PHOTOVOICE EXHIBITION RETURNS TO MAT-SU; FOCUS GROUP PARTICIPANTS NEEDED
Wasilla, AK — The Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) is hosting a photovoice exhibition and focus groups at four Mat-Su locations the week of July 25, 2022. Photovoice is a form of participatory research that enables community members to take a leading role collecting, analyzing and reporting data. The photovoice project was part of the foundation’s 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment and will also inform the 2022 assessment. Using the photovoice process, groups of people came together to take pictures that answered specific questions about factors that promote and hinder health in the community. The photos were briefly displayed in 2019 but the exhibit was put on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the upcoming events residents will have the opportunity to provide input informally while viewing the exhibit and are also invited to participate in focus groups at specific times.
The photovoice project will be on display at the following locations. It is free and open to the public.
Wasilla – Mat-Su Health Foundation, 777 N. Crusey St.
Monday, July 25 and Tuesday, July 26
Exhibit: 10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day
Focus Group: Tuesday, July 26 at 4 p.m.
Sutton Public Library
Wednesday, July 27
Exhibit 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Focus Group: 4 p.m.
Talkeetna Public Library
Thursday, July 28
Exhibit 3 – 6 p.m.
Focus Group: 4 p.m.
Palmer Public Library
Friday, July 29
Exhibit: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Focus Group: 12 p.m.
The Mat-Su Health Foundation started the photovoice project because traditional methodology used in previous assessments, such as Census and survey data and community meetings, were not adequately capturing the voices of all Mat-Su residents. Voices of people such as youth, those without telephones, those who don’t trust traditional systems, including government, and those who speak English as a second language or are recent immigrants and refugees were not being heard.
The groups that participated in the project were Chickaloon Traditional Council (three groups: Elders, Women and Tribal Citizens)); Kabayan Inc (Filipino Community); Knik Tribe; Latinx Residents; Mat-Su Health Services: Parents With Purpose (CCS Early Learning); People of a Certain Age (older residents); Williwaw Community Residents, and the Youth Leadership Council of R.O.C.K. Mat-Su.
Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) is the official business name of Valley Hospital Association, Inc., which shares ownership in Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. In this capacity, MSHF board members and representatives actively participate in the governance of Mat-Su’s community hospital to protect the community’s interest in this important healthcare institution. The MSHF mission is to improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in the Mat-Su and the tools it uses include grantmaking, convening of local partners, and policy change. The foundation’s work has resulted in significant improvements in systems that support the health of Mat-Su residents in areas such as behavioral health, child welfare, crisis response, community connections, workforce development, transportation, housing, and senior services. More information is available at healthymatsu.org .