• Vaccination Hesitation: Investigation Why Parents Decline Pediatric Influenza Vaccines in Juneau, Alaska

      Leder, Lindsey (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-04-14)
      The influenza virus is responsible for hundreds of childhood deaths and costs the health care system millions of dollars each year (Hassan, Lewis, Davis, Gebremariam, and Dombkowski, 2009). The influenza vaccine is the most effective intervention for prevention of pediatric influenza, yet many parents decline this vaccine for their children. Studies completed in various geographic locations cite different factors influencing parents who decline pediatric vaccinations. Alaska has the second lowest rate of influenza vaccination in the country (Center for Disease Control [CDC], 2012). The purpose of this project was to understand the factors that influence parental decision to refuse influenza vaccination in Juneau, Alaska. A modified version of the Childhood Influenza Immunization Questionnaire, an instrument based on the Health Belief Model, was utilized to collect data from a convenience sample of parents at a private pediatric practice in Juneau, AK. Statistical analysis revealed the only significant influencing factor on parents’ decisions on whether to vaccinate against influenza was their perception of vaccine risk (p < .001). Information obtained from this study will be used to educate local providers in the community with the goal of enabling said providers to overcome resistance to vaccination hesitancy based on parent perceptions.
    • Vaccine implementation: Alaska 2017

      Hulstine, Amanda (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017-05-01)
      Bacterial meningitis is a serious disease that causes permanent dysfunction or death; adolescents and young adults carry the greatest risk. The national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has released vaccine recommendations that include incorporation of meningitis vaccine in to the mandatory school vaccine schedule. Throughout the nation, much of legislative policy has made meningitis vaccination a requirement for public school attendance. Alaska does not have such policy; the purpose of the project was to address this policy need. A secondary project goal was to increase community awareness of bacterial meningitis. Project actions were divided into policy advocacy and community awareness. Policy advocacy included the development of a Policy Brief to Persuade designed for the Alaska legislative health care committee members. A legislative survey to assess willingness to incorporate a required meningitis vaccine schedule into existing Alaska vaccine policy was sent electronically with the policy brief. Community awareness interventions included the development of a Meningitis Education Bundle for healthcare professionals and a Protect Alaska’s Future campaign. The education bundle was distributed to local health establishments on Prince of Wales Island and the campaign information was distributed at the 2017 Prince of Wales Community Health Fair. Project outcomes demonstrated a lack of response to the policy survey. Efforts must continue over time with a deliberate plan to gain legislative support for the incorporation of a meningitis vaccination schedule into existing Alaska vaccine policy, as recommended by the ACIP. Community awareness activities at the health fair were successful and should continue.
    • Why do Women Choose to Bed-Share With Their Infants?

      Miller, Victoria (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-09-02)
      In the early 1990s, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) initiated Back to Sleep to decrease infant mortality from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). A decline in SIDS followed; however, accidental deaths from asphyxiation, overlaying, falls, and suffocation increased. Classified as Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths (SUID), these deaths occurred more frequently in infants who bed-shared. To minimize the risk of SUID, the AAP released guidelines in 2011 advising against bed-sharing. However, despite the new guidelines, bedsharing rates remain near 50%. The purpose of this systematic literature review is to examine why women bed-share. The author found better sleep, breastfeeding, closeness, convenience, and safety as frequent reasons for bed-sharing. Less commonly found were culture and financial limitations. A greater understanding of the reasons women bed-share can help providers discuss this issue with parents, guide interventions to reduce bed-sharing, and improve compliance with AAP guidelines.
    • Wind Farm Feasibility and Cost Analysis Kobuk River Valley, Noorvik and Kiana

      Smith, Cory (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-05-01)
      Western Alaska villages have incredibly high energy costs due to being off the road system. They rely upon the delivery of fuel by air cargo or barge cargo services for their diesel power plants. This is a particularly costly operation, and fuel prices delivered by this method are typically double, or even triple, the national average. In turn, this results in monthly electricity bills of $500/month or more for a typical household in the winter, which most families in this impoverished region can’t afford. The Northwest Arctic Borough (NWAB) has some of the highest cost averages of Western Alaska, due to its extreme remoteness and very limited barging capabilities. This Capstone project will involve researching the high energy costs in Western Alaska, with special attention to the NWAB, compared to both Alaskan and national averages; and, will research the costs of planning, construction, and operations of wind farms in Western Alaska. The project will enlist various research methods, including literary research, interviews, estimating, and cost analysis tools. It will present a cost analysis of designing, constructing, and maintaining a wind farms vs. traditional diesel generated costs. Lastly, it will provide a recommendation to whether a wind farm in the Kobuk River Valley is a worthwhile endeavor. The final project deliverable will be a research paper and recommendation intended to be used by stakeholders in the energy industry. It will take into consideration initial investment costs, operations and maintenance costs, current subsidies, and any potential long term cost savings.