Page 19 - 2018 MHT Annual Report
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 when possible, Alaskans from becoming beneficiaries.
Recognizing the important connection between the accessibility of quality healthcare services and the needs of Trust beneficiaries, as well as the current and forecasted shortages in trained healthcare workers, the Trust has worked with the University of Alaska and other stakeholders to meet the growing physical and mental healthcare needs in Alaska.
Our workforce-related efforts have included support for student loan repayments and incentives, psychology intern practicums, direct training and technical support for direct service professionals, and engaging youth to careers in healthcare.
These workforce initiatives are important during this changing climate in the provision and delivery of healthcare services.
Trust beneficiaries rely on services from community-based organizations, clinics, Tribal Health System providers and hospitals.
Trust Supported Workforce Program:
The SHARP healthcare recruitment and retention program is a State of Alaska
effort to increase the number and regional distribution of healthcare providers – particularly for high need populations.
Since its inception, this loan repayment and direct incentive program has secured 254 practitioner-contracts, many of whom work in healthcare service shortage areas of the state. Supported by the Trust, SHARP recognizes the high turnover rates and expensive
recruitment costs associated with Alaska’s healthcare industry, and uses financial incentives to help employers attain and retain quality professionals. Programs like SHARP allow Trust beneficiaries all across Alaska to benefit from an increased accessibility to high quality care.
The Trust also considers efforts to prevent Alaskans from becoming beneficiaries, when possible, to be part of its mandate. The Trust and its partners are increasingly aware of the critical opportunities and threats to lifelong mental and physical health of our population during the earliest years. The Trust recognizes the significance of early childhood experiences on lifelong health and is exploring opportunities to expand the impact of early intervention and prevention strategies on behalf of our beneficiaries.
Trust Supported Prevention & Early Intervention Program: At Family Outreach Center for Understanding Special Needs (FOCUS) Early Learning Program, administrators understand that very
young children with behavioral challenges sometimes need specialized child care environments as they may be expelled or not adequately supported in other settings. Recent data shows that expulsions and suspensions regularly occur in many preschools, setting young beneficiaries on a negative life track.
The Trust partnered with FOCUS to open a new Early Learning Program in Eagle River with an emphasis on building social-

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