The ANTHC Diabetes program works to reduce the instances of diabetes and health complications from the disease among Alaska Native people.
Diabetes affects the health of our Alaska Native people at a greater rate than the general population. We are a multidisciplinary team of diabetes content experts who work in partnership with the Alaska Tribal Health System to serve as a premier resource for diabetes care, prevention and surveillance.
Rural Field Clinics
The ANTHC Diabetes program meets your care needs where you are. In addition to providing patient care at ANMC, the ANTHC Diabetes program’s clinical team provides patient care at eight Tribal health partner regional hospitals during a weeklong annual diabetes specialty clinic at each site. Contact your local clinic for more information.
In addition to providing patient care at ANMC, the ANTHC Diabetes program’s clinical team provides patient care at eight Tribal health partner regional hospitals during a weeklong annual diabetes specialty clinic at each site. The diabetes team provides continuing medical education to staff and providers and community education during the week of a diabetes specialty clinic.
About the Diabetes Program team
The clinical team emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to both patient care and provider and community education. We strive to ensure that all Alaska Native people with diabetes receive the standards of care for diabetes advocated by the Indian Health Service and the American Diabetes Association. The clinical team consists of a physician, nurse practitioner, a dietitian who is also a certified diabetes educator, a pharmacist, a nurse case manager and a physical therapist.
Preventive Education Services
Contact the ANTHC Diabetes Prevention team to find out how we can provide diabetes prevention activities, educational resources and program support to communities throughout Alaska. While the team is able to tailor activities and resources to meet community needs and requests, the following activities are regularly offered: Community events: The ANTHC Diabetes Prevention team is always willing to be present for community events. The prevention team is able to provide a variety of services at your community events: presentations, workshops, tables at health fairs, etc.
The goal of the course is to improve diabetes care and prevention at a community level. The team offers the course 2-3 times a year.
The Advanced Diabetes Course for CHA/P is a 10-week long course that integrates self-study, distance education and a 3-day intensive hands-on, in-person training. Course topics include: diabetes prevalence amongst Alaska Native people, nutrition and diabetes, physical activity and diabetes, the pathophysiology of diabetes, foot care, common diabetes medications, insulin, diabetes complications, gestational diabetes, diabetes prevention and diabetes education. Health Aides who complete all course requirements are eligible for 45 CMEs, 2 EMT and 3 university credits from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The course is incorporated into the AA degree in community health. The class is taught each spring and fall. For registration information or to be put on the waitlist, please contact the Diabetes program team.
Diabetes Health Aide Community Workshops
For regional hubs interested in a two-day diabetes health aide workshop at your location please contact the Diabetes program team.
Alaska Native Diabetes Statewide Conference
Each fall, the ANTHC Diabetes program coordinates a statewide diabetes conference for SPDI grantees and Tribal diabetes program partners. The annual Alaska Native Diabetes conference is an excellent opportunity for our partners around the state to connect and share ideas with each other in addition to getting updates on the latest information in diabetes prevention and treatment. It offers an average of 15 category 1 AMA CME and nursing contact hours.
In response to the diabetes epidemic among American Indian and Alaska Native people, congress established the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) in 1997. This grant program provides funding to Tribal health programs throughout the country, including Alaska.
Program funding has led to measurable change in the health of Alaska Native and American Indian people by implementing culturally appropriate, locally-selected programs. Programs have contributed to a full percentage point decrease in blood sugar levels from 9.0 percent to 8.0 percent, translating into a 40 percent reduction in risks for many complications.
Without SDPI funding, the Alaska Tribal Health System would lose the effective medical approach, systems, expertise and the advances that have been made in diabetes care over the last 20 years: improved rates of glucose, blood pressure and lipid control, lower rates of amputations and kidney failure due to diabetes.
The ANTHC Diabetes program maintains a strong network with the 22 regional Alaska Native tribal health SDPI diabetes grantee programs around the state.
Our program conducts online meetings for regional SDPI diabetes program coordinators on topics that include standards of clinical care, grant updates, deadlines, issues in need of technical support, statewide campaigns and reporting.
In addition to online meetings, the ANTHC Diabetes program holds biannual, face-to-face meetings for SDPI diabetes program coordinators. The biannual meetings offer networking time for regional programs and coordinator requested CME opportunities. New SDPI program coordinators can contact Luz Smeenk at (907) 729-3925 for more information on resources available or contact other Alaska programs for inspiration for your program.
Diabetes Surveillance and Registry
The ANTHC Diabetes program supports research and advancements in care of Alaska Native people with diabetes by maintaining the diabetes registry and coordinating of regional diabetes audits.
Diabetes Registry The ANTHC Diabetes program has maintained a diabetes registry since the program’s inception in 1985. The 30-year-old registry is truly one of a kind in Indian Country and the United States.
The registry tracks the prevalence and incidence of diabetes among Alaska Native people and the two most common complications associated with diabetes, amputations and end-stage renal disease. Additionally, the registry tracks Alaska Native people at higher risk for developing diabetes: people with pre-diabetes, past history of gestational diabetes and people with a history of a higher than normal blood sugar.
Alaska regions and communities use the registry information for diabetes prevention and treatment planning and programming. Regional registry information is available by contacting Meera Narayanan at (907) 729-1124.
Regional Diabetes Audits
The annual diabetes audit is a yearly review of Diabetes Standards of Care and Outcomes at 14 Alaska Tribal health facilities. The audit helps monitor care and effectiveness and help partners identify areas for improvement. The audit results are used for regional diabetes programming, advocacy, and a mandatory portion of the federal Special Diabetes Program for Indians grant application.