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Congress on Circumpolar Health Comes Full Circle

On August 5–10, 2012, researchers, public health professionals, health care providers, governmental representatives, and community leaders will have a unique opportunity to meet and discuss issues relevant to the health of Arctic peoples.

February 2, 2012

On August 5–10, 2012, researchers, public health professionals, health care providers, governmental representatives, and community leaders will have a unique opportunity to meet and discuss issues relevant to the health of Arctic peoples.

During this meeting, participants in the 15th International Congress on Circumpolar Health (ICCH), held every three years, will convene in Fairbanks, Alaska to share research and community strategies for regional health issues. Residents from Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the US are expected to attend.

"As the logo suggests, circumpolar health is coming full circle, with the return of this international meeting to Fairbanks," said Rhonda Johnson, American Society for Circumpolar Health Board Member and member of the ICCH15 Steering Committee.

"The very first Circumpolar Health Congress was held in Fairbanks in 1967, and in the intervening 45 years, our understanding of shared health concerns has substantially improved, as have the living conditions and health status of northern residents," said Johnson. "The American Society of Circumpolar Health (ASCH) looks forward to hosting this influential conference, welcoming 600–800 participants, and with the help of many partners, providing updates and insights gained from research, service, and community leadership and engagement."

As discussed in a previous article published in Northwest Public Health, both long-standing and emerging issues threaten public health in the Arctic. In these frequently isolated and remote communities, occupational and transportation-related injury prevention and food accessibility, safety and security were and continue to be challenges. Along with these well-known concerns, erosion of village infrastructure due to climate change and exposure to toxic substances from resource extraction create additional threats.

Act soon to be a part of this unique opportunity. Registration is now open; abstracts for presenters are due February 10, 2012.

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