• Early Childhood Community Intervention: Preventing Neighborhood Factors of Crime and Delinquency.

      Abam, Ruddy Sirri-Akonwi (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-10-28)
      The social and political public health model established by States to separate and isolate criminals from society has for many decades given way to policies that support and have resulted in the large-scale use of incarceration as a means of punishment for major crimes as well as minor offenses. Most prevention strategies focus on adolescence and adulthood as cases of serious offenses continue to increase across the nation. Such approaches may be lacking additional significant mechanisms to interrupt and prevent the propensity for crime earlier in children’s lives; mechanisms which will determine if children will be future successes in society or adults within the confines of the Criminal Justice System. This review will further underscore the key factors in early childhood development that subject children to quality-of-life-crime and delinquency in the future. Based on analysis of existing literature from Criminology, Psychology and Education, this work will further examine the community-based prevention programs which seek to improve the effects of those neighborhood factors of crime. This review further focuses on programs that have demonstrated long-standing effectiveness at deterring prospective delinquent behavior and life-long association with the system. Programs that foster education services, family value and stability, as well as favorable social behavior early on, reduces a child’s probability for delinquency. There exists beneficial evidence of the cost effectiveness of neighborhood prevention strategies that outweigh the high steadily growing costs of incarceration on our nation. Programs within the framework of community-based prevention not only address factors of crime such as poverty, but also the environmental causes of quality-of-life crimes by focusing on stabilizing communities, promoting family support and combining structure with early education activities. Neighborhood crime prevention efforts have emerged as major alternatives to the Criminal Justice System, to alter and deter early crime paths which lead to adult entanglement with the system. The crucial economic features of life for many poor communities puts them at higher risks of association with the Justice system while high rates of exposure for children, especially boys and young men in those poor communities continually proves to be the norm. These measures demonstrate assurance in reducing the present-day catastrophic impressions of delinquency and relations with crime on America’s children and families. To employ this public health model of neighborhood-based prevention, we must think beyond the usual tough on crime control model, which favors methods of increased detainment and incapacitation as means of deterrence. Efforts should rather be based on the transformative policy implications of early prevention mechanisms in communities across the nation which prove to better serve the necessity to prevent crime.
    • Economic Optimization of Fiber Optic Network Design in Anchorage

      Kintner, Jasen (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-05-01)
      The wireline telecommunications industry is currently involved in an evolution. Growing bandwidth demands are putting pressure on the capabilities of outdated copper based networks. These demands are being meet by replacing these copper based networks with fiber optic networks. Unfortunately, telecommunications decision makers are tasked with figuring out how best to deploy these networks with little ability to plan, organize, lead, or control these large projects. This project introduces a novel approach to designing fiber optic access networks. By leveraging well known clustering and routing techniques to produce sound network design, decision makers will better understand how to divide service areas, where to place fiber, and how much fiber should be placed. Combining this output with other typical measures of costs and revenue, the decision maker will also be able to focus on the business areas that will provide the best outcome when undertaking this transformational evolution of physical networks.
    • The Effect of a Single Nutrition Education Session on the Nutrition Knowledge, Attitude and Behavior of Female Adolescent Gymnasts.

      Salazar, Haley (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2020-05-01)
      Gymnastics is a complex sport that requires tremendous skill and places high physical demands on the body. This can be especially challenging for adolescent gymnasts, as they need their bodies to perform athletically as they are maturing and growing into adults. Although there is evidence of adequate nutrition supporting athletic ability and proper growth, many young athletes may lack the essential nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors needed to implement proper nutrition habits. This can be especially true for adolescent female gymnasts as they partake in demanding, rigorous, and specialized trainings beginning in the young stages of life. Gymnastics is also a sport that is judged on aesthetics, causing this population to be at high risk for disordered eating patterns. It is important to assess what these young athletes know about nutrition, how they perceive it, and if they act on it. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a single nutrition education session on the nutrition knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of female adolescent gymnasts. Participants were asked to complete a survey measuring nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors immediately prior to a nutrition education session. Immediately after the nutrition education was provided, the same survey was repeated. At a one month follow up, the gymnasts were asked to complete the same survey for the final time. The results of the Friedman test indicated that there was a statistically significant improvement in the participants’ nutrition knowledge across the three measurement points (baseline, immediately after education, final survey, x2 (2.40, n=5) = 8.44, p < 0.005). The attitudes (p = 0.497) and behaviors (p = 0.790) of the participants were not significantly impacted by the nutrition education session. Evidence suggests that providing a single nutrition education session significantly improves the nutrition knowledge, along with retention of the gained knowledge at the one-month follow up, of female adolescent gymnasts.
    • The Effect of Cultural Beliefs and Customs on Nutritional Attitudes and Food Choices of Alaska Natives Living With Chronic Diseases in the Anchorage Metropolitan Area

      Anderson, Sadie (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-12-01)
      Alaska Native and American Indian people are heavily affected by chronic diseases such obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (Redwood, Lanier, Johnston, Asay, & Slattery, 2010). The presence or severity of many chronic diseases is directly correlated with the type of diet people consume. This study explored how culture influences the understanding of nutritional status and food choices of Alaska native people living in Anchorage, Alaska. Focus groups were held with Alaska Native adults who were living with a chronic disease. Open-ended questions were asked about the participants’ culture and food choices. Themes and subthemes emerged through data analysis using the PEN-3 model. Findings from the focus groups indicated that participants believed traditional foods had significant cultural and nutritional value, but there was decreased access to traditional foods in the rural setting. Participants often gave in to the pressures of a busy lifestyle and did not eat as healthy as they would like. Participants were seeking information to improve their diet and health in a culturally effective way conducive to their learning style.
    • The Effect of Cultural Beliefs and Customs on Nutritional Attitudes and Food Choices of Asian Populations Living With Chronic Diseases in the Anchorage Metropolitan Area

      Armour, Alison (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-05-01)
      A chronic disease is a non-infectious, gradually occurring illness that worsens and lasts over a lengthy period (World Health Organization [WHO], 2013). According to the WHO, the number of individuals with chronic disease is increasing worldwide. The rise in numbers is especially dramatic in Asian populations as they make the transition from traditional to Western diets. Studies have shown that chronic disease can be prevented or managed by rejecting the Western diet of processed, refined, high fat foods and adopting a healthier diet. However, little is known about the effect of culture and customs on attitudes towards nutrition. This study explored their influence on the nutritional status and food choices of Anchorage-area Asian adults living with chronic disease. A purposive sample of Asian adults with chronic disease was recruited, a series of focus group meetings were held over a month-long period, and participants were asked questions related to nutrition and culture. Themes were identified and analyzed using the PEN-3 theoretical model and quality of analysis was addressed by following the process proposed by Lincoln and Gruba. Findings indicate that participants in general recognized the benefits of improved nutrition in the management of their chronic disease but had insufficient knowledge or perceived lack of support to make the necessary changes.
    • Elementary Stem Program project management plan

      Swann, Michael (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-12-01)
      This project produced a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) summer program. A multi-phased process was used to determine the appropriate course of action for data collection and a summer program curriculum creation. The summer program and curriculum will be used as a blueprint for improving the current elementary school program. Phase one included assessment of educator’s and students’ utilization of the existing STEM program, through surveys, observation, and interviews. Phase two analyzed data obtained through phase one, providing an outline of the STEM program status. Phase three used data obtained from phases one and two, creating a single, week-long summer STEM program curriculum. Standardized STEM lesson specifications along with benchmarking were utilized for curriculum creation. The summer program consists of three rotational lab stations: an outdoor exploration and discovery lab, an outdoor hands-on engineering lab, and an indoor technology-based lab. The school has committed to use the lessons learned and curriculum as a foundation for future summer camps. Lessons learned from this project were provided to the elementary school to implement and improve the current STEM program and it was successful.
    • Emergency Preparedness Among Older Adults in Issaquah, Washington

      Johnson, Marisa P. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-05-01)
      Using the Health Belief Model, this project practicum explored emergency preparedness through interviews with fourteen study participants sixty-five years old or older and three key informants. The goals of this project practicum were to understand the potential needs of adults sixty-five years old and older in an emergency or disaster and to improve the effectiveness of emergency outreach education and messaging. Prior storm experience and reported time living in Issaquah appeared to influence preparedness activity among study participants. Exposure to media and emergency preparedness messaging appeared to have a lesser effect on emergency preparedness activity. Project practicum results suggest that help from neighbors, friends, and family may be the best way to keep vulnerable older adults safe in an emergency or disaster. Thus, these neighbors, friends, and family need to know about emergency preparedness even though it seems to be less effective than life experience. The City of Issaquah appears to be on the right track educating people with its Map Your Neighborhood, Citizen Emergency Response Team training program, and its emergency preparedness booths at community events.
    • End-of-Life Heart Failure Education With Staff Nurses; A Quality Improvement Project

      Battah, Carisa (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-08-01)
      Heart failure (HF) is a serious diagnosis and a major public health concern. The symptoms can be exhausting and can vary from person to person with periods of acute exacerbations requiring hospital admission. It is important for hospital staff nurses to be able to speak with knowledge and comfort about end‐of‐life planning. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to increase nurses’ awareness of the functional classification systems of HF, options and timing for palliative care, and describe nurses’ intent to use the information in practice. Nurses reported planning on using the information to “Be more Sensitive and Listen.” The prevailing theme to barriers to implementing this into practice was “Not enough time and discomfort.” Nurses who were comfortable having end‐of‐life discussions did not feel they had enough time, and those who were not comfortable did not engage because of discomfort toward the topic. Furthermore, recommendations from this study were the addition of a supportive palliative care team to manage patients with HF.
    • Establishing Reasons and Recommendation on How to Increase Biomedical Technical Training in Alaska

      Fuqua, Julianna (2016-12-01)
      There is an acknowledgement in literature about the increasing healthcare needs, and the disparity among rural area healthcare needs. This project explores and establishes that there is a need for increased biomedical technical training in the State of Alaska. The need and recommendations are discovered through research of current methods within the State and in other locations and analyzes different ways they are currently obtained in Alaska, and suggest hiring locally as a way to increase the number of trained biomedical technicians in Alaska.
    • Evaluating the Patient Experience in Outpatient Detoxification: Implications for Improvement of the Early Stages of Alcohol and/or Opioid Use Disorder and Recovery Treatment Processs

      Ampong, David Nana (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2021-05-01)
      Background and Literature Review: Anchorage is among the cities besieged by the alcohol and opioid crisis. The city has numerous outpatient MAT programs and substance treatment settings that can provide outpatient detoxification programs. Although the literature supports outpatient detoxification as feasible, safe, and affordable, it does not provide a specific model of outpatient detoxification. The Alaska Treatment Center (ATC) offers outpatient detoxification based on a biopsychosocial model of detoxification. Since the ATC outpatient detoxification seeks to expand treatment through this model, it is necessary to evaluate the patients’ experiences to improve clinical practice and substance treatment. Purpose: This project aimed to evaluate patient experiences in outpatient detoxification at ATC and identify promising strategies for improvement of the model to formulate strategic practice advancement using empirical data from participants. Methods: The project was quasi-experimental in design and informed by Lewin’s three stage change model. Descriptive statistics of demographic and survey responses were presented using frequencies and percentages for categorical and ordinal variables. A 45-item survey collapsed into three areas: the initial encounter, relationship during treatment, and overall impression. A spearman’s rank correlation was conducted to test the internal consistency and construct validity of the instrument. Statistical significance was set at p ≤ .05. All analyses were conducted using SPSS Version 26. Implementation Plan/Procedure: The Generic Short Patient Experiences Questionnaire (GSPEQ) was modified and approved for use in this project by the University of Alaska Anchorage Institutional Review Board. The survey instrument was administered to 42 participants who received outpatient detoxification from ATC. The findings revealed successful completion rate of detoxification, with a significant correlation between before detoxification, rho = 0.1414, p = .007, and after detoxification, rho = -0.439, p = .769. Conclusion: The findings led to a modification of the ATC biopsychosocial model to encompass theoretical, contextual, conceptual, systematical, empirical, and implementational analysis. Consequently, flow charts, modified decision trees, and theory of change were integrated into the ATC policies and the electronic medical record. The project revealed that detoxification is a vital step in substance treatment and may be successfully provided in outpatient treatment settings using the right model of treatment. Organizational changes such as hiring additional staff and sharing the model with other MAT programs are still in progress.
    • Evaluation of a Public Health Nursing Expedited Partner Therapy Program

      McNulty, Colleen (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-12-01)
      Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) is an important strategy in reducing reinfection for clients with a positive chlamydia or gonorrhea lab test. It also reduces the time it takes to treat partners, therefore decreasing the rapid spread of these diseases. In 2012, the Alaska Section of Public Health Nursing began to establish an EPT process. The purpose of this program evaluation was to determine uptake in EPT clinical services and to identify barriers both in the process and in staff knowledge and support of EPT practice. Several methods of data collection were used including historical data review, focus group discussion and online survey. Based on the data review, EPT was offered to only 13.7% of clients with a positive chlamydia and/or gonorrhea tests, although of the clients who used EPT, 94.7% reported that using EPT was a positive option for them. Both the focus group discussion and online survey demonstrated that the process set up for provision of EPT by public health nurses was lengthy and difficult for staff to follow. There were also barriers with nurses using EPT due to fear of a potential allergic reaction (35.4%) and fear it could increase antimicrobial resistance (12.5%). The recommendations made were to: reduce the number of required steps of the process for providing EPT to clients; provide ongoing education on evidence-based reporting of EPT services; and to provide support for the public health nurse staff.
    • An Evaluation of Oral Health Training for Long-Term Care Facility Staff and its Relation to Residents' Dental Plaque Levels

      Barrow, Olivia Christine (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-08-01)
      The overall goal of this project was to decrease dental plaque scores of residents living at Wild Flower Court (WFC) facility through improved oral health education of staff members. The examiner evaluated WFC nursing staff’s knowledge on providing patients with oral care and denture maintenance both before and after oral care training. The staff knowledge levels were correlated with residents’ plaque levels to determine if a relationship existed. The hypothesis was that WFC residents would have lower dental plaque levels after nursing staff received the oral health and denture maintenance training. Twenty-seven full-time WFC staff members received the oral health and denture maintenance training and were given a knowledge pre-test and post-training test. The same test was given at one and two month follow-ups to determine levels of retained knowledge. A baseline plaque index (PI) was collected on thirty-six WFC residents 65 years of age and older using a modified version of the Simplified Oral Hygiene Index (OHI-S) and a modified Budtz-Jorgensen PI. The PI was collected from residents prior to staff receiving training, and then again at one and two months after staff training. Among the staff that received oral health and denture maintenance training, the post-test revealed a statistically significant increase in knowledge from the pretest (α ≤ .05). Decreased resident PI levels were observed at the one and two month follow-ups. The study provides evidence that educational training to the staff can effectively reduce the PI levels of WFC residents. iii
    • Evaluation of Provider-Directed Communication Strategies Regarding Complementary and Alternative Health: An Integrative Review

      Garhart, Emily (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-12-01)
      Aim Identify health care provider-directed facilitators and barriers to successful patientprovider communication regarding complementary and alternative medicine, and synthesize the research evidence into succinct best-evidence strategies to generate optimum patient-provider dialogue. Background Complementary and alternative medicine use is prevalent among U.S. consumers. However, consumers infrequently disclose their use, and providers inconsistently inquire about it. Currently, there is little guidance for a method on facilitating communication. In addition, no studies have synthesized the variety of factors that influence communication of this topic as a means to help identify potentially effective strategies for improving it. Method. An integrative review of publications from 2000 to 2015. A five-stage methodological framework guided the data analysis. Results Thirty-two qualitative and quantitative articles and literature reviews met inclusion criteria. All data extracted and include in this review supported two key domains of understanding, representing interpersonal and organizational characteristics. Conclusion Findings indicated that successful communication about complementary and alternative medicine will not occur unless it is considered integral to the medical encounter, required by policies, and supported by appropriate resources. Implications for Advanced Practice Nurses Conversations that include complementary and alternative approaches will support the core concept of patient-centered care and ensure the greatest level of patient safety.
    • The Experience of Informal Caregivers for Persons with Metastatic Cancer Perceptions of Support

      Fossler, Erica (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-12-01)
      Purpose/Objectives: To investigate the experience and perceptions of support of caregivers for persons with advanced cancer. Research Approach: A qualitative descriptive approach using focus groups to explore the caregiver experience. Setting: An outpatient oncology infusion center in southcentral Alaska. Participants: 14 adult caregivers of persons with stage IV cancer. Methodologic Approach: Participants attended one of two focus groups. They were asked to share their experiences as informal caregivers. Focus groups were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim for analysis. Krueger’s method for content coding and data analysis was used to identify themes (1998). Findings: Key themes that emerged during data analysis included internal stressors such as emotional and psychological distress, and external stressors of needed financial support and nutritional information, suggesting the stated need of a more comprehensive care approach. Conclusions: Participants recognized needs but did not feel they were supported in accessing resources. The experience of caregiving was often abrupt in onset in this population and the overwhelming amount of information they received did not include enough information on the act of caregiving or the resources available. Implications for Nursing: Advanced practice nurses are instrumental in identifying and addressing caregiver needs. As patient educators and advocates, they provide education and resource support to both the patients and the caregivers in an effort to minimize caregiver exhaustion.
    • Exploration of Why Alaskans Use Complementary Medicine: A Focus Group Study

      Heafner, Jessica (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-01-01)
      Purpose: To explore why Alaskans choose to pursue complementary medicine as a healthcare option. Design: Qualitative Descriptive. Method: A purposive convenient recruitment methodology was used to recruit project participants. Focus groups were conducted to collect the research data. Findings: Five themes were identified that highlighted why participants use complementary medicine: 1) dissatisfaction, 2) effective, 3) holistic, 4) relationship focused, and 5) a personal journey
    • Faith-based motivation for health behavior change: a pilot of the Daniel Plan in a small, rural Alaskan community

      Williams, Anna J. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017-05-01)
      Motivating patients to make beneficial lifestyle changes such as improved diet and exercise habits is a challenging but important role for Nurse Practitioners. This project addressed this problem by exploring one promising method for motivating patients, that of faith-based interventions. The Daniel Plan, a previously successful faith-based, six-week small group study was implemented in a small, rural Alaskan community. Data collection included biometric measurements and self-report questionnaires on nutrition and physical activity. All those who completed the study lost weight and improved their diet and exercise habits. Participants reported that the group setting and the spiritual focus were most effective in facilitating their positive changes. These results support previous evidence that faith-based wellness interventions should be considered as a valuable tool for facilitating health behavior changes. They also indicate the importance of incorporating spirituality assessments into the care of patients as a potential way of motivating them to make such changes. More specifically, this project identified that the Daniel Plan was an effective program to recommend to those patients who identify with Biblical teachings.
    • Feasibility Analysis of the Service Design for the Geotourism Program in the Lake Camp Area of Alaska

      Paulus, Peggy D. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-05-01)
      Alaska, in all its majestic and awe inspiring beauty, has an abundance of culture, wildlife and scenery to offer to residents and non-residents. Tourism is a vital contributor to the economic benefit to the State of Alaska. Many of the existing tour programs, although contribute to the local economy, do not facilitate rural community growth or support. There is much untapped potential for tourism programs in rural communities that can be beneficial to the local communities while preserving the cultural, natural and geographical wonders. This report is a feasibility analysis for a geotourism program in the Camp Lake area of Southwest Alaska. This report demonstrates the possible sustainability of a service concept for such a geotourism program.
    • Feasibility of Thermosyphons to Impede the Progress of Coastal Permafrost Erosion Along the Norther Coastline of Alaska

      Zottola, Jason (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-05-01)
      This study seeks to investigate the feasibility of installing thermosyphons at Drew Point, Alaska to mitigate thermally-induced coastline erosion. Portions of the northern Alaska coastline have been receding at increasing rates and putting in peril infrastructure, environmental habitats, and small villages. Slowing or eliminating the erosion would prevent emotional village relocations and costly infrastructure maintenance and relocations. Climate and soil data from Drew Point and Barrow, Alaska are used as input variables in a numerical modeling software program to determine accurate soil thermal properties to be used in a thermosyphon design. Generalized cost considerations are presented and it is determined that thermosyphons may be an effective mitigation strategy to combat coastal erosion, however, future additional modeling could optimize a design and provide for refinements in the cost analysis.
    • Fitness AK: Applying the project management tools and principles to a business plan

      Hermon, Erik (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017-05-01)
      Fitness Alaska is a business opportunity centering on creating a fitness center near Palmer, AK in order to capitalize on growing demand for health and wellness. This project will focus on the creation of a business plan and document the research necessary to plan and predict the costs associated with opening a fitness center. The business will be concentrated on a medium space concept (7000-10000 sq/ft) based around cardiovascular and resistance circuit training, personal training, and a shake bar for members. The purpose of this project was to apply project management principles to create a business plan and assess the feasibility for a fitness center near Palmer, AK. Project Management lent a vital amount of structure to a process that was unfamiliar to the researcher, allowing work to be broken into logical portions and completed within a constrained time period. The Palmer surrounding area population grew by 14.3% between 2010 and 2015 and projects to continue. The market favorability and the gap in services for a medium sized fitness center in the Palmer area have created an opportunity to be filled. This project details the business case analysis of the Palmer area to make recommendations for such a business.
    • Food Security in Alaska: Assisting the Alaska Food Policy Council to Meet Their Strategic Plan Goals Through the Use of GIS Mapping Technology

      Wilson, Melissa N. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-08-01)
      The Alaska Food Policy Council (AFPC) was established to examine how the Alaska food system functions, and to provide ideas and recommendations for improving access to healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate foods for all the state’s citizens. At the start of this project, AFPC did not have a resource tool that allows for the mapping of gaps, projects, initiatives, and strengths of the Alaska food system. Thus, this project focused on developing such a tool to assist AFPC with meeting their strategic plan goals, i.e., promoting the affordability, safety, accessibility and infrastructure of the Alaska food system. Secondary analysis of data relating to AFPC goals was conducted, and associated information was plotted using a GIS mapping tool. The creation of the map introduces a visual tool which can assist in providing an overall picture of the gaps and strengths identified in Alaska’s food system. This project can be used as a starting point for the future development of a real-time web-based GIS map that AFPC and other stakeholders can use to support recommendations to the state on food security related issues.