Mat-Su Health Foundation 10



Wasilla, Alaska – The Alaska Journal of Commerce has selected Desiré Shepler as one its Top 40 Under 40 professionals for 2018. Shepler is the director of R.O.C.K. Mat-Su (Raising Our Children with Kindness), a community collaborative supported by the Mat-Su Health Foundation that is working to increase family resilience and create a culture that supports children and families.

Under Shepler’s leadership, R.O.C.K. Mat-Su has grown to a collaborative of over 30 cross-sector partners engaging in 15 strategies spanning the public health prevention spectrum. Some highlights of the work of R.O.C.K. Mat-Su include developing the Palmer Families with Infants and Toddlers (FIT) Court, partnering with the Mat-Su Borough School District to bring trauma-informed practices to 15 schools, and collaborating with the Office of Children’s Services to improve the experience of family contact for parents with children in foster care.

Shepler began working for the Mat-Su Health Foundation in 2013, serving first as program associate, then as a program officer. She was promoted to her current position of director of R.O.C.K. Mat-Su in 2016. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Shepler serves the Mat-Su community as a volunteer yoga instructor, as board secretary of the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation, and as secretary of the Palmer High School Cross Country Team boosters. She earned Master of Public Health and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Alaska Anchorage and an associate degree from Mat-Su College. In 2010, she was the recipient of a Mat-Su Health Foundation academic scholarship, making her the first MSHF scholarship recipient to go on to employment with the foundation.

The Top 40 Under 40 Program annually honors the talents and outstanding efforts of individual Alaskans in their professions and in their community involvement. Shepler was chosen for the award by Alaska Journal of Commerce management out of more than 100 nominations. All 40 awardees will be recognized at an awards reception in Anchorage in April.

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