Healthy Kodiak 2019 brings together wellness and health specialists from around the state of Alaska to share experiences and promote new ideas. Check back to see who we add to this year’s lineup!

Andrea Abena

Andrea Abena has been a Kodiak resident for over 20 years. She loves Kodiak and all it has to offer to keep the community healthy and happy. Ms. Abena is in the process of becoming the new owner of an assisted living facility in Kodiak.

Jody Hassel, MFA, E-RYT, TCTSY-F

Jody is part of a collective of artists and yogis who facilitate trauma-informed practices at Fairbanks Correctional Center, Fairbanks Youth Facility, and Family Centered Services Residential Treatment Center. She is an experienced registered yoga teacher (E-RYT) with Yoga Alliance and is licensed as a trainer and facilitator of Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) by the Justice Resource Institute’s Center for Trauma and Embodiment in Boston. Through performance, writing and contemplative practice, Jody shares her understanding of personal and community struggles and the ways in which yoga and the arts create access to healing and shared power. She currently teaches both English and Yoga at UAF and is the founder and Executive Director of Blossom House, a nonprofit service organization providing accessible, trauma-informed interventions to incarcerated and in-custody youth and adults in Fairbanks. 

Dr. Matt Hirschfeld

Matt Hirschfeld, MD/PhD moved to Alaska in 2005 to become a pediatric hospitalist at Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC).  Today, in addition to his clinical work, he serves as ANMC’s Medical Director of Maternal Child Health Services, where he focuses on strategic planning and development of healthcare services to improve the health and wellness of Alaska Native women and children.   He is also the President of the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership, a 501c3 dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the next generation of Alaska families.

Miranda Petruska

Miranda Petruska is Dichinanek’ Hwt’ana (Athabscan) from Nikolai, Alaska. She is a Community Health Aide Practitioner for Southcentral Foundation and she is also the CHAP Director for SCF & APIA as well as the CHAP liaison for the Rural Anchorage Service Unit. She is also the Vice Chair for the Alaska CHAP Certification Board. Miranda loves her work as she gets to travel all over the state to work directly with Community Health Aides as well as care for customers in village clinics.

Jill Ramsey

Jill Ramsey is a Behavioral Health Training Coordinator and an Adjunct Professor in the Center for Human Development of the College of Health at the University of Alaska. She holds an MS degree in Psychiatric Rehabilitation from Rutgers University and has worked in the mental health field for 28 years. Originally from New Mexico, Ms. Ramsey has lived and worked in Alaska for 19 years and has education and experience in health services management as well as direct services to adults experiencing serious mental illness, co-occurring disorders, substance disorders, developmental disabilities, and homelessness. Ms. Ramsey is a nationally certified instructor of Mental Health First Aid, Non-Violent Physical Crisis Intervention, a Master Trainer in QPR Suicide Prevention, and a certified instructor of NAMI Connect’s Post-vention Suicide Prevention and is currently Alaska’s statewide coordinator for the cultural attunement, implementation and expansion of Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety.

Barbara Shepard

As a coordinator at the Adult Day Center, Barbara Shepard oversees the Family Caregiver Respite program, which includes Phillips Lifeline services and caregiver support, training, and education. Barbara has worked with the Kodiak Senior Center since 2003 and oversees the Senior In Home program, providing chore services for eligible seniors in Kodiak.

Jonathan Strong

With a background in sales and marketing, Jonathan Strong excelled in Silicon Valley’s high-tech and pharmaceutical sectors. In 2005, he volunteered with the Red Cross after the devastating hurricanes in Texas and Louisiana. The experience of helping others in dire need inspired Jonathan to pursue a career in substance abuse counseling. He graduated from the University of the Pacific in 2010. As a certified addiction counselor, Jonathan worked for one of the largest non-profit organizations in the world, then transitioned into non-profit management positions. Jonathan relocated to Kodiak in 2013 and has continued his rise in non-profit management and social services. Jonathan is the owner of Strong Solutions, LLP a provider of group home and assisted living services. He also directs Island Cove and the Kodiak Area Transit System and is President of Kodiak Area Mentor Program, Inc.