• Recommendations for Updating the Alaska Department of Transportation Construction Project Documentation Manual

      O'Neill, Raymond (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-05-01)
      This project began as work sponsored by a multidisciplinary engineering consulting firm providing construction administration services to the State of Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (AKDOT). Managers in the firm’s construction administration department requested documentation protocols to assist staff in meeting their clients’ quality assurance objectives and improve the firm’s business performance. Construction administration (CA) refers to managing all project-related functions between parties to a construction contract. CA involves considerable field presence and construction experience. CA includes inspections, quality assurance, site safety, and other construction duties beyond contract administration (Fisk & Reynolds, 2006). The consultant’s AKDOT quality assurance assessments indicate the need for improved project documentation, and project managers realize that improved documentation processes are necessary for effective monitoring, controlling and closing of construction projects. The original scope of this project was to deliver a manual for documenting CA; however, research uncovered existing AKDOT manuals addressing documentation processes for CA. Therefore, the project delivers recommendations for updating the AKDOT Construction Project Documentation procedures manual published by Central Region AKDOT (AKDOT 2013). This manual is one of the resources identified as a reference for CA staff providing CA documentation. The research plan includes methods to identify areas of CA documentation where improvements will be recommended. The research consists of a survey of CA professionals, formal and informal interviews, and a literature review. Recommendations for updating the AKDOT Construction Documentation Manual are provided that will improve documentation quality and project communications, and will reduce the effort currently required for project closeout.
    • Recreational Trails Program Applicant Accountability and Process Efficiency Project

      Harris, Darcy B. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-04-01)
      The Recreational Trails Program provides reimbursable grant funding for recreational trail development and repair, and environmental protection and safety/education programs relating to recreational trail use. The Recreational Trails Program Applicant Accountability and Process Efficiency Project developed two tools to improve the effectiveness of the program, New grant applicants and current grantees require clear guidance about state and federal procurement requirements, federal regulations, and programmatic guidelines for the Recreational Trails Program in Alaska. The iterative tool and administrative controls created for this project will help to guide and inform the applicants and add legal protection for the State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) immediately and into the future. The Application Instruction and Information Manual (Manual) details the rules, regulations, requirements, and processes for compliance surrounding procurement and federal grants and is publically-available for applicants to utilize during the grant cycle. Legal language has been added to the signature page of the application so each applicant understands the importance of compliance and integrity when managing a federal grant. The Manual is intended to be a generalizable tool that will continue to evolve as different groups of stakeholders provide input and feedback with regard to its utility. This project was initiated to assist the majority of grant applicants with processes, regulations, and guidelines, increase comprehension and success, and reduce management time coaching and frustration for applicants. To a lesser degree but intended to mitigate a higher risk, this project researched, created, and added supplementary legal language into the application that will serve to both add a layer of legal protection for the DNR and remind applicants of their fiscal responsibilities when managing federal grant funds. The hypothesis for this project is that when applicants have an improved means by which to meet the requirements of the grant program they will become more self-sufficient, knowledgeable, successful, and compliant. It is the program manager’s responsibility to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations, as well as program guidance, and there are now effective tools and administrative controls to consistently achieve this.
    • Reducing Recidivism in Alaska Throough Access to Extended-Release Injectable Naltrexone

      Green, Jyll K. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-12-01)
      The goal of this evidence-based project was to provide access to extended-release injectable naltrexone (XR-NTX) upon release from incarceration for individuals who had a self-identified substance or alcohol abuse history, and evaluate whether or not XR-NTX reduced recidivism in comparison with those who declined to use XR-NTX. This project was completed in collaboration with Partners Reentry Center, located in Anchorage, Alaska, who collected and offered retrospective de-identified data for this project. A total of 98 individuals with a self-identified history of substance or alcohol abuse were offered XR-NTX through Partners Reentry Center from September 15, 2015 to September 15, 2016. Of these, 52 were offered XR-NTX in the first six months of this evidenced-based quality improvement project. Of those who accepted XR-NTX (n = 32), 62% remained in the community at the end of 12 months from project initiation. Of those who declined XR-NTX (n = 20), 95% recidivated. The results of this project demonstrate the benefit of using XR-NTX in released prisoners to reduce recidivism. Implications for use the of XR-NTX in Alaska Department of Corrections inmates and the general population who meet criteria for use should be evaluated.
    • Reign Consulting Business Plan

      Jessup, Colton T. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2021-05-01)
      This project provides a business opportunity by creating a local business specializing in construction management consultation and land survey-related work. With heightened construction project demands, specifically in Northwest Alaska, contracts are beginning to be awarded to companies not local to Alaska. The region's opportunity for this type of company includes stakeholders but is not limited to mining, local government agencies, and local community organizations. This project creates a local business plan that will increase market share to locally owned and operated companies. The mining industry is vital for business feasibility as it starts. Following procedures detailed in this plan, the desire to start a company providing surveying, mapping services, and construction management is attainable. Relevant knowledge obtained as a land surveyor in training & Northwest Alaska Region shareholder offers a specialized skill set working in the region. This project applies project management principles to create a plan for developing a small consulting firm in Northwest Alaska and the present option for market and growth within Alaska's state
    • Reorganizing Business Analysis in an Information Technology Environment

      Dulaney, Carolyn S. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-05-01)
      This project was initiated to identify changes needed for the existing structure of the business analysis process and the organization of Business Analysts within the Information Technology (IT) department of a major financial institution. The organization currently experiences a large number of quality issues that are found after the products are implemented rather than during project Initiation, Planning or Execution phases. This results in re-work costs, shortage of resources for strategic initiatives and issues with both employee morale and customer satisfaction. Management has identified weak business analysis processes as a key driver in the high number of resource hours spent on day-to-day unplanned issues. Analysis of data collected from interviews conducted with a cross-section of the IT staff were used to identify areas to be considered for process improvement. The current state was researched using data obtained from the interview process and data analyzed and prioritized using Cause and Effect Analysis. Pareto and Tornado analysis provided further insights into the data. Using the results of the data analysis, some potential short-term and long-term solutions were selected to address identified weaknesses, and potentially reduce time spent on unanticipated non-discretionary tasks, thereby increasing the availability of resources to address the organization’s key initiatives.
    • A "Risk Based Thinking" approach for tourism in Alaska

      Vallejo, Luisa F. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-12-01)
      Tourism sector in Alaska and elsewhere needs to incorporate into everyday business operations a risk based thinking approach which becomes a tool to proactively manage risk and opportunities. Therefore this research has been focused in putting together a basic guide how tourism operators in general, specially from Alaska, could implement an integral risk management approach for an specific tour adventure, example that could be replicated to other type of risks found in Alaska tourism. Risk management is an invaluable tool for the tourism industry and the communities it supports as it provides the means by which risk can be identified and treated, preventing or minimizing the effects of crises and disasters upon this vital industry for the state of Alaska.
    • Risk Environment in Northern Sea Route Transportation Projects

      Petrova, Lena Y. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-12-10)
      The need for defining the risk environment in the Arctic strengthens as changing ice conditions and economic opportunities drive the demand for expanding traffic volumes in Russia’s Northern Sea Route (NSR). An international commercial shipping route, the NSR is proven to cut transit time up to forty percent compared to the overflowing Suez Canal when traveling from ports in Western Europe to Southeast Asia. The NSR offers a challenging yet attractive project landscape since its opening to global logistics companies in the 1990s. A total of 27 international shipments were made and 1.35 million tons of cargo were moved in 2013. By 2020, cargo volumes shipped along the route are expected to reach 15 million tons per year. With Asian markets pursuing liquefied natural gas from global exporters and large scale exploration and production projects being developed in Northwestern Siberia, the future of the NSR is promising. Compared to other shipping routes, there are unique operational risks for NSR maritime transportation projects; these risks can significantly affect project success. Limited information exists to sufficiently describe risk exposure. This research paper identifies and describes risk factors affecting planning and execution of maritime transportation projects in the Northern Sea Route region based on a review of existing literature and interviews with subject matter experts. Findings are summarized in a descriptive narrative supported by a risk factor breakdown structure. The final project deliverables will be offered to shipping companies and Arctic research organizations to help identify and assess risks for NSR maritime transportation projects.
    • The Role of Alaska's Nurse Practitioners in Preventing Early Childhood Caries

      Maixner, Margaret (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-10-06)
      Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is the most common chronic disease of childhood despite being preventable. Because of its high prevalence, its impact on the quality of life of young children, and its potential for increasing their risk of caries in the permanent dentition, ECC is arguably one of the most serious and costly health conditions among young children. Poor access to dental services by rural Alaskans and poor dental care in general are considered the main contributing factors to the continued rise in ECC in Alaska. Primary care providers (PCPs), such as nurse practitioners (NPs), are in unique positions to complement the work of dental professionals because PCPs often provide care before a child’s first dental visit. This project assessed the practice habits and perceived competence of Alaska’s NPs with regards to performing pediatric oral health-related tasks as well as knowledge of current tools. Data was collected from NPs in Alaska by survey. This data was analyzed to find specific areas of educational-need and to model an information kit for NPs in the State of Alaska to improve their primary pediatric practice. The results indicated that NPs in the State of Alaska believe oral heath assessments and preventative education should be included in pediatric well-child care but their frequency of actual performance and perceived confidence was low. Recommendations to improve frequency of oral health-related tasks during visits with pediatric populations focus on increasing education in these areas for Alaska’s NPs.
    • Rural Alaska Airport Improvement Projects: A Pre-Construction Management Guide

      Underwood, Daron (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2021-05-01)
      In the State of Alaska roughly 8 out of 10 communities are not connected to the road system, limiting the ability to obtain items ranging from daily essentials to medical care to water or air. Referred to by Alaska’s Department of Transportation as “Alaska’s Lifeline,” rural airports serve vital roles in the welfare of remote and neighboring communities, especially when access by road is not an option. Many villages, towns, councils, and individuals are responsible for independently developing improvement plans for their existing airports. This report details processes followed to develop a dual-objective guide which looks at a range of rural airports throughout Alaska and their respective uses. Utilizing information gained through subject matter expert interviews and research, the guide presents various management processes, tools, and techniques to consider during pre-construction planning of rural airport improvement projects. In addition to standard management practices, the guide references requirements set by the Federal Aviation Administration, State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Standard Specifications for Airport Construction, as well as various permitting agencies. Using these references, the guide provides sources for rural airport usage requirements and aids in determining what type of improvements are necessary and feasible.
    • SARS-CoV-2 - Related Nonpharmaceutical Interventions in Atlantic Canada, Japan, Slovakia, and Sweeden

      Gemzická, Mária (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2022-05-01)
      At the end of 2019 a new pandemic of respiratory infection started and affected every continent (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2021). Since the Chinese Ministry of Health announced a new pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan province caused by SARS- CoV-2 virus, countries around the world started preparations for their own epidemic response. Actions of Japan, Slovakia, Sweden, and four provinces of Atlantic Canada were analyzed for association of their adopted measures with morbidity and mortality of their population. While both nonpharmaceutical and pharmaceutical interventions were necessary for the best outcomes, nonpharmaceutical interventions aiming on decrease of population mobility and interpersonal contact, such as limitations of international and domestic travel, lockdowns or curfews, teleworking and telemedicine, banned visits to vulnerable populations, caps on gatherings, physical distancing, isolation of confirmed cases and their contacts, and covering nose and mouth, had significant effect on size of waves of infection and on mortality of infected.
    • SBIRT Screening in Primary Care of Women of Reproductive Age to Aid in the Identification of Alcohol Use Patterns Focusing On Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Exposure

      Vesely, Isabel (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017-11-01)
      The over consumption of alcohol can directly correlate with negative effects on health and quality of life. When vulnerable subjects such as pregnant women and subsequently the fetus is alcohol exposed lifelong detrimental consequences can ensue such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (Jones, Smith, Ulleland, & Streissguth, 1973). Although most women reduce their alcohol intake during pregnancy, 45% of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned (Finer & Zolna, 2016). The combination of social patterns of alcohol use in women of childbearing age and the prevalence of unintended pregnancy set the stage for an alcohol exposed fetus. Late recognition of an unintended pregnancy exposed a fetus to levels of alcohol capable of teratogenic effects (Balachova et al., 2015). Research asserts that prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies should begin before conception by identifying unhealthy drinking patterns among women of reproductive age. Alcohol screening and brief interventions in medical settings can significantly reduce alcohol use and potentially decrease the prevalence of a 100 % preventable condition such as FASD.
    • Scenarios analysis of the geotourism business model in King Salmon, Alaska

      Alfaro, Daisy (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-12-01)
      Alaska’s tourist industry is currently involved in an evolution to make it more responsive to the “international” tourist. To address this opportunity, this project introduces a novel approach to apply for the first time in Alaska the “Geotourism business model” in King Salmon Alaska, by an international tour operator business. The insights gained will give us the chance to relate academic approaches as a practical application, and then analyze the results prior to undertaking the actual investment of real dollars and limited time and when such an endeavor might be feasible. The resulting research shows that King Salmon, Alaska could become in 10 years a viable Geotourism destination in Alaska. Opening a Geotourism tour operator agency, following this step-by-step approach has the potential for both profit and community growth of King Salmon. Alternatively, if no efforts are made to increase the economic base of King Salmon, the area population will continue to decline.
    • School District Assessment for Sudden Cardiac Arrest Preparation

      Dahlen, Paula (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-06-25)
      A literature review on pediatric sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) suggests that school nurses nationwide are well supported in their responsibilities to manage SCA in school children, despite budget and equipment challenges. In this Masters project, school nurses in a district in the Pacific Northwest completed an online survey to assess their perceptions of personal and organizational preparedness to respond to SCA. As described by the AHA, best practices include: an effective and efficient communication system; coordination, practice, and evaluation of a response plan; risk reduction; training and equipment for CPR and first aid; and in some schools, establishment of an automated external defibrillator (AED) program. Forty-four percent of respondents reported that they have received an adequate amount of resources, support, training and preparation in their school to manage a sudden cardiac arrest event.
    • Screening and Referral in Those With Severe Mental Illness; The Role of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

      Crawford, Laura (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017-08-01)
      Persons suffering from severe mental illness (SMI) have a life expectancy that is 28 years less than the general population (Suetani, Whiteford, & McGrath, 2015). The high mortality rates seen in those with SMI are caused by preventable diseases. Cardiovascular disease (CVD), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), and cancers are the three most prevalent causes of death in this vulnerable population (Suetani et al., 2015). The purpose of this quality improvement project was to develop an evidence based clinical tool that would provide Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP) with a somatic screening tool that could be used in behavioral health. The most recent guidelines established by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) (2014), provided the foundation for the somatic screening tool. The tool addressed cardiovascular disease, COPD, diabetes, and oral hygiene. The somatic screening tool was distributed to 51 PMHNPs’ practicing in the state of Alaska. Survey Monkey was used to deliver a post-implementation survey that evaluated the usefulness of the screening tool. Fifteen PMHNPs’ responded and evaluated the tool. Of the respondents, 86% (13 of 15) indicated that the screening tool would be useful in their practice when assessing the physical health of those with SMI; particularly when screening for CVD, COPD, and diabetes.
    • Screening for Traumatic Brain Injury During Mental Health Evaluations

      Okurume, Onome (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017-08-01)
      Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a major cause of mortality and long-term functional impairment (Gould, Ponsford, Johnston, & Schonberger, 2011; Whelan-Goodinson, Ponsford, Johnston, & Grant, 2009) and are associated with new-onset or worsening of many psychiatric disorders (Gould et al., 2011; Juengst, Whyte, & Skidmore, 2014; Masel & DeWitt, 2010; Whelan-Goodinson et al., 2009) including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress (PTSD). Affected patients may also experience personality changes and problems with aggressive behavior, which can negatively influence personal relationships, ability to work and overall quality of life. This screening can help identify a past TBI, which may influence current mental health status and level of psychosocial function as well as leading to more patient referrals for further evaluation such as neuropsychological testing. Current psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) and other mental health provider TBI screening practices during mental health evaluations are widely varied with many screening questions being limited only to asking about history of concussions, loss of consciousness or motor vehicle accidents resulting in head injury. This information though important may be insufficient in determining TBI history and symptoms. This project used a pretest posttest design and an educational webinar to provide an overview of TBI and to introduce a brief brain injury screening tool which could be used by providers during mental health evaluations. Overall the educational offering was positively received with the all participants (n = 11, 100%) reporting improved knowledge of TBI and intent to use the screening tool in clinical practice.
    • Small Community Oil Spill Preparedness Research Project

      Covert, Christopher (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-12-01)
      As transportation through the Arctic becomes more prevalent with tourism and oil exploration, small communities within the Arctic are susceptible to oil spills from fuel barges, passing ships, tank farms, and oily discharges. Oil spills threaten both humans and animals that co-habitat these Arctic regions. Little has been done to prepare these small communities in preparation for an oil spill and as a result they are not well protected. As the notion of globalization is incorporated into the Arctic it will be imperative to protect these small communities. To better understand this topic, the researcher took an analytical approach to identify and benchmark best practices, define the elements of preparedness, and then build the foundation for the overall project. An integral component of this research project was to build and deploy a self-assessing questionnaire to provide small communities the ability to self-assess their oil spill preparedness level. The results of the questionnaire will be used to derive a preparedness index value. The preparedness index value will be overlaid an interactive map to provide Arctic governments a better view of the level of preparedness of their small communities.
    • Snow Covered Pedestrian Crosswalk Enhancement Via Projected Light Demarcation

      Keogh, Hugh (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-05-01)
      Snow coverage of streets in Anchorage, Alaska, can visually block pedestrians and drivers from viewing painted crosswalk demarcations. This study investigates the potential of utilizing light projected onto the snow’s surface to mimic the intended demarcation of the painted demarcation during snow coverage. This is investigated via hypothetically fitting an existing crosswalk location with available-for-purchase manufactured light projectors. The configuration is then evaluated for angle of light projection, discomfort glare, and contrast. The proposed installation is found to be theoretically acceptable. However, further analysis could be performed regarding effective visual detection of contrast during driving conditions and regarding acceptable levels of disability glare.
    • Social Determinants of Pneumococcal and Influenza Immunzation Rates of Nursing Home and Homes for the Aged Residents in Kalamazoo and Calhoun Counties, Michigan: Role of Race and Segragation

      Schauer, Cynthia (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-05-01)
      The disparity in health outcomes between African Americans and Caucasians continues to exist (US ACMH, 2009) despite public policy that promotes equity (US DHHS, 2012). Data suggests African Americans over age 65 living in institutions are less likely to receive flu and pneumonia vaccinations (US DHHS, 2013; US DHHS, 2012) and more likely to live in segregated housing (Smith, Feng, Fennel, Zinn, & Mor, 2007). This project collected data on the local level to determine the degree of impact of low vaccination rates and segregated housing on African Americans in Southwest Michigan. Data regarding flu and pneumonia immunization status was collected from 816 residents in 13 nursing homes (NH) and homes for the aged (HFA) in two southwest Michigan counties. The populations of African Americans in the NH and HFA was much less dense than the population of African Americans in the counties where the nursing homes were found suggesting no potential increase risk on the basis of segregated housing for the erosion of community immunity at this local level. A disparity in immunization rates persisted on the local level: Caucasians were 4.7 times (odds ratio = 4.7; p>0.001) more likely than African Americans to be immunized against flu and 1.7 times (odds ratio =1.7; p = 0.002) more likely to be immunized against pneumonia. While the presence of African Americans in a facility did not influence the immunization status of the health care worker, all facility residents spent the majority of their time with nursing assistants, a group of health care workers that was least likely to have received the annual seasonal flu vaccine. Fifty seven percent of nursing assistants in the study NH and 80% of nursing assistants in HFA had received the vaccine compared to 74% and 100% of registered nurses in NH and HFA, respectively.
    • Standard operating procedure for in-process welding on pipelines and facilities

      Loosli, Seth (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-12-01)
      In-process welding has become a commonly used approach when installing upgrades or making repairs to piping systems that are live. Pipeline incidents occur every year, and they are often deadly and expensive. The research of this project set out to find out what components a standard operating procedure should have that would lead to reaching a zero percent incident rate while utilizing in-process welding to make money. Not every contractor has the internal processes formalized to perform this work safely in a high-quality manner. Successful execution of this work can lead to opportunities for contractors to expand their scope of operation and expertise further.
    • Standard Operating Procedures for Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)

      Torres, Michelle (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-04)
      The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills. Using the training that they learn in the classroom and during the exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their homes or workplace.