Operations and Training Unit
The Operations and Training Unit (OTU) provides numerous functions both in and outside the division and are not related with one scope or focus as with other SDS units. The primary elements of OTU are Operations, State Managed Care Coordination and Training.
OTU Staff Contacts:
Andrew Sandusky – Unit Manager
Kara Thrasher-Livingston – Training Supervisor
Cina Fisher – Training Specialist
Pikha Soo – Training Specialist
Mariya Tuchkova – Health Program Associate
Teresa Alarid - Health Program Associate
Laurie Luke - Office Assistant II
Teresa Alarid, Mariya Tuchkova, Pikha Soo, Cina Fisher, Andy Sandusky, Kara Thrasher-Livingston
Operations - Focuses on strategic planning and projects that are typically coordinated between our partner agencies and divisions within the Department of Health and Social Services. This element also participates with process, policy, and regulatory development as well as monitoring HIPAA compliance within the division.
State managed Care Coordination - In 2006, SDS initiated a pilot project to augment agency based care coordination with some of its own care coordinators employed by the state. While the original charter for this project was to test the feasibility for expanding the state’s role in coordinating waiver services, the more pressing need to focus coordination services on the most challenging and complex HCBW cases became evident. Today, state coordinated caseloads are uniquely focused on these cases as well as those transitioning to and from higher level services/ICF’s as part of out-of-state placements.
Non-Emergent Medical Transportation – Started on Oct 21, 2013, this new pilot project resource is now available through the SDS office to authorize Medical Transportation for Medicaid waiver program recipients. Authorizations are limited to ground transportation provided within Alaska only and excludes ground transportation associated with air travel and/or hotel accommodations for travel to other Alaska communities. Medical transportation authorizations are taken and confirmed by phone and then faxed by SDS staff to designated transportation providers. Current medical transportation resource areas include:
Training – The OTU Training Element has grown immensely over the last few years to its current status as a model program meeting the training needs of over 700 service providers as well as conducting internal division training for a staff membership of about 150. Our training menu includes eight recurring course curriculums that keenly exploit all methods of training course delivery including webinar, self-paced study and the traditional classroom. Regular info-sharing seminars are also routinely offered to keep service providers, participants and their families up to date with program changes and new developments.