Local News

POW Health Network wins statewide award

Stacey Mank, Colleen Watson, Kara McCoy

Nurses Stacey Mank, Colleen Watson, and Kara McCoy holding the Friends of Public Health Nursing Award. (Courtesty of SEARHC)

The Prince of Wales Island Health Network was honored with a state-wide Public Health Nursing award this month. Three nurses at the Craig Public Health center received the Friend of Public Health Nursing award on behalf of the network.

Colleen Watson is a Public Health nurse on POW. She’s worked as a nurse on the island for almost 20 years.

“Our days vary from day to day,” she said. “Some days we do clinic and so we see clients, for immunizations and exams. [We] provide family planning services for teens and adults.”

And much more. Watson is a full time nurse. She’s helped out by two part-time nurses, Kara McCoy and Stacey Mank. They travel among POW communities to provide healthcare.

“It’s a challenge to get to all the communities with two nurses and meet all the needs,” Watson said.

They do have help from other members of the POW Health Network. Besides the Craig Public Health Center, there’s the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, Alicia Roberts Medical Center, Community Connections, Alaska Island Community Services and PeaceHealth Medical Group.

The POW Network was chosen for the Friend of Public Health Nursing Award, which is a statewide honor. They’ll hold that honorary title for the next two years.

“I felt very honored for the network and I realized the benefit that we see by collaborating,” Watson said. “It’s really amazing what’s happened with all the providers working together. We’ve been able to accomplish so much more and have fun at the same time.”

Watson and her fellow public health nurses will present the award to the POW Health Network Steering Committee on Tuesday.

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