InDHSS: Employee Newsletter


August 2010


Western Regional Office

Top row, from left, Michael Isom, Diane Moehring, Barbara Cosolito
Bottom row, from left, Gerald Sherman, Kathie Hollis, Deborah Cramer

Waqaa (Hello) and Cama-I (Welcome)

By Michael Isom
Protective Services Manager

Western Regional Office staff:

  • Michael H. Isom, Ed.D., Protective Services Manager II
  • Gerald A. Sherman, Protective Services Manager I
  • Diane Moehring, Administrative Officer I
  • Kathleen M. Hollis, Protective Services Specialist IV, St. Mary’s & Aniak Field Offices
  • Barbara Cosolito, LMSW, Protective Services Specialist IV, Initial Assessments
  • Deborah L. Cramer, MSW, Protective Services Specialist IV, Family Services

Currently, the Western Regional Office and its Field Offices are redefining cultural service delivery of child protection for our largely Alaska Native (Yupik/Cupik) communities along with our grantee organizations: Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP) and Orutsararmiut Native Council (ONC).

Primarily Yup’ik, Cup’ik, and Athabascan peoples have traditionally lived throughout this area and continue to be the largest portion of our communities. The WRO service area encompasses an area the size of Oregon (larger than half of our nation’s states) with 56 rural villages, tribal organizations, and city governments. Unemployment and the federal poverty level are among the highest in the state, but this area remains rich in culture and traditions.

WRO’s core staff members are the “frontline” workers that face numerous challenges. These challenges include extreme weather conditions, unpredictable flight schedules and limited housing. We are one of few areas in the state where all workers travel primarily by plane for face-to-face contact, investigations, and are also required to operate a state snowmachine, boats, and four-wheelers.  

The Protective Service Specialists, Social Services Associates, and Office Assistants are committed to child safety, cultural alliance, and are the cornerstone of this region. Flexibility is the key to success and is driven by having an understanding of the subsistence lifestyle and cultural history.

There are a number of people who have contributed to the successes in WRO. The management and supervisory team are thankful and honored to represent WRO after the dedicated work leading to the development and foundation of WRO by Citizens Review Panels, Traveling Support Team, and all the regional direct support staff. Thank you for your continued support as we meet the needs of our community while promoting safe children and strong families.

To reach WRO — Bethel office, please call 907-543-3141.

Piuraa (See you later!)


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