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  • Writer's pictureBecca Kirian

Big Plans for AKEDA in 2024

Updated: Jan 18


Greetings,


2024 is already upon us, and I'm thrilled to share some exciting plans AKEDA has in the works for this coming year.



Last fall, AKEDA was a recipient of the 2023 GCI Suicide Prevention Grant to fund a project partnering with the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation. The project aims to provide culturally competent eating disorder screening and training tools for their healthcare teams, including their diabetes clinic. We are in the final phases of planning programming, which will include four virtual training presentations and an in-person session. We are thrilled to have skilled practitioners Dr. Meg Carlson Cosentino, Dr. Yolanda Evans, and Sarah Leavitt lead sessions. Stay tuned for the results of this pilot project, as we hope to provide this type of training to other tribal health organizations in the future.


I’m also excited to share that Dr. Tara Deliberto will be coming to Alaska to present at AKEDA’s fall conference on August 22-23, 2024. Dr. Deliberto will provide a 2-day eating disorder treatment training conference to Alaska healthcare professionals aimed at both specialists and non-specialists in the eating disorders field. AKEDA will seek CMEs/CEUs for the presentations. Dr. Deliberto will also be providing a 2-hour parent/caregiver training and a half-day of meetings with leaders in the tribal health sector. Dr. Deliberto presented one session at our fall Project ECHO series, which you can watch here. There will be more information coming soon!


The Family Services Training Center (FSTC) at UAA’s Center for Human Development offers free professional development for Alaska healthcare mental health providers, specially focused on Medicaid providers, to be better trained to work with families with behavioral health challenges. FSTC and AKEDA have been engaged in discussions to strengthen our partnership, which has resulted in FSTC hosting Dr. Deliberto to present a 2-hour virtual CE/CME presentation on May 23, 2024, from 9-11 am. In addition, FSTC is planning to offer some scholarships for Medicaid behavioral health providers to attend AKEDA’s fall conference with Dr. Deliberto, covering their registration fees and travel accommodations. We will be sharing more information from FSTC!


AKEDA has also been finalizing plans with the Eating Recovery Center to bring one of their expert psychiatrists, Dr. Elizabeth Wassenaar, to Alaska to provide a half-day training on ARFID in early June. We are still in the process of finalizing dates and will send out information as soon as possible to reserve your spot.


We also have our Providers Consultation Group starting its first session in March and potential training opportunities with ACUTE this fall, among many other exciting plans in the works that we can’t wait to share with you.


AKEDA has also been working on strengthening our organization. As you know, last year, AKEDA received the prestigious M.J. Murdock Trust grant to provide three-year declining funding for an Executive Director. Through that program, AKEDA was accepted into the Murdock Trust’s Essentials of Development Program. This program enables nonprofits to build a sustainable development plan, including creating tools like an annual plan and case statement for major donors. We are thrilled to be part of a cohort with other nonprofits who are working to raise critical funds for their organization.


On a personal note, I have also been accepted into the Foraker Group’s Executive Leadership Intensive (ELI), which will help me continue to develop my skills as a non-profit leader. I’m excited to see some familiar names on the cohort list, including one of our board members, Caroline Storm. Through a “Strengthening Organizations” grant through the Alaska Community Foundation, AKEDA is receiving full funding to cover the costs of ELI, and expenses related to Essentials of Development. This was also the first grant I wrote on behalf of AKEDA, and it was a very exciting personal moment to receive the award letter.


Thank you all for your interest in the Alaska Eating Disorders Alliance. If you have any questions about our programs, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.


Sincerely,

Becca Kirian








Executive Director

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