September 19 2010Sitka residents are invited to join their community in honoring our local wellness champions and planning our health priorities for the next year during the fourth annual Sitka Health Summit, “Working Together for a Healthier Sitka,” on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 4-5, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. There are two main community events during the Sitka Health Summit — the Sitka Community Dessert and Awards Ceremony on Monday, Oct. 4, and the Planning Day: Real Ideas Into Action on Tuesday, Oct. 5. Doors open for Monday’s program at 6 p.m., with the program starting at 6:30 p.m. The event features a selection of free local and organic desserts provided by Sitka Spuce Catering for the first 200 people. The keynote presentation will be by Dr. Julien Naylor, an internal medicine/diabetes specialist at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital who will speak about the importance of creating a healthy community in Sitka and how to help people move toward a more healthful life. Following the presentation will be an awards ceremony honoring our community wellness champions. This event is free, but donations will be accepted for the Sitka Health Summit’s new Health Initiatives Fund. Also, raffle tickets for a watercolor by local artist Pat Kehoe and other prizes are being sold for $5 each to raise money for the Health Initiatives Fund. Tuesday’s program from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will allow Sitka residents to set the community’s health and wellness goals for 2010-11. Some of our recent past goals were to make Sitka more bicycle friendly and to start a market for local foods, and they resulted in Sitka becoming Alaska’s first official Bicycle Friendly Community in 2008 and the creation of the Sitka Farmers Market. This year’s top goals and priorities will receive seed money from the new Health Initiatives Fund. There also will be a community health and wellness resource room open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Exhibit Room. Snacks and lunch will be available. The Sitka Health Summit is brought to you by Sitka Community Hospital and the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), with major financial help from Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, the City and Borough of Sitka, Scott Insurance Services, White’s Inc./Harry Race Pharmacy/White’s Pharmacy and the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus. The Sitka Health Summit’s vision is “to serve our great state as a model for community wellness by creating a healthy community where all Sitkans strive for and enjoy a high quality of life.” For more information about the Sitka Health Summit, contact Holly Keen at 738-2707 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to our Web site at www.sitkahealthsummit.org.