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Meghan Clark University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Human Development Meghan Clark is a healthcare advocate and strategic business development leader with the proven ability to navigate complex health systems, build innovative new programs, and support largescale public health strategy. Her motivation lies in creating opportunities that have a positive impact on the health equity and well-being of vulnerable populations. Currently, Meghan oversees the development and growth of the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) program, as the ECHO Director for the University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Human Development. Meghan led the successful integration of the ECHO model into the State of Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services COVID-19 response strategy. Meghan’s strategic vision for ECHO has allowed for ECHO to become instrumental in the overall approach to flattening the curve and preparing for the unknown in Alaska. Said of Meghan Clark, “Meghan’s innovation, dedication and resiliency has had a profound impact on the COVID-19 response in Alaska.”

Stefani Clements Empower Physical Therapy Stefani Clements describes herself as: one-part therapist, one-part wanderer and two-parts entrepreneur, with a dash of goofball. She has been trained in a range of modalities, including: Myofascial Release Technique, Deep Tissue Therapy, Pneumatic Myofascial Cupping Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy, Lymphatic Facilitation Athletic/ Sports Massage, Shiatsu, Gua Sha and Postural and Orthopedic Assessment. Stefani’s passion to care for others and training allows her to connect with patients on a very individualized level, and work with them to identify and correct musculoskeletal pain or dysfunction by soft tissue mobilization and manipulation, joint mobilization, stretching and more. In short, she can address the issues you may have with your tissues. Said of Stefani Clements: “Stefani offers a completely different experience than any other massage therapist in Alaska. She is calm, kind and knowledgeable. You can tell that she takes the science of the massage to a whole new level. In addition, she talks to you throughout the process to help educate you on ways that you are currently harming your joints and muscles and how to help you improve.”



Dr. Benjamin Crawford Accurate Vision Clinic Dr. Benjamin Crawford was born and raised in Anchorage, and returned home after completing his doctorate at Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. His goal of owning his own practice began when working with Dr. Victoria Blower at Accurate Vision Clinic. In 2014, Benjamin took over the practice and began his path as both a business owner and doctor. He is very proud of having built his “dream office” and truly loves going to work every day. Benjamin also received a Top 40 Under 40 award in 2018, and Accurate Vision Clinic has been awarded Best of Alaska by Anchorage Daily News readers since 2017. Said of Dr. Benjamin Crawford, “Dr. Crawford always has professional and friendly service; he goes above and beyond every time.”

Mary Dinon Mary Dinon was inspired by her mother’s experience as a nurse when she came home sharing stories of the adventures at Kanakanak Hospital. A lifelong Alaskan, Mary graduated from University of Alaska Anchorage in 1987 and never looked back. She works for SEARHC on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska, and works for the WISEWOMAN Women’s Health CDC funded grant for the last 12 years. The program is a combination of Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening and the WISEWOMAN (Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation), and was created to help women understand and reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke. Mary continues to be passionate about the work that she does, and is honored to interact and assist women in navigating the road of women’s health care and healthy lifestyle changes for the prevention of heart disease. Said of Mary Dinon: “Mary goes above and beyond in her care for her patients, along with patients that are not ever hers. She reaches out, follows up, makes recommendations to people all over our region, especially on Prince of Wales. She truly cares about the people (and) their health care as a whole, not just what they may be experiencing at the moment.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, December 6, 2020


Sai Duchanin Said of Sai Duchanin: “Sai is patient and concerned for the well-being of those who seek her advice. She is thorough in her assessment.”

Franklin Ellenson Alaska Neurology Center Said of Franklin Ellenson, “Dr. Ellenson has built a practice that provides vital health care services to the state, including many underserved populations.”

Jacenda Fletcher and Lindsey Sawicki Vib Cycle Said of Jacenda Fletcher and Lindsey Sawicki: “Jacenda Fletcher and Lindsey Sawicki own this Vib Cycle. They are doing more for the health and wellness of the Anchorage community than many providers. Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health.”



Derek Ford Run Wild Fitness After his own battle with fitness growing up, Derek Ford recognized his passion and desire to coach others while working with a coach at a small private studio in Salt Lake City in 2011. In 2012, he moved his family to Anchorage and obtained his Personal Trainer Certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, starting Run Wild Fitness shortly thereafter. Run Wild Fitness has created a welcoming, non-intimidating environment where clients focus on getting stronger indoors so they can play harder outdoors. They have been one of the top fundraising teams for the American Lung Association’s Clean Air Challenge bike event for the past two years, and have participated, raised funds for and sponsored several others. Derek is profoundly grateful for the opportunity to help others discover and become their best selves, and the ability to provide a community of support, accountability and pursuit of health and happiness. Said of Derek Ford: “Derek is a champion coach, motivator, instigator of healthy fun and outdoor enthusiast! As a gym owner, his business was impacted greatly (by COVID-19) as clients weren’t allowed to use his gym for in-person workouts. Not only did Derek and his team develop Zoom workouts to accommodate working out from home, but for those of us that needed to get outside, he was readily available and setting up bike rides for people to safely get out of the house, get exercise and feed our sense of community. Derek Ford is a valued member of the community at both the personal and community level.”

Abiud Gonzalez Seward Chiropractic Center Abiud Gonzalez provides much more than chiropractic care. He’ll prescribe exercises, holistic medicine, nutrition and how to program the brain so patients can change their ability to reach a goal, such as walking upstairs unaided, doing more chin-ups, etc. Abiud will spend extra time with a patient if he can fit it in. He is 69, with no plans of retiring. Said of Abiud Gonzalez, “Sometimes patients list him as their primary care physician: In their eyes, doctors don’t come any better than Abiud.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, December 6, 2020


Teanna Hehnlin Providence Alaska Medical Center Teanna Hehnlin has been a registered nurse caring for the Alaska community for the past 14 years. The compassionate care delivered by nurses was something that spoke to Teanna’s soul and fulfilled her in a way she had never imagined a career could; as soon as she stepped foot in her first hospital room, she knew she had found her calling. Teanna graduated from University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing in 2006, and began her career, joining Providence Alaska Medical Center’s Progressive Care and Intermediate Care Units in 2014, where she remains today. In her career as a nurse, she has never found herself so challenged as she has been with the current pandemic: Teanna works on a COVID unit, and at the start of the pandemic took care of a large number of COVID patients. She had to learn how to push aside her own fears and continue to give the best care despite the trepidation and uncertainty. Through it all, Teanna is proud to wear the badge of a nurse and to be entrusted with all it entails. Said of Teanna Hehnlin: “She is the most hard working nurse I’ve ever met. She also cares for her patients with such empathy and open arms!”

Julie Kane Trua Health & Wellness After completing her nursing degree in 1998 and working across the country, Julie Kane began her career in Alaska in 2007, when she worked at Providence Medical Center before spending 7 years as a Territory Manager for Kinetic Concepts Inc. with a focus in advanced wound care. She received her Master in Nursing as a Nurse Practitioner in 2017. In 2019, Julie started Trua Health & Wellness, providing integrative therapies with lifestyle modification. Her specialities include advanced wound care, precision medicine, regenerative therapies, stress reduction therapies and esthetic procedures. Said of Julie Kane: “Julie is an incredible provider with a huge heart and an endless drive to help our community thrive. Healing one patient at a time, she is a true asset to this city.”



Jeanette Legenza The Children’s Clinic Jeanette Legenza is a pediatrician and a mother. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has continued to juggle her family and professional roles, a feat in itself with school-aged children. Professionally, physicians have all seen a sharp increase in mental health concerns among our patients. She approaches her pediatric patients with genuine care and concern, spending a disproportionate amount of her time in counseling, managing and coordinating their care. In addition, she has educated her community about the pandemic, including mitigation, testing, contact tracing, quarantine and more. Said of Jeanette Legenza, “Jeanette is a shining example of an excellent physician, parent and citizen, who has been a leader in not only the health care industry, but also the community as a whole.”

Emily Maxwell Girdwood Yoga and Pilates Shack Pilates instructor Emily Maxwell creates an inclusive environment in her classes that is welcoming for a pilates first timer or someone who has been practicing for a long time. She has worked through the pandemic providing classes virtually, outdoors when possible and by donation, opening up the practice to any and all who needed a little lift in their day and an opportunity to move with a “group” virtually. In addition, she is a steward of the community. During virtual classes she chose a local organization and donated a portion of the class fees and additional donations from her students, contributing to the greater community. Said of Emily Maxwell, “Emily is a fantastic pilates instructor … she brings pilates to the people! I am thankful to have a fantastic neighbor and member of the community who understands it takes a village to create a community.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, December 6, 2020


Mary McCormick All Life is Yoga Mary McCormick has been involved in yoga for over 20 years, and she feels yoga is more powerful than any other style of exercise she has ever done. After graduating from University of Alaska Anchorage, where she studied to become a fitness instructor and personal trainer, Mary was introduced to YogaFit in 2004, and never looked back. She began taking training after training and teaching out of her garage in 2005. As her knowledge and love of yoga grew so did her following, which led to the opening of her studio in September 2011. Mary feels yoga is a gift to ourselves and each other, and that yoga can help us get back to our true authentic soul and create harmony and the feeling of wholeness in our body and mind. Said of Mary McCormick, “(She) kept her yoga studio open with protections, offering zoom and video classes and teaching students how to manage anxiety and depression with movement therapy.”

Hope Meyn Ancora Home Health & Hospice Hope Meyn was born and raised in Anchorage, and after graduating from University of Alaska Anchorage in May 2018 with a degree in nursing, began her career working in the Nursing Residency program at Providence Alaska Medical Center on the Medical Oncology unit. It was there that Hope found her passion for end-of-life care and obtained her board certification as a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse. In October 2019, Hope moved to Ancora Home Health & Hospice to focus more on outpatient hospice care and is currently a hospice nurse case manager with Ancora. Said of Hope Meyn, “(She is) professional, compassionate, caring.”



Mike Mraz The Alaska Hospital Group Mike Mraz worked in Anchorage for 3 years at the Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association before attending University of Washington medical schools’ WWAMI program. After taking time off to study at Harvard University for his Masters in Public Health and completing his residence in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Brown University’s program, he returned to Alaska, working at Norton Sound Hospital in Nome until 2006. He then returned to Anchorage, working at the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center, where he found the opportunity to work alongside many of the providers in The Alaska Hospital Group. Said of Mike Mraz, “Dr. Mraz is a dedicated healthcare professional.”

Bonnie Murphy BFit & Well Bonnie Murphy is a nationally-certified fitness professional who has been in the business of health and wellness for the past 30-plus years. She has been working with mature bodies since 1990, and was Fitness manager at the Anchorage Senior Activity Center from 1998 to 2006. Bonnie has BFit & Well, a personalized training studio where she specializes in transforming mature bodies through exercise and proper fitness related modifications. As a certified personal trainer in Functional Aging, a group exercise instructor through the Functional Aging Institute, an HKC certified Kettlebell Instructor, and with her education through University of Alaska Anchorage in Physical Fitness, Kinesiology and nutrition, Bonnie is able to help those seeking fitness in their fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and even ninth decade. Said of Bonnie Murphy: “Bonnie helps people achieve things they never thought possible, she helps people with new parts learn how to do more with them, those with cranky parts are shown how to calm them and convince their parts to do as told. Bonnie gives people the confidence to take on that next challenge knowing that she has their back.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, December 6, 2020


Stacey Nieder Arete Family Medicine Stacey Nieder joined Arete Family Medicine Anchorage in 2019 and has thrived along with the new practice as they navigate the new health care model. Together, Stacey and the other providers are Arete work on healing from acute illnesses and injuries, chronic and recurring problems, and are safely working through the pandemic, becoming a leader in testing and treatment for outpatient care. Stacey believes in a healthy lifestyle before medications, and loves to celebrate her patients’ success with them. Said of Stacey Nieder: “She is professional, funny, knowledgeable and approachable, with the best bedside manner! She provides an incredible amount of information and explanation to provide patient-centered care.”

Diane Peterson Alaska Police & Fire Chaplains Chaplain Diane Peterson has contributed so much time, both personally and professionally, ensuring the well being of our citizens and responders statewide. She is the Chief Chaplain of Alaska Police & Fire Chaplains (APFC) and oversees operations. Diane is the Commander for Alaska with Chaplain Fellowship Ministries. She also serves as a volunteer call out chaplain for APD and AFD. She has been with APFC since 2003, appointed as a deputy director in 2012 and Chief Chaplain in 2015. She passionately believes that we all need each other on this journey of life and hopes to support and provide assistance to others along the way. Said of Diane Peterson: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, Chaplain Diane has brought wellness and support to all responders,providing goodie bags to uplift their spirits during quarantine, (and spending) numerous hours listening and encouraging those on the front lines, from police, fire, EMS, doctors, nurses and more. She has been utilized in numerous situations, always bringing comfort and peace to the family.”



Tina Peterson Ferringer F&H Fitness Studios Tina Peterson Ferringer is a personal trainer with more than 16 years of experience creating and designing signature workout programs that are fun and unique. She owns F&H Fitness Studios located in both Anchorage and Fairbanks, and has pivoted her offerings during COVID-19 to keep her clients moving. She moved to a virtual platform early in the pandemic, and has continued to offer virtual classes throughout the course of the year. In 2016, she was a recipient of the Top 40 Under 40 award, and has fundraised more than $100,000 for nonprofits and causes in Alaska. Said of Tina Peterson Ferringer, “She is so motivating and a light for so many during these dark times.”

Johnathan Ramirez Ramirez Chiropractic Said of Johnathan Ramirez: “His care with patients is of the highest quality. His knowledge of the body and chiropractic is unmatched, and he listens.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, December 6, 2020


Joseph Schmid Anchorage School District Joseph Schmid moved to Anchorage in 2017 to begin working in the Anchorage School District as an adapted PE teacher, teaching physical education to children with disabilities. He modifies the curriculum and lessons to make them most successful and improve their motor skills. As COVID-19 has continued to be a factor, Joe has moved to online classes allowing him to still teach small group PE lessons. It has been a new learning experience for everyone, but Joe enjoys seeing the kids get up and moving in their homes each week when it’s PE time. Joe also co-runs the TOPSoccer program alongside occupational therapist Megan Coleman, sharing the joys of soccer with kids with disabilities. Said of Joseph Schmid: “Joe is an adaptive PE teacher for the Anchorage School District. He works with students with multiple disabilities and needs. How is caring and compassionate and always willing to help the kids. It is clear that Joe cares deeply for all his students.”

Dennis Spencer Medical Network of Alaska Dennis Spencer is the CEO for Medical Network of Alaska, which includes Capstone Clinics, Capstone Urgent Care, Alpenglow Women’s Health and most recently, COVIDSecure™. Dennis has been president of the Alaska Academy of Physician Assistants and was active in educating Physician Assistants and advancing mid level healthcare in the state until this year, when the pandemic affected the state and his focus changed dramatically. He performed the first COVID test for our clinics on March 4, 2020. Since that time, Capstone Clinics have completed 112,000 COVID tests throughout Alaska. He has led the establishment of COVID testing mobile units in Wasilla and Palmer, and also Capstone testing stations in all 11 major airports in Alaska - starting at Ted Stevens International in Anchorage - and in Dillingham for all Bristol Bay commercial fishermen. Dennis’ goal during the pandemic has been, and continues to be, pretty simple: Take care of patients and staff. Said of Dennis Spencer: “He has been an invaluable asset to the State’s Department of Health & Social Services and many businesses as an advisor and vendor offering testing, result-communications and health care services. He has worked tirelessly over the last 8-plus months to be on the leading edge with COVIDrelated healthcare delivery and testing.”



Dr. Greg Sternquist Alaska Health Improvement Center Said of Dr. Greg Sternquist, “He goes above and beyond to make the experience enjoyable for everyone (through) ongoing care and education for so many, with an amazing attitude and energy for each and every patient.”

Alan Swenson Orthopedic Physicians Alaska Said of Alan Swenson: “I have been a patient of Dr. Swenson’s for a painful and debilitating hand and wrist injury. Under Dr. Swenson’s care, I have made a complete recovery. He brings a high level of competence such that we can have local care that is comparable to the best in the nation.”

Julie Taylor Alaska Regional Hospital Julie Taylor is an outstanding leader as CEO of Alaska Regional Hospital, guiding the efforts of more than 1,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 550. Her knowledge of the healthcare industry was developed through a wide range of leadership positions, including director of case management and admissions, interim vice president of human resources, associate chief nursing officer and eventually chief operating officer and chief executive officer. As a registered nurse, Julie’s hands-on knowledge of the effects of COVID-19 and the ways to combat its spread is wideranging and she is compassionate about helping Alaskans through the crisis. Said of Julie Taylor, “Clearly well-respected and loved by all those working in her organization, Taylor places the focus on people, on families, and on outcomes that demonstrate the highest level of care for patients and those who care about them.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, December 6, 2020


Ruth Townsend Alaska Regional Hospital Ruth Townsend moved to Anchorage, in 1997, to develop a Cardiac Rehabilitation program and the Health Management Center at Alaska Regional Hospital. She developed and directed the Health Management Center, which consisted of Cardiac and Pulmonary rehabilitation, Diabetes Education and Nutrition Consultations initially and expanded to include Max VO2 Testing, Senior Fitness Program, Risk Reduction Fitness Program, Employee Health Promotion – HealthWorks program and in later years, an Oncology Rehabilitation Program. Later, an opportunity presented itself to promote the H2U (Health 2 You) Wellness program to companies throughout the Anchorage area and then to focus primarily on Community Education and Wellness, thus Ruth’s role as Director of Health and Well-being solutions. She has provided wellness resources to ARH employees, including coordinating the Healthy Wage Weight loss program and other health screening opportunities for staff as well. Currently, Ruth develops education materials and presentations, presents and coordinates speakers for various corporations and groups throughout the Anchorage bowl. Said of Ruth Townsend: “In her current role as the Director of Health & Well-being Solutions, Ruth is an active and integral part of the connection between the hospital and the community. Through her leadership, people learn more about how to live healthier lifestyles, how they can heal faster and stronger after a tragic health incident, and build a community by meeting others who have similar health struggles.”

Tracey Weise Full Spectrum Health Tracey Wiese is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner certified in both Family Practice and Psychiatric Mental Health. They have been working with at risk youth and families for over a decade in the Anchorage area. Tracey provides a wide variety of services and expertise. They provide trauma informed psychotropic medication management and other mental health supportive services. In addition, they provide medical services related to gender/sexuality affirming healthcare. Tracey consults with and provides education and services to various organizations in the Anchorage area regarding integrating trauma informed, evidenced based, sensitive approaches to at risk populations, LGBTQ2IA+ sensitivity and competency and a variety of other topics. They believe strongly in healthcare being an intersectional, healing centered, trauma informed, evidence based approach with the patient at the center of care. Said of Tracey Weise, “(They) provide wonderful, accepting care for The LGBT community.”



Kristin and Seth Wood Snow Blossom Acupuncture, LLC Wellness & Float Center Our business was established in March of 2010. We have grown over the years, but our focus is still committed in helping to bring our Community quality & individualized healthcare. We have set up a team of healthcare providers that fall in line with that vision. We offer Acupuncture & East Asian Medicine, Float Therapy, Chiropractic Care, Massage Therapy, Self-Care classes & an Infrared Sauna. We look forward to working with you soon. Said of Kristin and Seth Wood: “This team has provided outstanding care throughout the COVID era and has offered community clinics and events to help with the anxiety and stress experienced by members of our community. At the same time, they have endeavored to protect their clinic staff and to make certain their patients were safe, too.”

Ken Wynne Dimond Family Dental Center Ken Wynne has practiced dentistry in the Anchorage area for more than 20 years. He regularly completes continuing education to stay at the forefront of the dental field. To date, he has completed 850 units of continuing education in his career, including an oral surgery internship at Edwards Flight School in California. Throughout his time as a dentist in Anchorage, he has reached out and provided free dental care to those in need with serious dental problems numerous times, receiving recognition from the Alaska Legislature and Senator Frank Murkowski for his efforts. Said of Ken Wynne: “In December 1986, Dr. Wynne opened his dental office to free dental care for the entire city of Anchorage to those in need with serious dental problems. Dr. Wynne and staff saw 97 patients from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. At that time thousands lost their jobs or left Alaska. In 2012 Dr. Wynne saw Vietnam Veterans for free treatment at Christmas, as he is a Vietnam Era Air Force veteran.”

Anchorage Daily News | Sunday, December 6, 2020


we will always bank on alaskans. We’re proud to recognize outstanding achievement in business. At Northrim, we never lose focus on serving the needs of Alaska and our neighbors who live here. We look beyond the numbers and seize opportunities to support our state, whether that be through employing Alaskans or delivering customized solutions to help finance the businesses that power the Last Frontier. We are forever proud to be Alaskan.


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