PUBLISHED: 4:27 PM on Wednesday, August 8, 2007
SEARHC to offer StrongWomen instructor course
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska and SEARHC Injury Prevention programs are offering a StrongWomen instructor course on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 6-7, at the SEARHC Sitka campus.

The StrongWomen instructor course combines classroom and hands-on instruction, as students learn how to teach the national StrongWomen course curriculum. While designed for women, the StrongWomen course can be adapted for coed instruction. It is a gentle strength-training program, designed specifically for adults of all ages (including elders). The StrongWomen course has a host of benefits, restoring balance and reducing falls, strengthening bones, improving glucose control, and helping in weight management.

Potential instructors from outlying communities in Southeast Alaska are encouraged to apply, and preference will be given to teaching teams. Full scholarships are available that include tuition, travel and lodging. Available class space is competitive, and all potential instructors are asked to submit a scholarship application regardless of their travel assistance needs. Scholarship applications are due by Wednesday, Aug. 15, and applicants will be notified by Friday, Aug. 17.

The instructor course is open to "any community member committed to elder falls prevention, the reduction of chronic disease, improved mental health, and/or increased muscular strength through the use of weight and gentle strength training," said Gretchen Clarke, community coordinator for the Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program. Potential instructors include "those working in elder services, senior housing, physical therapy, places of worship, tribal or community health and wellness, or involved in physical education," Clarke said, and a "background in exercise programs is strongly advised, and a commitment to provide on-going courses is required."

Each StrongWomen course lasts 12 weeks and meets two times a week, which is why having a teaching partner is encouraged. To obtain an application, contact Gretchen Clarke at 966-8629 or by e-mail at, or contact SEARHC Community Injury Prevention Coordinator Amiee LeBlanc-Gloe at 966-8866 or For more information about the national StrongWomen program, go to