8th Annual Nuka System of Care Conference

June 18-22, 2018  |  4085 Tudor Centre Drive  |  Anchorage, Alaska

Health care is undergoing a dramatic change from volume- to value-based care, with an emphasis on quality, population health outcomes and whole person care. Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka System of Care (Nuka) is an award-winning system in Anchorage, Alaska, that has been providing value-based care for more than 30 years.

SCF’s Nuka conference features detailed insights from more than 50 subject matter experts on topics such as data and information management, behavioral health integration, leadership best practices, strategic planning, and more.

Using tools and methodologies unique to Nuka, conference participants walk away inspired by the future of health care and equipped with answers to issues facing their organizations.

View photos from the 2017 Nuka System of Care Conference.


Discounts available for tribal organizations as well as
groups of 10+ from the same organization

General Conference

Discounts available for tribal organizations as well as
groups of 10+ from the same organization

Core Concepts Workshop

Monday-Wednesday, June 18-20

The pre-conference welcomes you into a small learning circle as an interactive participant for SCF’s three-day Core Concepts Workshop, where communication techniques and tools are taught as a foundation for building and maintaining effective relationships.

You will discover the “secret sauce” of the SCF Nuka System of Care. Most of our conference attendees participate in the pre-conference. Here are some of the things you won’t want to miss:

    • Led by President/CEO Dr. Katherine Gottlieb and SCF leadership
    • Discover how SCF’s Core Concepts has created common language and tools for employees to work effectively with each other
    • Learn the tools and communication methods SCF utilizes as a foundation for building and maintaining relationships with customer-owners

18.25 continuing medical education (CME) hours will be available for the pre-conference Core Concepts Workshop.

General Conference

Thursday-Friday, June 21-22

The general conference presents SCF’s developed and proven content on organizational strategies and processes; integrated medical, behavioral, and traditional practices; and supporting infrastructure. Discover new insights, learn from relevant experiences, and obtain guidance from SCF’s award-winning system.

Choose from more than 30 sessions in the following focus areas:

      • Leadership
      • Integrated care
      • Improvement, data and information management
      • Behavioral health
      • Workforce development

12.5 continuing medical education (CME) hours will be available for the two-day general conference.


Download a printable session schedule

Download a printable conference brochure

Keynote Speakers

Katherine Gottlieb, MBA, DPS


Katherine Gottlieb, MBA, Doctor of Public Service and Doctor of Humane Letters, is originally from the Kodiak Island village of Old Harbor. She is a tribal member of Old Harbor, a tribal member and an elected member of the tribal council for the Seldovia Village Tribe, and an honorary tribal member of the Native Village of Eklutna. Her mother, Margaret, was Sugpiaq (Alutiiq), and her father, Alfred Quijance, was Filipino.

Dr. Gottlieb has served as president and chief executive officer of Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska, for 25 years. SCF provides health and related services to 65,000 Alaska Native and American Indian people in a geographical service area of 107,400 square miles. SCF also jointly owns and operates the 150-bed Alaska Native Medical Center hospital supporting 140,000 people statewide.

Dr. Gottlieb began her career in health care as a community health representative in Seldovia, Alaska, a community of about 300 people accessible only by boat or plane. While pursuing an undergraduate degree, Dr. Gottlieb worked at SCF’s headquarters in Anchorage as a receptionist. She quickly worked her way up the ranks, and by 1991, was serving in the organization’s top executive position.

An innovative and visionary leader, Dr. Gottlieb has partnered with SCF’s Alaska Native board of directors, fellow customer-owners and other leadership, to transform health care for the Native Community. Today, as SCF’s chief executive, she oversees more than 2,000 employees and an annual budget of $349 million to manage more than 80 health care programs, services and departments. Under her direction and guidance, SCF’s Nuka System of Care has earned the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and other national and international recognitions for performance excellence and innovation.

In 2004, when selected as one of 23 distinguished Americans for the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, also known as the “Genius Award,” the MacArthur Foundation remarked, “Under Katherine Gottlieb’s leadership, the Southcentral Foundation network has demonstrated that high-quality health care and effective preventive services are possible, even in communities facing obstacles of poverty and geographic isolation.”

She is also the recipient of the 2015 Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award – presented by the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award – recognizing her visionary leadership and commitment to customer-driven quality improvement in health care.

For 2016, Dr. Gottlieb was presented the Indian Health Service National Director Award for a record-setting year for Tribal partnerships. SCF provided support for 44 Tribes and Tribal organizations who have been inspired by SCF’s Nuka System of Care.

Dr. Gottlieb holds a BA, MBA, and an honorary doctorate from University of Alaska Anchorage and an honorary doctorate from Alaska Pacific University, where she is a trustee emeritus. She is a Visiting Scientist at Harvard Medical School as well as a former board member of Cook Inlet Native Head Start, the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and the National Library of Medicine Board of Regents. She remains active at the national level on behalf of Alaska Native and American Indian policy issues.

She is the wife of Dr. Kevin Gottlieb, a mother of six, grandmother of 30 and great grandmother of five.

Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, National Human Genome Research Institute
National Institutes of Health

Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a position he has held since late 2009. NHGRI is the largest organization in the world solely dedicated to genomics research. Previously, he served as the NHGRI Scientific Director (2002-2009), Chief of the NHGRI Genome Technology Branch (1996-2009), and Director of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center (1997-2009).

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Green received his B.S. degree in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981, and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington University in 1987. During residency training in clinical pathology (laboratory medicine), he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Maynard Olson, where he launched his career in genomics research. In 1992, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Pathology and Genetics as well as a Co-Investigator in the Human Genome Center at Washington University. In 1994, he joined the newly established Intramural Research Program of the National Center for Human Genome Research, later renamed the National Human Genome Research Institute.

While directing an independent research program for almost two decades, Dr. Green was at the forefront of efforts to map, sequence, and understand eukaryotic genomes. His work included significant, start-to-finish involvement in the Human Genome Project. These efforts eventually blossomed into a highly productive program in comparative genomics that provided important insights about genome structure, function, and evolution. His laboratory also identified and characterized several human disease genes, including those implicated in certain forms of hereditary deafness, vascular disease, and inherited peripheral neuropathy.

As Director of NHGRI, Dr. Green is responsible for providing overall leadership of the Institute’s research portfolio and other initiatives. In 2011, Dr. Green led NHGRI to the completion of a strategic planning process that yielded a new vision for the future of genomics research, entitled Charting a course for genomic medicine from base pairs to bedside (Nature 470:204-213, 2011). Since that time, he has led the Institute in broadening its research mission; this has included designing and launching a number of major programs to accelerate the application of genomics to medical care. With the rapidly expanding scope of genomics, his leadership efforts have also involved significant coordination with multiple components of the NIH, as well as other agencies and organizations.

Beyond NHGRI-specific programs, Dr. Green has also played an instrumental leadership role in the development of a number of high-profile efforts relevant to genomics, including the Smithsonian-NHGRI exhibition Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code, the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program, the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy, and the U.S. Precision Medicine Initiative.

Cheryl Hankard

Mental Wellness Minobimaadizing Program, Naandwe Noojimowin Program Team Lead

Cheryl is the mother of 3 sons and a grandmother of 2 grandsons.

She is the ninth born of eleven children to her parents “Molly” and “Scotty” Johnston. Cheryl has been blessed with strong lineage from parents.

On her mother’s side the Algonquian and Chippewa Nations and from her father, his Scottish and Irish ancestry.

Cheryl’s passion has always been to be a “Helper” which led to her work as a Registered Practical Nurse in the health care field for 22 years.   When she heard the ‘big drum’ at the Toronto Sky Dome Powwow in 1991, she began a personal journey to discover who she is as an Anishnaabe-kwe, and a career change to development and delivery of culturally specific health care programs.

Since 2003, Cheryl has been privileged to work at Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services (Inc.) as the Traditional Health Program Coordinator. In 2016,  she moved into the Mental Wellness Minobimaadizing Program as the Naandwe Noojimowin Program Team Lead.


On the evening of June 21, Southcentral Foundation will be partnering with the Alaska Native Heritage Center to offer an opportunity to network with other health care professionals and to experience an introduction to many Alaska Native cultures and traditions in a business-free environment. The event is free for conference attendees and will take place at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, located at 8800 Heritage Center Drive in Anchorage. Heavy appetizers will be provided. There will also be an opportunity to purchase authentic Alaska Native art at the Heritage Center’s gift shop, with the proceeds benefiting this nonprofit educational and cultural institution.

As a special part of the evening’s entertainment, all guests are invited to participate in a Cultural Expression time as an opportunity to share a piece of their culture with attendees. In the past, we have had guests drum, sing and play instruments from their culture.

For more information on the Alaska Native Heritage Center, please visit www.alaskanative.net.

Meet for an Advising Session

Schedule your free session today

Need help with a challenge you’re facing in your organization? Meet with one of our Nuka experts during the conference for your free personalized advising session.

Call us

(907) 729-NUKA (6852)

FAQs and Hotels

What is included with registration? Will meals be provided?

Registration includes breakfast and lunch on all days of the conference (June 18-22, 2018). If you have special dietary needs, please indicate them in registration or email us at scfnukainstitute@scf.cc.

Will I have access to presentation PowerPoints?

Your registration also includes the presentation slides and materials. You will receive an email after the conference that directs you to a site to download the materials.

I need a Visa to travel. Can you provide a letter of invitation?

Once your registration is paid, please contact us at scfnukainstitute@scf.cc or at (907) 729-8608 to request an invitation letter.

What is the refund policy for conference registration cancellations?

A cancellation must be in writing and emailed to scfnukainstitute@scf.cc. Cancellations will be assessed a $250 administrative fee until May 13. Fifty percent (50%) of the registration fee will be refunded for cancellations received from May 14 through May 31. Cancellations received after May 31 are nonrefundable.

Registrations may be transferred to another person by requesting the change and emailing the replacement attendee’s name and contact information to scfnukainstitute@scf.cc.

Are block rates available at nearby Hotels?

Special block rates are available through May 16, 2018 at the following hotels:

Springhill SuitesUniversity Lake, within walking distance from Alaska Native Health Campus, $239 per night

Dimond Center Hotel, 15 minutes from Alaska Native Health Campus, $179 per night
www.dimondcenterhotel.com, Click “BOOK NOW”,  add code: NUKA2018

When should I arrive at the conference?

For the pre-conference, registration and networking breakfast is 7-8 a.m. If you do not plan to attend breakfast, please complete registration by 7:30 a.m.

For the general conference, registration and networking breakfast is 7:30-8:30 a.m. If you do not plan to attend breakfast, please complete registration by 8 a.m.

What is the recommended attire for the conference?

Attire is casual. Temperatures in the meeting rooms may be cool.

Will wireless Internet available at the conference?

Yes. Wireless is available at the conference location.

What are the parking options at the conference?

Parking is available at the conference location, including a nearby garage. All parking is free.


  • Are interested in learning new skills
  • Would like to network with other health care organizations
  • Are seeking proven solutions, best practices and tools to address challenging organizational issues in this rapidly changing industry
  • Would like to see a vision for the future of health care


  • Executive Leadership
  • Directors
  • Managers
  • Direct Clients / Patient Services
  • Specialists
  • Board Members / Owners
  • Coordinators
  • Consultants
  • Analysts / Associates
  • Administrative Support
  • Interns / Fellows
  • Instructors / Educators

What can you offer health care’s whole system transformation movement?

Associate your brand with one of the world’s leading models of health care redesign. A 2011 and 2017 recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka System of Care is a proven example for organizations seeking to move from volume- to value-based care. What innovative service, product or system can you provide to support that effort?