The Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA) is a Tribal Health Organization providing services throughout the Kodiak region of Alaska and its 10 Federally recognized Tribes. This includes the City of Kodiak, the satellite communities of Chiniak and Women’s Bay, and six remote villages accessible only by boat or small aircraft: Ouzinkie, Port Lions, Larsen Bay, Old Harbor, Akhiok, and Karluk. Founded in 1966, KANA has been the primary provider for Alaska Native and American Indian (AN/AI) medical services and has grown to include village-based health clinics, dental and behavioral health services, community support services, and an array of wellness programs including a dedicated Wellness Center. KANA has also expanded to offer services to the broader Kodiak community and has strong partnerships with both Tribal and non-Tribal agencies, organizations, businesses, and coalitions.
KANA has overseen the implementation of the SDPI project in the Kodiak region for more than 20 years and is positioned to continue providing and expanding services for AN/AI individuals diagnosed with, or at risk of developing, diabetes. This has historically included a broad array of activities and events focused on providing education, such as Village Health Fairs and Kodiak Community Health Summits, challenges and activities that promote physical fitness and healthy nutrition, school-based preventative education, and more.
KANA’s primary focus for the currently proposed project is to continue providing diabetes-related education to AN/AI patients to support diabetes management and to offer preventative education and services to the broader Kodiak community. This will be accomplished by continuing and expanding ongoing direct outreach efforts to diabetic patients using various forms of media, hosting and participating in an array of community events and activities that are again being offered following the relaxation of COVID protocols, resuming travel to village communities to provide broader community education, and leveraging the resources of other areas of KANA to expand the reach of KANA SDPI staff through collaborative efforts.
One item planned for early 2023 is the launch of a new 12-Week Lifestyle Program for adults. This program will include activities, workshops, and educational content to help build a deeper understanding and behaviors related to positive nutrition, improve physical activity habits, and maintain participant engagement by using a mixture of challenges, guided lessons, and more. This program will emphasize “real-life”, practical applications such as “field trips” to local grocery stores to discuss healthy shopping on a budget, how to read and understand nutrition information, cooking workshops, fitness activity challenges, and journaling exercises.
KANA also intends to continue working with at-risk individuals and youth across multiple fronts. For example, KANA plans to launch a reworked 12-Week Youth Challenge alongside the adult Lifestyle Program, which will offer similar, but more targeted, activities and topics for middle and high school students. KANA will also continue building on its current partnerships to expand programs for youth, such as the youth fitness program hosted in collaboration with Kodiak Parks and Recreation throughout the summer.
KANA has a great deal of experience in managing the technical aspects of administering the SDPI project, such as the Annual Audits and Required Key Measure tracking, has staff that is experienced with planning and hosting activities, has a wide array of resources beyond the SDPI project that can be used to enhance its efforts such as KANA’s Medical and broader Community Health Divisions, and is the primary provider of services in the remote village communities. These factors will enable KANA to immediately begin implementing the proposed activities and to continue building on a longstanding program that has had a positive benefit for the AN/AI population of Kodiak.