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Health and Disabilities Program

 

The Governor's Council works closely with the Division of Public Health's Section of Women's, Children's, and Family Health (WCFH) on the implementation of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant "Improving the Health of People with Disabilities through State-Based Public Health Programs." This program is called the Alaska Health and Disability Program (AHDP). The AHDP is designed to promote access to existing public health programs, develop new health initiatives, and improve emergency preparedness for Alaskans with disabilities. A stakeholder committee with substantial input from Alaskans with disabilities leads our activities and provides feedback on programming, budgeting, and reporting issues.

The goals of AHDP are organized under the following key areas:

  1. Expand awareness of existing health disparities faced by Alaskans with disabilities
  2. Increase the number of Alaskans with disabilities who are engaged in healthy activities (physical activity, healthy eating, regular preventive screenings) and avoiding unhealthy behaviors (such as smoking)
  3. Increase the number of Alaskans with disabilities who are prepared for potential disasters
  4. Integrate our program activities across state sections and divisions to ensure sustainability

As part of the health and disability grant from the CDC, AHDP has several emergency preparedness projects aimed at improving preparedness among Alaskans with disability. The most intensive effort centers on training for service providers, caregivers, Alaskans living with disability, and their families. Using the Get Ready! toolkit, Alaska's adapted version of Oregon's Ready Now! toolkit, the program provides in-depth training for adults with disability that addresses the who, what, when, where, why, and how of  emergency preparedness. Participants are introduced to the Get Ready! toolkit and given guidance on how to use the toolkit in preparing for an emergency. Training includes the highly interactive activity of building a personal Safety Kept In Place (SKIP) kit, a small emergency preparedness starter kit that includes items such as small flashlights, mylar blankets, bandanas, permanent markers, whistles, and hand warmers. In addition to the Get Ready! training, SKIP kits can be requested from the AHDP at no cost for any Alaskan with a disability.

Please contact Lanny Mommsen or Amanda Cooper if you would like to request a SKIP kit or a Get Ready! toolkit. For an online Get Ready! toolkit and more information about AHDP's projects, check out these links:

 

Alaska Health and Disability Program

Emergency Preparedness

Get Ready! Toolkit

Health and Disability Facebook page

Health and Disability Program Listserve