Behavioral Health Update

Look for some new faces in your community as dedicated and experienced behavioral health staff come on board at Chugachmiut.

Michael Horton, Behavioral Health Clinical Manager, who started work in August, has 30 years of experience in the behavioral health field, most of that in Alaska. Most recently, Michael spent ten years at the Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA).

Michael is planning on visiting each of our communities at least once per quarter and getting to know the people of the region. He also hopes to increase the number of behavioral health aides; we currently have two — Gail Evanoff in Chenega Bay and Nancy Radtke in Nanwalek. Another goal is to contract with a psychiatrist to offer better medication services. Besides Kodiak, Michael has practiced in Barrow, Copper River, McGrath and Oregon.

Narcisco (Cisco) Penamora accepted the Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator position and is scheduled to come aboard in October. He is highly qualified and has over 20 years of experience in the field. Cisco volunteered with Port Graham’s recovery program in past years and worked for KANA for 10 years, six of those with Michael Horton. We are looking forward to building a strong program under his guidance.

Sandra Klevin, Itinerant Behavioral Health Therapist, started visiting our communities this summer. She has worked in the Bethel region and worked with ANTHC to develop their Behavioral Health Aide Manual. Sandy has also published several books including The Right Touch and Holy Land.

In other good news, Phoebe Proudfoot is returning to resume work as a behavioral health therapist in October. Phoebe previously provided therapy in the region for three years.