State Information for Alaska
Attached to the northwest corner of North America, Alaska is the largest state in the United States encompassing 656,425 square miles. It is one fifth the size of the entire lower 48 states, and larger than the next three largest states combined. Alaska holds the record for the coldest temperature in the US: -80F on January 23, 1971 in Prospect Creek, and for the highest point, Mt McKinley, at 20,300 feet above sea level. Alaska is organized into 16 boroughs instead of counties. Remote areas not included in the boroughs are divided into census areas. The capital of Alaska is Juneau. Despite its grand geographical presence, Alaska ranks 48th in population with approximately 670,000 people according to the 2006 U.S. Bureau of the Census Population Estimates Program. While over 40% of the residents live in the largest city of Anchorage, most of the rest of the state is sparsely populated or uninhabited with communities separated by vast distances. 52.3% of the state population lives in frontier areas. Residents are 67% white, 16% Alaska Native and American Indian, 4.6% Asian, and 3.7% African American with 4.7% of the population reporting more than one ethnicity.
The Alaska Native population represents eleven distinct cultures who speak twenty different languages. This diverse Alaska Native population is often organized based on five cultural groupings drawing upon cultural similarities or geographic proximity. The Athabascan live in the interior of Alaska, the Yup'ik/Cup'ik live in western Alaska primarily on the coast, while the Iñupiaq/St. Lawrence Island Yupik live on the north coast. The Aleut and Alutiiq live on the string of islands extending towards Asia; and the Tlingit, Haida & Tsimshian groups live in southeast Alaska bordering British Columbia. Alaska's rugged geography and harsh climate challenges the implementation and maintenance of core services such as health care for these and other groups.
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The directory of Alaska members of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) includes health libraries, public libraries, and community-based organizations in the state that provide quality health information.
- The Regional Medical Library (RML) for the Pacific Northwest Region (PNR) is in Washington:
- Alaska's NN/LM Resource Library is:
- University of Alaska, Alaska Medical Library, Anchorage
- Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association (PNC/MLA) includes Alaska as part of a regional organization of medical librarians and health information professionals in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and two regions of Canada (Alberta and British Columbia), and is an official chapter of the Medical Library Association (MLA).
- E-Licensing Consortia contains links to consortium agreement programs among libraries in the Pacific Northwest Region, including Alaska's Statewide Library Electronic Doorway (SLED).
- Alaska does not have an American Library Association (ALA)-accredited library and information studies school, but distance education programs are available.
- Alaska State Library contains resources for state government, librarians and the public including frequently asked questions about Alaska.
- Alaska Library Association (AkLA) is the state association promoting library services for Alaska residents and providing professional development for librarians.
- Alaska Health Education Consortium (AHEC) is a statewide organization of health educators and health providers dedicated to health education and health promotion in Alaska.
- Alaska Health Education Library Project (AHELP) contains current health promotion and health education resources for health care professionals that are specific to and available in Alaska.
- Alaska's Health and Social Services Department contains epidemiology bulletins, public health information, and resources on grants and contracts, Medicaid, and related health information for the state.
- FastStats, from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), are a quick reference to state birth and death rates with links to additional report data.
- Quick Health Data Online, from the Office on Women's Health, is a database of comprehensive health data for both women and men searchable by state and county.
- State Health Facts Online, sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation, provides current state health data on topics such as demographics, insurance coverage and health status.
- State and Local Health Data Sets, from Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce (PHPartners), includes a comprehensive list of resources containing state-specific public health information.
- Trust for America's Health, a non-profit and non-partisan disease prevention organization, provides state and national health indicators, federal funding levels, health disparities and statistics regarding cancer and birth defects tracking.
- State of Alaska, Alaska's official state government website.
- Alaska's Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA) includes the state Community Database, funding, economic, demographic and related topic information.
- Alaska Quick Facts, from the U.S. Census Bureau, provides current state population, business and geographical facts.
This section includes groups of individuals who share common characteristics that are distinctive from the general population. These characteristics may include racial and/or ethnic background, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and age. The characteristics of special populations are important to be aware of as they can affect the population's health status.
- Arctic Health provides a source for information on the diverse aspects of the arctic environment and the health of northern peoples.
- The Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies, including the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, seeks to improve the health of people in Alaska and other circumpolar areas through instruction, information services and research in health and medicine.
- EthnoMed, from the HSL and Harborview Medical Center, contains medical and cultural information for health care providers and related professions regarding different immigrant and refugee populations in the Pacific Northwest region.
- Frontier Education Center, from the National Center for Frontier Communities, defines characteristics of frontier boroughs and contains maps, reports on special health needs of frontier populations, and policy issues.
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Health (GLBT), from Public Health Seattle & King County, contains resources about GLBT health concerns, health issues, and local/national GLBT resources.
- Indian Health Service - Alaska Area Office is the federal health program for Alaska Natives and Native Americans residing in Alaska.
- Alaska Native Health Board promotes the spiritual, physical, mental, social, and cultural well-being and pride of Alaska Native people.
- Alaska Federal Healthcare Access Network (AFHCAN) improves access to health care for federal beneficiaries in Alaska, 90% in areas not accessible by roads, through sustainable telehealth systems.
- Alaska Center for Rural Health (ACRH) helps strengthen systems to deliver comprehensive and culturally relevant health care to rural Alaskans.
- Refugee Health Information Network (RHIN) is a database of quality multilingual public health resources for those providing care to resettled refugees and asylees.
- Rural health and human services, from the US Department of Health and Human Services Rural Assistance Center, is a web portal of Alaska rural health contacts, organizations, tools, maps, news and events.
MUA/Ps are areas or populations designated by the Shortage Designation Branch, part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as not having sufficient access to medical care. If an area is designated MUA, then the entire population is covered, if the designation is MUP, only a specific population is. Occasionally, regions receive a designation of GOV, which means that the state governor requested that the area be included due to local barriers and/or health conditions. The MUA/P designation is often important when obtaining grants or other funding. The most accurate and up-to-date source of this information is the HRSA database.
- State Snapshots, from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, provides health care quality information, including strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. The goal is to help State officials and their public- and private-sector partners better understand health care quality and disparities in their State.
- FedStats provides access to statistics prepared by over 100 federal agencies. Statistics are available on a state and community level.
- Google Search <Uncle Sam> searches government information on all levels using the standard Google interface and algorithm.
- State and Local Government on the Net provides links to government information on a state and local level for the fifty states, as well as selected US territories.
- USA.gov provides a search engine and subject indexes for US state and federal information.
- 2-1-1 Alaska contains resources for state health & human service providers and is searchable by ZIP code, city, type of service and name.
- Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management contains resources including current disaster and pandemic flu websites, emergency plans and preparedness, disaster assistance, and training and exercises in emergency planning.
- KSKA 91.1 FM, Anchorage, MatSu, and Prudhoe Bay regional public radio station with several transmitters, also lists regional and state emergency resources under 'Selected Links'.
- KUAC 89.9 FM is Fairbanks regional public radio station.
- Public Radio for Southeast Alaska lists the various public radio stations serving the southeast panhandle.
- Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage regional newspaper.
- Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Fairbanks regional newspaper.
- Juneau Empire, Juneau regional newspaper.