Second Annual Alaska Walk & Bike Conference ~ VIRTUAL EVENT!

Walk.Bike.Roll.: Creating an equitable transportation system for all

June 9 – 12, 2020 ~ AGENDA

(Click blue text on main event link, by dates, for speaker bios)


Tuesday, June 9 – Walking to Connect

9:45-10:00 AM             Connect to Zoom

10:00-10:10 AM           Welcome & Introduce Ana Lucaci & Nicole Huguenin — Doug Osborne

10:10-10:55 AM           Engaging Communities Through Walking — Ana Lucaci, MPH (Presentation slides)

Walk2Connect is an innovative, socially-focused cooperative that envisions strong, resilient, and healthy communities that are rooted in connection to others, the places they call their own, and to themselves. Through connection-focused walking, communities become resilient voices that advance the importance of their own health, connection to their own community, walkable community design, and their unique pedestrian/mobility experience that eventually leads to increased physical activity.

10:55-11:40 AM           Kodiak Walks Story (AK example) — Nicole Huguenin (Presentation slides)

Learn more about how Walk2Connect’s Kodiak Walks chapter started, program events throughout the years, and local stories of increased physical activity and connection.

11:40-11:50 AM            Chat Room ‘Engaging Communities’ & ‘Kodiak Walks’ — Doug Osborne

Introduce Sarana Schell  — Doug Osborne

11:50 AM-12:05 PM           AARP Community Challenge Grants – Make Positive Ripples!Sarana Schell, MA (Presentation slides)

Apply to be a spark for physical activity in your community! AARP offers grants in several categories to promote livable communities – namely, to make our communities more conducive to getting around by person-power for fun, necessity and profit (i.e., biking to work, walking to the grocery store, playing Frisbee golf). How organizations propose making personal mobility safer and more accessible can range from small-scale and low-tech to larger scale and high-tech (simple trail signage to data-mapping). This talk will give examples of past grant projects, large and small, in communities around the state and encourage you to dream up ways AARP could help you spark positive change in your community.

12:05-12:15 PM           Wrap up Day 1 — Review Today, Preview Tomorrow, Chat Room — Doug Osborne

Wednesday, June 10 – Walking is Good Medicine

9:45-10:00 AM             Connect to Zoom

10:00-10:10 AM           Welcome & Introduce Dr. Bruhl & Bonita Banks — Doug Osborne

10:10-10:55 AM           COVID-19 and High Blood Pressure: preventing and treating high blood pressure through activity — Elliot Bruhl, MD (Presentation slides)

This session will cover important topics such as; Preventing and Treating High Blood Pressure through Activity, Pulmonary Hypertension and the risk of COVID-19 (Why you might be at a higher risk), The benefits of your Primary Care Provider and Pulmonary Hypertension, COVID-19 and its effects on the heart, Steps you can take to protect your health, and, Benefits of Regular exercise on cardiovascular risk factors.

10:55-11:40 AM           Getting the Community of Homer Walking (AK example)Bonita Banks, BSN, RN (Presentation slides)

We live in a state with unparalleled outdoor beauty and a plethora of opportunities to recreate, and yet data from Healthy Alaskans 2020 shows nearly 2/3 of adult Alaskan meet the criteria for overweight or obesity, and just over half of adult Alaskans report regularly completing 150 minutes or more of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week. The top two causes of death are consistently heart disease and cancer. Harvard Medical School tells us walking may be one of the most powerful “medicines” available to increase physical activity and lower the risks for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more. “Getting a Community Walking” tells the story of how the community of Homer embraces a regular walking program and engages 10% of the community in a month-long physical activity challenge.

11:40-11:50 AM           Chat Room ‘COVID-19 and Blood Pressure’ &  ‘Community of Homer’  — Doug Osborne

Introduce Lee Hart — Doug Osborne

11:50 AM-12:10 PM                 Connecting Communities, Overcoming Barriers — Lee Hart (Presentation slides, Lee went without slides for most of her presentation)

Join this highly interactive session where real-time polls, surveys and guided discussion will help us discover ways to mitigate real and perceived barriers to achieve shared goals. This is less of a lecture and more of a think tank where participants will help co-create new possibilities to encourage physical activity through active transportation in Alaska. Whether you walk, pedal, or roll, please join this discussion!

12:10-12:15 PM                 Wrap up Day 2 — Review Today, Preview Tomorrow, Chat Room — Doug Osborne

Thursday, June 11 – Parks and Health

9:45-10:00 AM             Connect to Zoom

10:00-10:10 AM           Welcome & Introduce Dr. Frederick Foote — Doug Osborne

10:10-11:00 AM          The Green Road Project: Healing Wounded Warriors via Nature — Dr. Frederick Foote, MD (Presentation slides)

From 2010-2017, a public-private partnership developed the Green Road Project, the nation’s wild-type healing garden, at the Naval Support Activity/ Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda MD ( This talk will describe the Green Road and its significance for healing via nature, particularly in Veteran populations

11:00-11:10 AM               Chat Room ‘Green Road Project’  — Doug Osborne

Introduce Maeve Nevins-Lavtar — Doug Osborne

11:10 AM-12:00 PM           Healing Parks in Outdoor Spaces (AK example) — Maeve Nevins-Lavtar, BS (Presentation slides)

Please join our speaker, Maeve Nevins-Lavtar, as she takes us on a journey designed to increase park use and physical activity in neighborhoods through the planning, design and construction of a variety of unique “Healing Parks and Outdoor Spaces” in Alaska. She’ll explore projects from her last eight years of public service with the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) Parks Department, including a case study of Anchorage’s Folker Park, which was a highlighted project, along with other MOA park projects, as a recipient of the 2020 Alaska Community Service Award for Health. You’ll gain insight into successful design strategies that could be employed immediately to safely increase physical activity as the Covid-19 pandemic encourages more people to utilize neighborhood parks, trails and public lands.

12:00-12:15 PM           Wrap up Day 3 — Review Today, Preview Tomorrow, Chat Room — Doug Osborne

Friday, June 12 – Biking to Health

9:45-10:00 AM             Connect to Zoom

10:00-10:10 AM          Welcome & Intro Ken — Doug Osborne

10:10-10:35 AM           Safer Biking for Better Health — Ken McLeod, JD (Presentation slides)

Bicycling is incredibly healthy, one of the best ways to get regular physical activity and  improve mental health. Places where more people bike have lower rates of traffic deaths and less pollution. The many known health benefits of bicycling can be enjoyed with successfully designed  infrastructure that reduces conflict with motorists. This presentation will discuss why the Center for Disease Control and Prevention prioritized biking (and walking) through its Active People, Healthy Nation initiative and how communities are taking action to help people be more physically active by biking and walking. Whether responding to COVID-19, or just wanting to improve the health of their communities, policymakers throughout the United States are taking action to promote biking and this talk will highlight those actions.

10:35-10:40 AM           Chat Room ‘Safer Bike’  – Doug Osborne

Introduce Dr. Kristjansson — Doug Osborne

10:40-11:30 AM           Substance Use Prevention for Adolescents:  The Icelandic Model  — Alfgeir Kristjansson, PhD (Presentation slides)

Dr. Kristjansson is an Associate Professor of Public Health at West Virginia University and a Senior Researcher at the Icelandic Center for Social Research and Analysis at Reykjavik University. He earned his PhD in Social Medicine from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden in 2010, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University in New York City between 2010-2012. The central focus of his work is on the health, behavioral development and well-being of children and youth with particular attention to substance use prevention and community health promotion. During the last 15 years dr. Kristjansson has acquired support for his research from the European Research Council, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers in scholarly journals within public health, health education, preventive medicine and multidisciplinary adolescent journals.

In his talk, Dr. Kristjansson will be focusing on the design, implementation and evaluation of the Icelandic Prevention Model, designed to prevent youth substance use through early engagement.

11:30-11:40 AM                 Chat Room ‘Substance Use Prevention for Adolescents’ — Doug Osborne

Introduce Charlie Lowell and Scott Menzies

11:40 AM-12:05 PM           Susitna Bicycle Institute- Kids These Days! Engaging Youths with Bikes is a Tool to Help Prevent Youth Substance Use — Charlie Lowell & Scott Menzies (Presentation slides)

The Susitna Bicycle Institute (SBI) is a non-profit bicycle mechanic education center providing structured activities through bicycle mechanic education to Alaska’s Youth in the effort to reduce youth substance use.  Come hear how SBI encourages relationships between local organizations to support bike mechanic school and education for youth. We collaborate with individuals, organizations, and communities  to create opportunities to engage youth in organized recreational and extracurricular activities across Alaska.  By making bike safety and repair classes widely available to youth in remote communities, we hope to create opportunities for creative problem solving, environmental mindfulness, and community engagement to help reduce youth substance use in your community too. Listen to how we demonstrate that being a bicycle mechanic is a viable and respectable career, and can teach students skills they need to pursue a career in bikes or in other fields in and out of Alaska. We have been working for the past two years to coordinate and connect public and private interests to establish a statewide network of community bike shops.

12:05-12:15 PM           Closing Conference Remarks, Chat Room — Doug Osborne