Dr. Lisa Wexler, associate professor of community health education in the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, was recently awarded a $85,084 grant from the Maniilaq Association in Alaska to support wellness programs there. The services will include documentation and evaluation of Maniilaq Wellness initiatives, the development of curriculum, material for recovery, and suicide prevention efforts, and to provide on-going support for various wellness initiatives. All of these efforts use a community capacity-building approach that supports local, Alaska Native community members in developing and offering on-going programming in their villages. The documentation and support efforts of Dr. Wexler and research assistants are a continuation of wellness initiatives started in 1999.
[Photo: Dr. Lisa Wexler]
“This work is one more step in a long-term commitment to promote health in Northwest Alaska in ways that builds on scientific research, increases local capacity, and develops partnerships that serve the needs of remote and rural Alaska Native communities,” says Dr. Wexler.