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Mat-Su Health Foundation Invites Online Engagement in Community Health Assessment


Wasilla, AK— Is Mat-Su Healthy?  How can we make it the healthiest place in the country?  Valley residents are invited to help answer these questions at a series of meetings this month, and also via a new, comprehensive community engagement website,

The new website site was designed to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in the community health assessment, whether in person or online. It will help our citizens engage, communicate and collaborate with the foundation and other residents on improving health in our community. Engage in Health Mat-Su will be used as an online tool to generate new ideas and feedback from citizens using this interactive and accessible new platform.  Engage in Health Mat-Su gives contributors a chance to share new ideas, expand upon existing ideas and give feedback on initiatives, working with the foundation on a variety of topics online anytime, anywhere.

Mat-Su Health Foundation has been working in association with other organizations to conduct the community health assessment to identify the major health needs of Mat-Su residents and work with the community to prioritize and address those needs. One phase of the assessment is a workplace survey that has already been completed.  In addition, health data from a variety of sources has been compiled and analyzed.  The next step is to share information collected so far and get direct input from local residents.

The public meetings are scheduled as follows:

Monday, April 1, 2013   6-8 pm       Upper Susitna Senior Center
Wednesday, April 3, 2013    6-8 pm   Palmer High School
Thursday, April 4, 2013   6-8 pm Houston High School
Monday, April 8, 2013 6-8 pm Wasilla High School
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 6-8 pm Sutton Library
Thursday, April 11, 2013      6-8 pm   Willow Community Center

Mat-Su Health Foundation is providing free child care and refreshments at every meeting.  All attendees will be eligible to receive a free pool, ice rink or health club pass as well.

“The community health assessment is a dynamic process to gather and share health-related information across the entire community,” said Elizabeth Ripley, Executive Director, Mat-Su Health Foundation. “One of the major outcomes will be a priority list of the top five health issues the community thinks are most important.  We will use this information to inform our giving and strategic initiative plans.”

Other outcomes of the community health assessment will be the creation of a “health scorecard” to assess community health on an ongoing basis, and the creation of a data repository on the MSHF website to give grant writers, local media, planners, leaders and the general public an easy to use source for health related data.

The Mat-Su Community Health Assessment is sponsored by the following funding organizations: Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority; BP Alaska; Denali Commission; Mat-Su Agency Partnership; Mat-Su Borough; Mat-Su Coalition of Senior Centers; Mat-Su Community Health Centers; Mat-Su Health Foundation; Mat-Su Public Health/State of AK DHSS; Providence Health Systems; Rasmuson Foundation; Southcentral Foundation; and, United Way of Mat-Su

About Mat-Su Health Foundation: Mat-Su Health Foundation is the official business name of Valley Hospital Association, Inc., which shares ownership in Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.  In this capacity, the MSHF board members and representatives actively participate in the governance of Mat-Su’s community hospital and protect the community’s interest in this important healthcare institution through board oversight.  The MSHF invests its assets into charitable works that improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in Mat-Su.  More information is available at