I strongly urge Calista Shareholders to vote for Loren Peterson for Unit 3. He will bring new energy and ideas that will benefit our shareholders. Loren is smart, has a business sense and has integrity. He will be committed to furthering our corporation in alignment with our Native values. It is time for change. Quyana.
Support for Calista Board Candidates
I support the following candidates for the Calista Board. They all know the responsibility given first to all shareholders equally, and with the duty of care. 1. Ben Nukusuk 2. Marcie Sherer 3. Robert Beans. 4. John Lamont. Thank you.
Alaska’s Ophthalmologists Thank Senator Murkowski for Helping Protect Alaskan Natives from Permanent Blindness
Alaska’s ophthalmologists today (May 22nd, 2018) thanked Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, for her tireless efforts to secure important funding for preventing diabetic retinopathy among Native American and Alaskan Native populations.
Sen. Murkowski led an important effort to secure $1 million in federal funds to upgrade retinal cameras used by an important Indian Health Service teleophthalmology program. The cameras are essential. Each allows the program to provide eye care to patients in Alaska’s most remote areas.
Ophthalmologists — physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care — are especially invested in the effort to expand underserved Native American populations’ access to diabetic retinopathy screenings, among whom rates of this blinding ailment are higher than that of the broader U.S.
“Alaska’s ophthalmologists are proud of Sen. Lisa Murkowski for working to ensure that patients in every community have timely access to quality eye care,” said, Scott Limstrom, M.D. president of the Alaska Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons. “Congressional partnerships matter, and we pledge to continue fostering these relationships to improve our nation’s health care system on behalf of the 50 million Americans who experience significant eye disease.”
Alaska Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons
Call Governor Walker and let him know this is wrong
Lawmakers have again willfully and intentionally stripped away constitutionally protected rights of due process. House Bill 312 is, in part, an Act relating to arrest without a warrant for assault in the fourth degree at a health care facility. It impacts everyone, especially people who live with brain illness and cognitive impairments, such as autism, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, and mental illness, among other brain illness.
In an attempt to deal with an increased crime rate, lawmakers found the courage to strip away the rights of individuals who are at their most vulnerable, when they’re brought to medical facilities experiencing confusion and severe bouts of psychosis, mania, disorientation, and other symptoms of brain and cognitive impairments unrelated to substance abuse.
The sponsors of HB 312, Reps Matt Claman and Chuck Kopp, drafted and defended their egregious bill with talking points that showed they lacked an understanding of the nature of brain illness. This could have easily been remedied by first getting input from experts at state and nationally-based organizations who serve and advocate for folks who live with brain illness and cognitive impairments in order to give them a clearer understanding.
They further failed to present substantiated data that showed who commits these assaults (co-workers, patients, family members, others?) and failed to explain the root causes of these assaults.
The fact that groups who serve folks with brain illness were not contacted before the bill was introduced, and the lack of substantiated data, makes one wonder what special interest groups these representatives serve.
In the last days of session, HB 312 morphed into an omnibus-like, behemoth of a bill when legislators decided to cobble together language from three other languishing bills. This was all designed to make them look like crime-busting McGruffs.
In spite of the fact that the Alaska National Alliance of Mental Illness recently provided language that could help guide how to protect people who live with brain illness and cognitive impairments from the detrimental and damaging consequences of undue arrest without a warrant, legislators decided to forego protections for a vulnerable population of our community. They voted for the modified bill and sent it on to the governor where it awaits his signature.
Buried within HB 312, and missing from the media clamor, is the stripping away of constitutionally protected rights of due process of individuals that relate to arrests.
By law, warrants have to be obtained before an arrest is made. HB 312 unilaterally removes that requirement for police officers to obtain warrants before making arrests when medical employees allege claims of fourth degree assaults at medical facilities, which includes subjective behavior like threats.
With HB 312, a vulnerable population have lost their right to obtain treatment in a medical environment without the fear of arrest. It criminalizes serious brain and mental illness and subjects folks to disparate treatment because they’re perceived criminally when they exhibit symptoms related to their brain illness, instead of clinically, like other people who present themselves with a medical crisis unrelated to the brain.
We are all one accident away from a brain illness; HB 312 impacts every one of us. If you were to taken to an emergency room after a ski fall or sport injury, or trekking, or bike accident, or if you’re a family member who’s accompanying someone who’s had a heart attack or other emergency, and you raise your voice or become agitated in the midst of all the confusion, disorientation, fear and chaos, you can now get arrested without the protections and rights of due process.
With the passage of HB 312, these kinds of behaviors which fit the definition of fourth degree assault might just ‘randomly’ get you arrested without a warrant. Imagine, one trip to the hospital and you could end up a criminal with a criminal record.
The irony should not be lost that May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
At a time when we should discuss and support improvements to Alaska’s mental health system of care, legislators decided to remove certain fundamental rights as they criminalize symptoms of brain illness.
In their rush to seem tough on crime for election season, lawmakers decided to make criminals out of innocent people who experience severe symptoms of their brain illness or are in the midst of a medical crisis.
Warrants protects the rights of due process for everyone, including medical professionals and police officers. But, not in Alaska. If you end up in a medical facility, it could very well land you in jail because lawmakers have decided to strip away those rights and eliminate those safeguards written into our constitutions that protect us from unlawful arrests.
Call Governor Walker and let him know this is wrong.