Nuka Winter Conference

February 8-10 Core Concepts Pre-Conference Workshop
February 11-12 General Winter Conference
Connect – Share – Continue the Journey

Join Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska, for an inaugural Nuka Winter Conference! Pack your parka and come discover how Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka System of Care model has led to decreased costs, improved outcomes, and increased satisfaction.

GROUP RATE for 5 or more

$2,300 Core Concepts
$700 General Conference
$3,000 for both

EARLY BIRD (closes Jan. 11)

$1,750 Core Concepts
$750 General Conference


$2,000 Core Concepts
$1,000 General Conference

Cancellation policy and information

Cancellations received by email by February 1, 2021 will receive a full refund. The safety of participants and employees are our highest priority. SCF will monitor national and state recommendations for in-person events and provide information and updates to registrants regarding the status of the Winter Nuka Conference.

General Conference Agenda

6:30-8 a.m.Registration & Breakfast
8-8:30 a.m.Welcome & Blessing
8:30-9:30 a.m.Keynote: Nuka System of Care 
9:30-9:45 a.m.Break
9:45-10:45 a.m.Plenary: Workforce Development Michelle Tierney, Karen McIntire (Tribal Drum)
10:45-11 a.m.Break
11 a.m. –
12:15 p.m.
Human Resources Best Practices

Patricia Seizys, Barb Sappah


The key to effective human resources is aligning the Vision and Mission with workforce competencies that are criteria expected of each individual. Performance management, retention, job descriptions, and every facet are impacted by workforce competencies. In this session, learn how SCF’s relationship-based approach shapes human resources, including recruitment, hiring for fit, and behavioral based interviewing.

Leadership Principles That Build a Culture of OWNERSHIP


Leading in an industry that is rapidly changing is a complex endeavor. Leaders need to rely on decision makers at every level of the organization. SCF’s leadership implemented a unique set of principles to guide decision-making and ensure continuity and a commitment to our Mission and Vision. In this session, SCF President/CEO will share these leadership principles and how they will guide the organization’s work for the future.

Using Baldrige Framework to Create a Culture of Improvement

Sharon Fenn, Nellie Anagick, Darci Nevzuroff


Improvement work in health care is often linked to a specific project or as an organization undergoes major changes. Fostering an improvement culture, however, can have long-term impacts on every facet of an organization. SCF has received the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award twice and uses the framework to create a culture of improvement. In this session, learn the organizational structure that aligns improvement efforts with the Vision and Mission and encourages improvement at every level of the organization.

12:15-1:15 p.m.Lunch | Additional Opportunity: Lunch with SCF Board of Directors, limited registration (Kayak)
1:15-2:15 p.m.Plenary:  Integrated Care for Whole Person Wellness, April Kyle, Douglas Eby  (Tribal Drum)
2:15-2:30 p.m.Break
2:30-3:45 p.m.Nuka Strategic Planning Process

Sherrilyn Westdahl, Carla Dudley


Given the ever-increasing complexity of health care delivery, strategic alignment is crucial to delivering high quality care. Grounded in customer-owner feedback and aligned with the Baldrige framework, all SCF employees participate in the strategic planning process. In this session, discover the structures in place to align work and deliver focused, effective initiatives at an organization with over 2,000 employees and 65,000 customer-owners.

From Theory to Practice: Integrated Care Teams in Action

Ryan McWilliams, Chelsea Ryan, Tessie Estes


More and more health systems are adapting team-based care as their delivery model. At SCF, we successfully deliver this model every day through our Integrated Care Teams (ICTs). Designed for audience members who want to see how our ICTs work, SCF staff will demonstrate both the common scenarios encountered in our clinics every day and the communication tools used to make teams work.

  Introduction to Behavioral Health Care Integration

Melissa Merrick, Justin Atteberry, Troy Wolcoff


Behavioral health needs presented in primary care make up a majority of visits. Seamlessly integrating behavioral health in primary care teams meets customer needs, reduces no-show rates, and assists providers with complicated cases. In this session, discover various models for integrating behavioral health and learn SCF’s journey working toward bridging primary care with behavioral health.

3:45-4 p.m.Break
4-5 p.m.Keynote (Tribal Drum)
5-5:45 p.m.Tour of Anchorage Native Primary Care Center
6-8 p.m.Networking & Cultural Night (Alaska Native Heritage Center)
7-8 a.m.Breakfast
8-9 a.m.Keynote
9-9:15 a.m.Break
9:15-10:30 a.m.Engaging the Community to Own and Design the Health System

Ileen Sylvester


Health care organizations built around and tailored to the communities they serve are incredibly successful at addressing the needs of their customer-owners. This approach is foundational to everything we do at SCF and is a core value of leadership at the organization. In this session, you will learn how SCF listens to and incorporates the feedback of our 65,000 customer-owner voices.

Advanced Behavioral Health Care Implementation and Applications

Melissa Merrick, Allison Herman, Roger Fox


Preparing primary care providers and behaviorists to work collaboratively requires new roles, steps and screening tools. A consulting psychiatrist in a primary care team can increase access, address complicated visits, and play an integral role in collaboration with behavioral health consultants. In this session, learn the steps for fully integrating behavioral health, including reorientation for primary care teams and new roles and processes.

Rural Health Care and Telemedicine Best Practices

Donna Galbreath, Martha Cotten, Michelle Baker, Heather Goecke


How does a rural health care organization meet the needs of a community with limited resources? SCF operates several federally qualified health centers and provides care in more than 55 rural villages. In this session, discover solutions for providing high quality care in remote locations. Learn how to scale best practices to fit the unique challenges of a small community.

10:30-10:45 a.m.Break
10:45-NoonEffective Data Management for Improvement

Steve Tierney, David Fenn, Mike Hirst


The widespread implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) has resulted in an increased need for staffing solutions. You don’t want your high performing clinicians working on IT solutions. And you also don’t want your IT working in a silo, separate from the “on the ground” clinic employees. In this session, discover the high level of data support and infrastructure that allowed SCF’s primary care clinics to focus on medicine, not IT.

Advanced Behavioral Health Care Implementation and Applications CONTINUED

Melissa Merrick, Allison Herman, Roger Fox


Culturally Appropriate Alternatives: Traditional Healing in Primary Care

Frances Wallis, Angela Michaud, Jessie Takak


SCF provides a range of services that help customers address acute pain, manage chronic pain, and cope with stress and grief. In this session, discover how SCF offers culturally appropriate alternatives through traditional healing and integrates spirituality into the healing process.

Noon-1:30 p.m.Lunch  Tours Available at the Anchorage Native Primary Care Center | CEO Lunch (KKG Building)
1:30-2:45 p.m.Population Based Case Management Chelsea Ryan, Danelle Stein


Traditional case management is usually diagnosis or cost based, often posing obstacles to the provider/customer relationship and fragmenting care. SCF’s whole-person case management model fosters relationships, integrates chronic and preventative care and emphasizes shared responsibility. In this session, learn the roles, processes and best practices for whole-person case management.

Medication Assisted Treatment and Integrated Psychiatry in Primary Care

Melissa Shein, Catherine Arnatt


According to the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 1.2 million people in the United States aged 12 and older had an opioid use disorder in 2018. Medicated Assisted Treatment delivery in primary care, in conjunction with opioid treatment programs and behavioral therapy, can increase access to valuable treatments. In this session, learn SCF’s approach to integrated psychiatry in primary care, and the challenges and successes of providing medicated assisted treatment

Learning Circles and Family Wellness Warriors Initiative: Root Issues

Bobbi Outten, Kyle Newman, 


Trauma-informed care is becoming more prevalent, with organizations seeking to provide safe, empowering, and healing services. SCF’s Family Wellness Warriors Initiative is a culturally appropriate model that addresses root issues through learning circles. In this session, discover FWWI and the learning circle model that facilitates opportunities for people to connect and build relationships through a variety of wellness activities.

2:45-3 p.m.Break
3-3:30 p.m.Closing 
3:30-5 p.m.


ICT Panel and Roundtables

Georgia Kubic, Stephanie Janke, Roni Phillips, Samantha Painter, Emily Wood, Dana Toohey

(Delta and Fjord)

In this session, an SCF integrated care team panel will share real-world examples for optimizing team dynamics, navigating change, and overcoming common challenges. Join small learning circles specific to each discipline to learn how each role supports patient-centered care and contributes to quality of life and health care outcomes.

Continuing the Journey: 1-on-1 Conversations on Next Steps

Feedback from previous Nuka conferences show that SCF subject matter experts have an opportunity to help bridge the gap in helping your organization discuss next steps on your improvement journey. In this one-on-one session, discuss what you’ve learned, what you’d like to take away, and how SCF can assist with tools such as data and information management assessments, integrated care team assessments, and more.

Virtual Reality Demo: Increasing Empathy

SCF uses virtual simulations that allow providers to experience medical challenges firsthand, providing a deeper understanding of the physical and emotional issues a patient is facing. Virtual reality experiences increase empathy for patients. In this session, you will experience a virtual simulation and debrief.


Stacy A. Bohlen (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Indian Health Board (NIHB).  With the support of a strong, tribally-elected Board of Directors, Ms. Bohlen’s service to NIHB has contributed to the organization’s successful work to establish and elevate the Tribal presence for improving health care in the Nation’s Capitol, promoted and strengthened the organization’s service to all federally recognized Tribes, significantly increased NIHB’s budget, staff and connectivity to the Tribes and increased NIHB’s effectiveness.  Prior to joining NIHB, she was the Director of Federal Relations for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Deputy Director of the American Osteopathic Association’s Washington, DC Office, and served on the staff of former U.S. Congressman Bob Traxler.  Ms. Bohlen received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Oakland University in Rochester Hills, MI. She was born and raised in Michigan.


  • 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