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October 1, 2014 Alaska Health Care Commission Special Event

Honoring and Learning from our Health Policy Elders

In Alaska we value and honor our Elders, and we recently had an opportunity to capture some oral history from the folks who were part of making history. Written reports do not always convey the richness of the culture and values within which events transpire. But the culture and values live within stories and conversation.

On October 1 a group Alaskans who worked in leadership positions in Alaska’s health care and public health sectors during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s participated in a conversation about the significant health and health care delivery issues of those decades, as well as their approaches to crafting the solutions. We heard personal recollections, reflections and perspectives, and listened to and honored the memories and values shared.

Our hope was to gather some nuggets of wisdom by listening to personal accounts from former leaders, including different perspectives and various viewpoints — we weren’t disappointed.


Top, L to R: Bert Hall, Nancy Davis, William Dann, Robert Clark, Carl Hild, Lincoln Bean, Robert Urata, George Rhyneer.  Bottom, L to R: Ward Hurlburt, Richard Mandsager, Paul Sherry, Anne Lanier, Sally Smith, Cindy Schraer, Brian Saylor


This event was organized under an Alaska Health Care Commission initiative to provide a picture of population health status and health care delivery and financing in Alaska today — in the historical context of how health conditions and health care systems have evolved in the 60 years since the Parran Report was published, and the 30 years since the last statewide health plan was produced by Alaska’s Health Systems Agencies.