Elaine Abraham, American Tlingit elder and nurse, Died at 86

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Elaine Elizabeth Abraham was born on June 19, 1929, and died on May 18, 2016.

She was a Tlingit elder and registered nurse.

Elaine Abraham contributed to improving health care delivery in rural Alaska.

Elaine’s active professionally in the field of education, Elaine Elizabeth Abraham assisted with the creation of the Alaska Native Language Center, and, as a statewide administrator at the University of Alaska, in 1976, led the establishment of community colleges in underserved parts of the state.

Elaine Abraham completed her nursing studies at the Sage Memorial School of Nursing, in Granado, Arizona, graduating at the top of her class, in 1952, and went on to work for two years as a nurse on Navajo reservations in Arizona.

Elaine Abraham then returned to Alaska, and served in hospitals in Juneau, Sitka (at the Mount Edgecumbe School), and Bethel, at a time when diphtheria and tuberculosis were predominant health threats in those areas.

Elaine Abraham played a leading role in the opening of the Alaska Native Health Services Hospital in Anchorage in 1954.

In the 60’s, she worked together with Dr. James Justice at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, in Sitka, in organizing the Southeast Health Aide Program, to meet the healthcare needs of Alaskan Natives living in remote villages; that program became the model for the statewide Alaska Native Health Aide Program.

Elaine Abraham passed away at 86 yrs old.

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