One of the Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation’s favorite ways to connect with our supporters is at the annual Raven’s Ball event. Our work raises awareness and funding for health initiatives that further the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) vision that Alaska Native people are the healthiest people in the world.

Based on our commitment to health, the Foundation made the cautious decision to cancel the 2020 Raven’s Ball scheduled to occur at the end of March.

In light of the significant and yet unknown impact that COVID-19 may have on Alaska, our number one priority is the health and well-being of Alaska Native people, our staff and our valued partners, and we believe this is best achieved by being vigilant and taking proactive, preventative measures to keep us all healthy.

While we regret we will not be together to celebrate, we hope you will join the HANF Board of Directors and staff in congratulating this year’s Luminary Award winners:

Distinguished Rural Health Program Award:  SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Breast and Cervical Health Program (BCHP)
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Breast and Cervical Health Program (BCHP) is a model for comprehensive healthcare for women in Southeast Alaska. As national health care reform system changes occur, SEARHC leads the way emphasizing and supporting patients to take charge of their health through regular breast and cervical checks.
SEARHC engages their patients through reminder letters, local events and media campaigns to ensure complete clinical screenings and educating patients to prioritize health lifestyle choices.
To give patients the best prevention tools available, SEARHC offers both 3D and 2D mammography to more than 1,000 patients across a region roughly the size of Florida and they do this by bringing a mobile mammography unit by ferry to some of the state’s most difficult rural sites to access: Haines, Kake, Angoon, Metlakatla, Gustaves, and Prince of Wales Island.

Distinguished Rural Health Champion Award: Lisa Wade, Chickaloon Native Village
Lisa Wade is a member of Nay’dini’aa Na’ Kayax’ tribe, also known as Chickaloon Native Village, where she is the Director of the Health and Social Services department. She has led projects such as re-opening the village’s community health clinic and has also worked tirelessly to ensure that programs like Elder’s Lunch continues and that Elders receive culturally appropriate medical care.

Distinguished Provider Award: Dr. Matthew Olnes, Alaska Native Medical Center, (ANMC)
In his role with the Hematology and Medical Oncology Clinic at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), Dr. Matt Olnes dedicated his career to serve patients and their families. His work has impacted the lives of Alaskans across the state in the field of oncology since his tenure began at the Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) hospital in 2006. Dr. Olnes was so dedicated to his patients that he has returned to ANMC in 2019 after his retirement as a U.S. Public Health Service officer and continues to work as a physician.

Dr. Olnes has led ANMC’s hematology and oncology department for eight years, overseeing its growth into the largest practice in Alaska with comprehensive cancer care that is rarely seen in community hospitals the size of ANMC.
Not only is he a skilled physician, but Dr. Olnes has also contributed to clinical research to improve cancer care for patients, including the development of a new FDA approved treatment for patients with refractory bone marrow failure.

Each year, individuals and groups are recognized for their dedication and outstanding contributions to the Alaska Tribal Health System and their communities.

We are so grateful and honored by the ongoing support of HANF and Raven’s Ball for the past 12 years. We look forward to connecting with you and your commitment to the health of Alaska Native people during the rest of this year at future HANF events.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Luminary Leadership Circle ($25,000)


Luminary Circle ($15,000)



Luminary Partner ($10,000)



Traditional Circle ($6,000)




Nacole Heslep



Raven’s Nest ($3,000)


Aaron Kusano, MD

Matthew Hirschfeld, MD



Raven’s Champion ($500)

Matt Schnellbaecher, MD & Jo Ann Schnellbaecher



Fund A Need:

As part of a special campaign this year, $42,654.01 was raised to purchase 7 NICU Cardiac Monitors that support staff to easily identify key vital signs, with allows for faster recognition and response from care providers. Because of generous donors the Mother Baby Unit complies with the Neonatal Resuscitation Program standards and improve the safety of our delivery of care to our smallest patients.

The Neonatal Resuscitation Program sets the standard of care for newborns at birth and they have recommended that cardiac monitors be immediately available to use at every birth. The monitors makes it easier to identify the infant’s heart rate and oxygenation during resuscitation, which allows for faster recognition and response from the care providers. They also allow a baby that may need some extra monitoring for a short time to stay in the delivery room on the monitor instead of going to the nursery for observation. Staff can measure the infant’s heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygenation and blood pressure with one of these monitors.