January 17th – 19th, 2023(via video technology)
Check with your primary site supervisor for your specific start date and information about orientation.
The Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC) in the Bering Strait Region of remote northwest Alaska operates the Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome. The Bering Strait Region encompasses a vast pristine 44,000 square-mile area extending to the Russian border in the Bering Sea. Nome is the central community of the Bering Strait Region with 4,000 residents. NSHC operates clinics in 15 outlying Alaska Native villages on the coast, including the islands of St. Lawrence and Little Diomede in the Bering Sea. About 81 percent of the Bering Strait Region’s 10,900 people are Alaska Natives, composed of Siberian-Yupik, Central Yupik and Inupiat. The Behavioral Health Services (BHS) program of NSHC includes a staff of 54 in Nome coupled with its village-based counseling programs in the outlying Native villages.
The Behavioral Health Services program provides diverse mental health services to adult, children and adolescents, including inpatient and outpatient programs, within a culturally-sensitive milieu. Frequently treated diagnoses included depression, anxiety, PTSD, Personality and developmental disorders and FASD.
Each intern will have an individualized learning plan developed by the intern and his/her primary supervisor. Quarterly reviews will be conducted to insure that learning plan goals are being met. Doctoral psychology interns are expected to become familiar and comfortable with state regulations governing the execution of routine mental health and substance abuse assessments. Interns will be exposed to a variety of treatment modalities (i.e., individual, group) that promote the well-being of individuals suffering from mental health and/or substance abuse problems. Further, interns will become familiar with administering a variety of psychological assessments in a culturally-sensitive manner dealing with diverse referral issues. Another exciting aspect of NSHC’s internship is that all interns will be exposed to village travel and working with village-based counselors in the context of a Native community. This will ultimately prepare them for working in the mental health and substance abuse field in rural Alaska. Finally, each intern is expected to become familiar with the integrated care model at the primary care clinic with possibilities for experience with acute care and emergency department.
Interns are full-time employees of the Norton Sound Health Corporation and are expected to work 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday during business hours (8-5). Currently there are four 3-month rotations: Primary care and urgent care, substance use disorders (SUDs) groups, psychological testing, and assessment.
Once per month, interns will travel to an outlying Native village in the Bering Strait Region for 1-2 nights where they will work with a village-based counselor in the context of a Native community. Monthly tele-med trainings will also be provided through the consortium.
NSHC is a drug and tobacco-free site. Interns who match with this site will be required to present for drug screening and employee health appointment prior to being employed with NSHC. All Interns must pass a drug screen as NSHC does not employ individuals who use drugs. We do not screen for tobacco, but these products must be used off-site.
Prior to beginning postdoctoral internship, NSHC conducts employment verification, criminal background, and fingerprint checks for all positions. NSHC is covered by the Indian Child Protection Act (ICPA) and applicants with criminal convictions may be disqualified from positions which involve regular contact with or control over children. If you have questions regarding ICPA, please contact the Human Resources Department for a list of covered positions and disqualifying crimes. The history of a felony or misdemeanor may also result in a fail in this review process and prevent the fellow from working at NSHC. See State of Alaska Barrier Crime Matrix for a full listing of barrier crimes (https://www.akcertification.org/wp-content/uploads/documents/Barrier-Crime-Matrix.pdf).
An important asset to be aware of is that the Bering Strait Region historically carries one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. Crises are common and interns must be able to address different issues as they arise. Supervisors, however, will ensure that exposure to crises is conducted in a manner that facilitates a productive learning experience.
Interns will also need to be willing and prepared to travel to remote Alaska Native villages at least one time per month on small bush planes as well as sleeping in lodging that may consist of the clinic, school, or itinerant housing.
Important COVID-19 Notice: As of 5/17/21 NSHC provided noticed that the COVID-19 Vaccine will be required for all NEW and EXISTING employees, contractors, volunteers, students, and board members, effective as of 6/14/21. Medical exemptions may be considered, please contact the Primary Site Supervisor for further information.
AK-PIC Faculty: Lindsey Hickey, Ph.D. – firstname.lastname@example.org
Norton Sound Health Corporation
P.O. Box 966
Nome, AK 99762