ANTHC welcomes Iñupiaq Staff Wellness Director

January 18, 2024

Clara McConnell recently joined the ANMC division as staff wellness director. McConnell has worked for ANTHC since 2018. Prior to her new position, she was a Wellness and Prevention project manager in Community Health Services.

McConnell is Iñupiaq and a Tribal member of the Native Village of Kotzebue. She was raised in Kotzebue, a northwest Arctic community located 36 miles above the Arctic Circle.    

“As a Tribal member, I value the role my position at ANTHC plays in contributing to and giving back to Alaska Native people and communities,” said McConnell. “I believe in the importance of preventative health care and overall wellness because we must first be well, before we can help others be well. I have found a lot of meaning in the work that I do here at ANTHC, and I am grateful for the opportunity to actively promote wellness within our organization.”

In her role as staff wellness director, McConnell works to support clinical staff and to develop and implement of programs that help staff manage their mental and physical health while providing direct patient care.

McConnell pursued a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage, where she studied Economics and Alaska Native Studies. She is also a graduate of two ANTHC ​Alaska Native Leadership Development Programs – Pathways to Leadership and Leadership Excellence Through Advancement and Determination (LEAD).

“I am grateful for the investment ANTHC has made in my professional growth. Through ANTHC’s leadership development programs like Pathways to Leadership and LEAD, I’ve built strong professional relationships and expanded my roles and responsibilities. It’s fulfilling to work for an organization that values and supports employee wellness.”

In her free time, McConnell enjoys spending time with family and friends, subsistence activities, sewing and traveling.  

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