Health Academy offered to students

By CANDACE COX, staff writer

The Bridges Health Academy is coming to Galena.

The Yukon-Koyukuk School District (YKSD) Bridges Health Academy is a homeschooling program that reaches to rural communities throughout Alaska to provide students with knowledge needed in the medical field.

John Riddle, principal at the Galena Interior Learning Academy (GILA), has been working with Interior Distance Education of Alaska, A homeschooling program that is part of the Galena City School District (GCSD), to bring the academy to Galena.

A group of students from the GCSD and YKSD will be given the opportunity to take classes provided by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. Emergency Trauma Technician (ETT) training will be provided, as well as a class called “Store Outside Your Door,” said Mr. Riddle.

ETT training will give students the ability to recognize emergencies and to act on such occasions calmly, and with the all the knowledge necessary to attend to the patient’s needs, according to information from the health academy.

Some GILA students to have graduated from the program recently are Emilea Ellis, a junior from Delta Junction, and Cynthia Kruger, 17, another junior from Anvik. Both students seek professions in the medical field and urge students to go for it.

“Store Outside Your Door” is a new class being offered this year. This class focuses on nutrition within the Native culture. Students will learn about medicinal and nutritional uses of Alaskan plants and animals from the Yukon region. They will be able to work hands on with recipes from Alaska Native Culture while learning about the recipe’s background.

In the past, GILA students have been allowed to participate in the classes, but this year classes will only be open to twenty-four students from IDEA and YKSD, said Mr. Riddle. Any empty spaces will be filled with GILA students who are excelling in all of their classes.

Classes are expected to begin Monday, April 21, until Friday, May 2. The students will be in classes Monday through Friday each week during both the morning and afternoon followed by a study hour on Saturdays. During study hour on April 26 both IDEA and YKSD students will be given the chance to visit Galena’s clinic, fire station, and elder center.