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In Brief

March 11th, 2016 | Shady Grove Oliver Print this article   Email this article  

Barrow hospital names chiefs of staff

by Shady Grove Oliver

The Arctic Sounder

Dr. Barbara Medlin has been named Chief of Staff for Physician Services at Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital in Barrow, according to a release on Tuesday from the Arctic Slope Native Association (ASNA), which operates the medical facility.

This is her second year holding the position.

Medlin has been in medicine for 25 years, working as a family practitioner, both in hospitals and home care. She has worked in both emergency rooms and urgent care clinics and has delivered more than 500 babies throughout her career, according to ASNA.

Also in physician services, Dr. Alanna Small has been named deputy chief of staff under Medlin for the first time. She has been working at the hospital since last year in the internal medicine department. Before moving to Barrow, she worked at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.

"We are grateful for their willingness to serve as leaders of the medical staff and look forward to their continued contributions in our community," said Hospital Administrator Richard Hall, in the release.

Arctic science, policy, housing in focus at Fairbanks forums

March is a big month for the Arctic as a number of big ticket events, summits, and forums will be held in Fairbanks and Barrow over the next few weeks.

From March 9-15, the Model Arctic Council will be held in Fairbanks. It's a mock council comprising undergraduate and graduate students from schools across the circumpolar north. Students participate in exercises that mimic the workings of the international Arctic Council.

From March 11-12, the Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group will be meeting in Barrow. The group is an offshoot of the international Arctic Council which the United States is chairing through 2017. More information about the group can be found at

From March 11-13, the Sustainable Northern Shelter Forum will be taking place at the Cold Climate Research Center in Fairbanks. The center, along with the Institute of the North and Natural Resources Canada, is hosting the forum to discuss challenges and possible solutions to constructing sustainable housing and infrastructure in a changing Arctic.

The International Arctic Assembly will take place March 15 on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. Leaders in science, politics, technology, security, and more will participate on a public panel to discuss the Arctic system as a whole.

The Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council will hold meetings March 15-17 which are not open to the public. They will discuss the current progress of the council's working groups along with establishing priorities for the council during the U.S. chairmanship.

From March 15-18, the biennial Arctic Observing Summit will take place at UAF. The summit will focus on the development and implementation of a community-based observing network for Arctic change.

Each of the Fairbanks-based events will happen in conjunction with the overarching Arctic Science Summit Week, March 12-18, which will take a holistic look at research, needs, and the future of the sciences in the far north.

More information about the events and summits in Fairbanks can be found at

Regional subsistence advisory councils meet in Anchorage

Restrictions for non-local hunters and the overall health of Arctic caribou will be topics of discussion for Northwest Arctic members at all the council meetings being held this week at the Egan Center in Anchorage.

Subsistence regional advisory councils from around the state are gathering March 7-11 to talk about issues pertinent to their areas in a series of individual and group sessions.

The Northwest Arctic Subsistence Regional Advisory Council meets Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

On Friday, there will be a breakout session on the Western Arctic and Teshekpuk caribou herds at 8:30 a.m. and a joint session for the Northwest Arctic and North Slope advisory councils at 1:30 p.m.

Listeners can join each of those meetings and sessions via teleconference by calling 1-877-638-8165 and using the passcode 9060609.

Kivalina man throws baby at family member during argument

Nathan Koonook, 25, of Kivalina, was arrested March 3 after he threw a baby at a family member during an argument. The infant was not harmed and was caught by the family member, according to Alaska State Troopers.

After the child was put down safely, Koonook reportedly "grabbed that family member by the throat with his hands and squeezed until [they] almost lost consciousness," troopers wrote in a dispatch on Monday.

The victim was treated at the village clinic in Kivalina, having sustained minor injuries to the throat.

Kotzebue troopers conducted an investigation and arrested Koonook for domestic violence assault in the fourth degree for reckless endangerment and transported him to the Kotzebue Regional Jail where he is being held.


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