2019 Raven’s Ball applauds Alaska Tribal health and raises funds for Alaska Native Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

April 8, 2019

For the 12th straight year, the Raven’s Ball, the Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation’s signature event, continued its tradition of distinguished and compelling fundraising. The black-tie gala raised an estimated $448,000 in sponsorships and cash contributions which will go toward improving the unmet health needs of Alaska Native people and the Alaska Tribal Health System. A sellout crowd attended the event at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage on March 23.

Each spring, the Raven’s Ball raises awareness and funding to further ANTHC’s vision: that Alaska Native people are the healthiest people in the world. With spirited collaboration and targeted initiatives, the Foundation helps provide resources and tools to achieve individual and community health objectives.

As part of a special campaign this year to fund a specific need, $92,000 was raised to fund web-streaming cameras to connect families with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Alaska Native Medical Center. The ANMC NICU treats newborns who need additional care due to premature birth or complications that arise after delivery. Of the 1,600 newborns delivered at ANMC at ANMC each year, 300 require admission to the NICU. Many families travel vast distances from outside the Anchorage service area for care, which may limit the amount of time they spend with their newborns. This can greatly impact the mother-infant attachment and mothers are often unwell in the immediate newborn period and unable to visit the NICU. Additionally, for many reasons, NICU’s employ a strict visiting policy and extended family are generally not allowed or have limited access.

NICU cameras connect babies to their families and have physical and psychological benefits, including helping mothers with lactation and introducing the newborn to siblings and other family members. Knowing that the baby is sleeping or resting comfortably helps ease parents’ anxiety. Each camera is mounted on the wall near the infant’s bed and will allow families 24/7 viewing of daily progress, and ensures they don’t miss special milestones, such as first seeing their child’s face after the ventilator is removed.

“As Alaska faces some challenging economic changes, we are fortunate to have the generosity and loyalty of our guests, sponsors and donors who recognize the continued importance of Tribal health,” said Carrie Irwin Brown, Director of the Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation.

Brown gives special thanks to the Raven’s Ball’s presenting sponsor, Neeser Construction, and Luminary Sponsors: Anchorage & Valley Radiation Therapy Centers of Alaska, GCI, Providence Health Systems Alaska, and Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Miller & Monkman, LLP.

In concert with raising resources for Tribal health, the Raven’s Ball serves an opportunity to honor exceptional Alaska Tribal Health System leaders with Luminary Awards. This year’s dedicated award winners are Linda Clement (President’s Legacy & Leadership Award); Matthew J. Hirschfeld, MD (Distinguished Provider Award); and Old Minto Family Recovery Camp (Rural Health Champion Award).

We hope you will join us next year for this inspiring event for Alaska Native health as we celebrate the 13th Annual Raven’s Ball on March 28, 2020, in Anchorage. 

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