Plan

Health and WellnessANCHORAGE—Governor Bill Walker was joined today by Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Davidson at the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center to present the plan for Medicaid expansion and reform, “The Healthy Alaska Plan: A Catalyst for Reform.”

Medicaid expansion and reform are top priorities for the Walker administration in support of the state’s ongoing commitment to serve the health needs of Alaskans.

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Tapping the Health Benefits of Birch

Health and WellnessThey are so common in most of Alaska that you may be forgiven if you have stopped noticing them: Birch Trees. What you may not know are the many health benefits to be derived from that tree in your yard.

Birch is a broadleaved deciduous hardwood tree of the genus Betula in the family Betulaceae, which also includes alders, and is closely related to the beech/oak family.

Every part of the tree has a use in either health or home. For arts and crafts, firewood, or as a healthy drink, Birch delivers.

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Dental Practice coming to Big Lake

Health and WellnessWe are pleased and excited to announce the upcoming opening of a Dental Practice here in Big Lake, as well as a great career opening for someone looking to get quality skills training in a fast-growing field.

Here's Dr. Knox ("Call me Tommy Knox") with the details:

"Hi, I am Tommy Knox, DMD. Many years ago, (27) wife and I fell in love with Alaska. In 2009 we purchased a few acres on the North Side of the lake, at the end of Our Road, near Bill and Helen, Cathy and Dan. Dr. Tommy Knox, DMD-photo courtesy of Tommy Knox

My wife Juanita and I have built a little cabin to live in until my Dental practice is stable. I have leased a space in East Lake Mall where Donna’s Corner used to be located. The contractor is in the process of remodeling, so far it looks great. My plan is to serve the local people with their oral health needs. Nothing fancy, just state of the art practical dental care for the family. I have considerable oral surgery experience. No hygienist, Just me.

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Benefits and the health care law: what veterans can expect

Health and WellnessANCHORAGE, Alaska — The State of Alaska Department of Military & Veterans Affairs wants to reach out to all Alaskan veterans to inform them of their medical benefits provided under the Affordable Care Act.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has launched an awareness campaign and a website (www.va.gov/acs) to let veterans know about the Affordable Care Act and what it means for them and their families. Veterans receiving health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs will see no change in their benefits or out-of-pocket cost as the move is made into another phase of the Affordable Care Act.

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Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream, Inc. Ice Cream, Gelato, Custard, and Sorbet Recalled Due to Possible Listeria Contamination

Health and Wellness(JUNEAU, AK)–Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream, Inc. has issued a recall of all flavors and container sizes of its ice cream, gelato, custard and sorbet products produced between Jan.1, 2014 and Dec.15, 2014 because the products have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease. Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. However, those who do contract it could experience high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy. Symptoms do not immediately develop after eating contaminated food but can develop within two months after consumption. A person experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. For more information about Listeria monocytogenes, visit:
http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/resources.html

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