Submitted by: Alyeska Corporate Communications
Spring brings many things to Prince William Sound – salmon, humpback whales and orcas, and the Alyeska Prince William Sound Traveling Health Fair! The 2020 health fair was canceled just weeks before departure due to the worsening pandemic. Like many things this year, COVID-19 required some creative retooling to carry out the 2021 event, which was held virtually the week of May 17.
Beginning in January, Alyeska personnel, local health and wellness providers, and Chenega and Tatitlek teachers and community members worked to develop classroom sessions to support specific targets set by the Chugach School District. Key areas of focus included nutrition, body awareness and first aid, and substance abuse prevention.
“The providers are always willing to adapt, create, and offer topics that we’ve asked for and deliver it all with such meaningful presentation,” said Tatitlek teacher Nichole Palmer. “They were innovative and came up with a way to deliver the traveling health fair, without traveling! I believe our students were able to get knowledgeable information that will help them progress in their levels.”
Classroom sessions were held over Zoom and materials that complimented the virtual lessons were distributed to the schools beforehand, along with other goodies for the students.
Among a strong slate of classes, there were some highlights. Students learned some healthy, easy, and delicious dip recipes made from pantry staples and what nutrition labels can tell them about what they’re eating. A yoga teacher led elementary students in movement class based on the life cycle of salmon. The week capped off with a panel put on by Alyeska’s Alaska Native program for Tatitlek and Chenega high schoolers. Employees from across Alaska talked about their journeys to the TAPS workforce, notable mentors, helpful tips, and the importance of hard work and resilience.
“We were disappointed that we couldn’t hold the event in person this year but keeping community members and providers safe and healthy was at the forefront of our minds,” said Kate Dugan, Valdez Communications Manager. “I’m so grateful for the volunteers who brought flexibility and imagination to the table and made the event successful. We’re all looking forward to an in-person Prince William Sound Traveling Health Fair soon!”