The Alaska Diabetes Strategic Plan establishes a unified course of action to reduce the burden (i.e., premature mortality, morbidity, and economic costs) of this disease among the 18,700 adult Alaskans aleady diagnosed with diabetes. The plan also adresses the prevention of diabetes in the general population through education, policy and lifestyle modifications.
In largely rural states, such as Alaska, there have been historic difficulties in recruiting and retaining an effective behavioral health workforce. The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health described in detail the significant problems facing mental or behavioral health systems throughout the country. Indications are that shortages will become more severe in the next decade, and that professionals will need to have new skills to work in a more integrated behavioral health environment.