KANA membership re-elected Speridon Simeonoff from the Native Village of Akhiok and Loretta Nelson from the Native Village of Afognak.
Simeonoff has served almost a decade on the KANA board of directors. Born and raised in Akhiok, he is a career commercial fisherman. He said Saturday it has been an honor to serve his village on the KANA board, as well as the people of Kodiak Island.
Nelson has served on the board for seven years and began working at KANA as a community health aide in Port Lions.
KANA, a nonprofit, was formed in 1966 to provide health and social services for Alaska Natives in the Kodiak archipelago. Its 11-member board of directors includes people representing area villages and tribes. Each KANA chapter elects a representative.
Tribal health consortium staffer Erika Wolter said KANA has been wildly successful in its mission to provide health care. Presenting the new Aurora Borealis Award, Wolter said KANA didn’t just meet federal standards during the past year, it “blew them out of the water.”
Under the Government Performance and Results Act, KANA and almost 200 other organizations receiving Indian Health Service funding were judged on 21 standards. Just six groups met all 21 standards last year. Four did it this year. KANA was the only one to do it both years.
KANA received ANTHC’s top prize, the Summit Award, for meeting the goals last year, and Wolter said the only thing to do was create a new award to recognize KANA’s unique achievement.
“In order to be successful at this, you also have to make sure that the patient is a partner and that you’ve got a good relationship going,” she said.
Because patients who refuse to take tests for things like heart disease and diabetes count as marks against a health care provider, Wolter said KANA has done a great job convincing people to sign up for the tests.
“You have to build that relationship of trust to be able to do some of these screenings and test procedures that are designed to improve the health of the patient, so that you’re catching things early,” she said.
Also at the annual meeting, KANA membership voted to change the organization’s articles of incorporation to update its mission statement. The new mission statement tasks the organization “to elevate the quality of life of the people we serve.”
Contact Mirror writer Wes Hanna at email@example.com.