Luminary Award Spotlight: Dr. Matthew Schnellbaecher, President’s Legacy & Leadership AwardApril 29, 2016
Our Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation Luminary Award winners are individuals recognized for their exceptional dedication and contributions to the Alaska Tribal Health System. Over the next few weeks, we will spotlight the winners. The President’s Legacy and Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Matthew Schnellbaecher, Cardiology Medical Director, Alaska Native Medical Center. Dr. Schnellbaecher has been a tireless advocate for expanding cardiology services in the Alaska Tribal Health System since he joined the hospital in 1996. Dr. Schnellbaecher has helped grow cardiology services throughout Alaska with the use of telehealth, assisted with the development of the new cardiac catheterization lab at ANMC, in addition to many other critical efforts to improve cardiology care for our people. As ANMC’s Chief Cardiologist for 20 years, Dr. Schnellbaecher has simply become known as the “Heart Doctor” throughout the Alaska Tribal Health System. He oversaw cardiology services expansion from being the only doctor to a department that now boasts four cardiologists and 36 department staff. His leadership and care for our people have introduced state-of-the-art care at ANMC with the new Cardiac Catheterization Lab, which opened in 2015, and the hybrid operating room. Beyond the exam room, Dr. Schnellbaecher champions heart healthy lifestyle and positive change for Alaska Native health care. He regularly encourages everyone to take the stairs and has been an advocate for healthier food choices in the ANMC cafeteria. A video tribute to Dr. Schnellbaecher can be seen online here. In the coming weeks, we will feature other 2016 Luminary Award winners, Mike Williams, Sr. and the community health aides and practitioners of Savoonga. Luminary Award nominations are accepted in the fall.