Mat-Su Health Foundation 10



Wasilla, Alaska –The Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) recently welcomed Ray Michaelson to its team as a Program Officer. Ray came to the foundation from the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, where he held a series of management positions of increasing responsibility in the field of juvenile justice. As a Mat-Su Health Foundation Program Officer, Ray is responsible working with the program team to design and implement strategic initiatives to advance the foundation’s goals and vision. This includes reviewing and approving funding recommendations, providing project and grantee technical assistance, and interacting with other grant-makers, not-for-profit leaders and public and private stake holders whose work intersects with that of the foundation. He is leading the foundation’s Healthy Minds focus area, which is aimed at supporting optimal behavioral health for Mat-Su residents.

"Ray brings a unique professional background to the foundation that ties in perfectly with the focus area he will be leading,” said Elizabeth Ripley, Executive Director. “His proven track record working in the juvenile justice system combined with extensive community involvement will be real assets to our work, and we’re delighted to have him as part of our team.”

Ray’s hiring follows the January, 2015 promotions of Dr. Melissa Kemberling to Director of Programs and Desiré Shepler to Program Officer. Melissa leads the program team, and Desiré leads the Healthy Foundations for Families focus area.

MSHF’s three focus areas - Healthy Minds, Healthy Foundations for Families, and Healthy Aging – give the foundation the opportunity to maximize impact and gain traction in the key areas identified by research to be the most pressing in the community.

About MSHF: 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 asset through board oversight. The MSHF invests its share of Mat-Su Regional’s profits into charitable works that improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in Mat-Su. More information is available online at