Growing Our Own




In Alaska, we are focusing on “growing our own” future health care      providers.  Students are being trained right where we need them most—Alaska.


Kate Cessnun

Clinical Dietician

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center


Locally raised  —  providing care for her hometown of Ketchikan.  Recently named one of Alaska’s “Top Forty Under 40”


Kate shadowed a mid-wife while still in high school in Ketchikan then studied biology, English and Women’s Studies in Fairbanks.  Through UAF she job shadowed at a health clinic in Ghana, working with community health nurses.  Kate returned for a Masters program at Johns Hopkins University with a strong background in public health, saying “I’ve always been interested in holistic health care.  Prevention is more important than treatment.”


She says ‘Nutrition is often overlooked but highly important….It is a great time to go into nutrition.  We are starting to realize it is important.  There are going to be more and more opportunities in the future.”


Kate says at each out-patient visit, she has “gotten to do a lot of prevention–pre-diabetes, weight loss, managing symptoms, preventing complications in the future.”  Kate’s educational outreach to the community has been extensive including playing an instrumental role in starting Ketchikan’s Farmers’ Market.