Social Workers Converge on Fairbanks

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Social workers from across the state and the Lower 48 will converge in Fairbanks next week for the annual Alaska chapter of the National Association of Social Workers conference. It’s the first time the event is being held in Fairbanks. Chapter president and University of Alaska Fairbanks Assistant Professor of Clinical Social Work Laverne Demientieff says the move is aimed at broadening participation.

Demientieff says participants are coming from interior villages as well as Western Alaska and the North Slope.  She says the three-day conference is packed with sessions dealing with a wide range of issues.

Presenters include Dr. Patch Adams, who will talk about humor and health, and Dr. Anne Bullock, who studies intergenerational trauma and stress related illness.  Bullock says new genetic research illustrates how stress affects the onset of diabetes and chronic disease.

Dr. Bullock’s presentation on the medical side of social problems is part of the conference’s aim of providing a more interdisciplinary perspective for participants.

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