Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson to head Alaska Native health consortium

An Alaska Native woman in a qaspek
Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson giving her keynote address at the Dena’ina Convention Center during AFN’s 2018 convention. (Zachariah Hughes/ Alaska Public Media)

Former Lt. Gov. Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson will take over as interim president of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, after its previous president resigned last month.

Davidson is currently the president of Alaska Pacific University, a partner organization of ANTHC, and will take a leave of absence when she starts her new job Monday. She replaces Garvin Federenko, who was the acting president after the resignation of Andy Teuber; Federenko will remain ANTHC’s chief executive officer.

“I am incredibly honored to serve both our workforce and our Alaska Native people across the state in this role,” Davidson said in a prepared statement. “I am focused on continuing to advance the efforts already underway to lead our staff through the challenging situations that have presented themselves in the last few weeks. Even more important than those immediate needs, I am excited to cultivate an inclusive culture throughout the consortium that highlights ANTHC’s commitment to excellence for its people and the innovative services we provide.”

As president of APU, she oversaw the university’s health aide training programs, according to an ANTHC biography.

She also served in the administration of independent Gov. Bill Walker, first as commissioner of the health department and later as lieutenant governor. She grew up in Bethel, and is a member of the local Native tribe, the Orutsararmiut Traditional Native Council.

Before her job in Walker’s administration, Davidson worked at ANTHC as its top lawyer.

ANTHC coordinates health care of 180,000 Alaska Natives and American Indians in the state, and is Alaska’s second-largest employer, according to its website.

Correction: This story originally misstated the month of the departure of Davidson’s predecessor.

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