2020 NASW-AK Elections

Each year, our membership votes on a group of individuals to serve as the programmatic volunteer leadership of the state chapter.

Voting opened June 1; the deadline to vote is June 23, 2020.

Meet the 2020 Candidates

Your vote matters. Don't lose it.

Committee Meetings

Please contact your regional representative for committee volunteer opportunities and more information.

National Committees

Interested in serving in a national leadership position? Review the list of national committees to determine where your knowledge, skill sets and competencies may be best suited, then submit a nomination form. 
Learn about national committees

Ethics in Rural Practice: There Isn't Always an Exact Answer (Ethics CE)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Credit(s): 3 CEU
Course Number: AK-3
Duration: 3 hours
Date: TBD - 1:30 - 4:30 pm (GMT-09:00 / Alaska)
Delivery Method: Online

Register for "Ethics in Rural Practice"

Social work and mental health practice in isolated and remote areas, especially in Alaska, can be challenging and present ethical dilemmas usually more easily avoided in urban settings. This presentation will cover issues such as unavoidable dual relationships, confidentiality issues, issues related to social media, and how to feel comfortable making decisions where no clear right answer exists. This is a presentation that is also meant to facilitate group discussion regarding these topics.


  • J.T. Bolin, LCSW is a mental health clinician in Fairbanks, AK. Most recently, he spent the past five years working as mental health clinician and clinical director in Dillingham, AK where he provided community mental health and psychotherapy services to children, families, and adults in remote villages and towns across the Bristol Bay region. Previously, he provided community mental health and family therapy services to inner-city youth and their families in St. Louis, MO. He is presently the Vice President of the NASW Alaska Chapter and the chairman of the Ethics Committee. He specializes in child and family therapy, personality disorders, chronically suicidal and destructive behaviors, and difficult to engage individuals as well as extensive experience collaborating with child protective workers and family courts. 
  • Nina Corbett LCSW was raised in Alaska and is a tribal member of Curyung in Bristol Bay. She was originally introduced to NASW during graduate school. She has worked as a clinician providing consultation, therapy and supervision in both an agency setting and private practice.  Nina is the regional supervisor for the Division of Juvenile Justice in Dillingham, and the current President of the Alaska Chapter of NASW. She is no the Ethics committee with JT Bolin. She has previous background as a mental health therapist, clinical supervisor and private practitioner. She loves to fish, garden, pick berries, and spend time with family in her free time.
  • Frank Ponziano LPCS, MAC, CDCS is an Early Interventions Clinical Supervisor in Fairbanks Alaska and honored to serve the TCC communities with compassion and love. My focus is access to care, utilization and clinical supervision to a team of varying positions, which include intake coordinator, clinical associate, SUD counselor, case managers and clinicians. I have training with addictions, grief and loss, and emotional regulation; in which I practice through a relational framework based on empathy and connection. I have experience providing individual, group, family and community-based interventions in both urban and rural communities such as Chicago IL, Fairbanks and Barrow AK. Lastly, I travel, as needed, throughout the interior, providing supervision and interventions face-to-face and virtually. 

Social Workers Cannot Be Silent: Statement & Call to Action Against Racism & Race-Based Violence 

Rally 2020

“Do your laws against larceny and murder prevent those crimes? No law will eliminate crimes, but at least you as legislators can assert to the world that you recognize the evil of the present situation and speak your intent to help us overcome discrimination.” -Elizabeth Peratrovich - 1945

Social justice is one of the most important values of the social work profession. Our code of ethics states:

Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers' social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.

As social workers, it is essential to our practice to recognize injustice and stand against it. Alaska is no stranger to social injustices. There is a long history of colonization that has led to suffering for many people throughout our state. We are not shocked by the murder of George Floyd or the many, many people who were murdered before him. We are devastated that year after year our calls to end discrimination and violations of human rights go unanswered. We are ready to see change.

The NASW-Alaska Chapter condemns racism and xenophobia. We are vehemently against the continued murder of unarmed black and brown individuals as a result of ignored police misconduct. We ask that you take action to fight this injustice. Sign a petition, protest, make a donation, or educate yourself on systemic racism in our state and country. Advocate and encourage improved and additional training in your local law enforcement agencies. We are at an impasse and now is the time to take a stand. We need your voice. 

In social work solidarity,

The Staff and Board of Directors of NASW-AK

Photo by NASW-AK member Leigh Bolin, June, 2020 Protest in Fairbanks, Alaska

For social workers committed to joining us in this fight, the following resources can help:

Resources and Training

Taking Action

Becoming Educated

Local Resources

  • The Alaska Native Heritage Center offers cultural awareness classes to increase awareness and knowledge of cultural diversity in Alaska.  Call (907) 330-8000 or email caw@alaskanative.net to learn more.
  • The Alaska Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America will host a session on communication insights with Celeste Hodge Growden, Alaska Black Caucus - ABC president and Dr. Jocasta Olp, diversity lead for the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce on June 11 at 3:00 p.m. Look for more information on their Facebook page.
  • Add to your reading list, viewing queue, and podcast roster by seeking thought leaders on indigenous rights and antiracism like Willie Hensley, Ibram Kendi, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Rachel Cargill.  The Anchorage Public Library and the Alaska State Library have selections from these and other authors that can be checked out as e-books now (while the libraries are still closed to the public). Read about Elizabeth Peratrovich, the Tlingit woman who led the fight for the Alaska Equal Rights Act, in Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich
  • Support Bridge Builders of Anchorage, an organization dedicated to the promotion and celebration of harmony and respect among all cultures in order to make Anchorage, Alaska the first city without prejudice.  (www.bridgebuildersak.org)

Thank you to NASW Massachusetts for their resources.

Alaska’s SHARP Program announces that PUBLIC COMMENT is now open for proposed regulation re: SHARP-1 administrative fee

Know that Alaska’s SHARP Program has announced that the public comment period is open for proposed SHARP-1 regulations. (This is NOT the same regulation as that now-proposed for SHARP-3)


Sharp A/Sharp B/Sharp C/Sharp D

You may provide oral comments relevant to the proposed action via telephone at the hearing to be held on June 22, 2020, starting at 10 am, by calling 1-888-392-4560, and using the participant access code number 5818485#.

Alaska’s SHARP Program announces that PUBLIC COMMENT is now open for proposed regulation re: SHARP-1 administrative fee

The Alaska Department of Health & Social Services proposes to adopt regulation changes in Title 7 of the Alaska Administrative Code, dealing with the Alaska SHARP-1 State Health Care Practitioner Loan Repayment Program, including the following:  7 AAC 80.030. Fees for Department Services. Fee schedule and procedures is proposed to be changed as follows:  Adopt regulations to administer the program, including an administrative fee for each contract and fiscal services. The information provided below is part of the process to notify the public that the PUBLIC COMMENT period for that proposed regulation is now open.


The Alaska Department of Health & Social Services proposes to adopt regulations entitled 7 AAC 80.030. Fees for Department Services. Fee schedule and procedures.  The intent of the proposed regulations change follows: Adopt regulations to administer the program, including an administrative fee for each contract and fiscal agent services.

Alaska’s SHARP program is a public-private partnership. The purpose of SHARP is to increase access to health care services for all Alaskans by improving recruitment, retention and distribution of health care professionals. The program’s SHARP-1 component provides financial support-for-service through education loan repayment to primary health care clinicians to serve all Alaskans, especially the underserved.  SHARP-1 has existed since 2009, partially based on Alaska’s receipt of competitive federal grants from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.  HRSA does provide partial funding for the clinicians, however it does not provide any administrative funds for operation of the program.  The intent of the proposed 7 AAC 80.030 regulation is to address this operations cost.


You may comment on the proposed regulation changes, including the potential costs to private persons of complying with the proposed changes, by submitting written comments to the State of Alaska, Department of Health & Social Services, Division of Public Health, Section of Rural & Community Health Systems, SHARP Program, Attn: Robert Sewell, P.O. Box 110616, Juneau, AK 99811-0616. Additionally, the Department of Health & Social Services will accept comments by facsimile at (907) 465-4101 and by electronic mail at sharp.inquiry@alaska.gov . The comments must be received not later than 5 p.m. on July 6, 2020.


You may provide oral comments relevant to the proposed action via telephone at the hearing to be held on June 22, 2020, by calling 1-888-392-4560, and using the participant access code number 5818485#. Please note that in-person attendance will not be permitted at the hearing site because of the public health and safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Please prepare to share your oral comments by telephone only. If you call to provide oral testimony, you should be on the line before the hearing begins at 10 a.m. The Department of Health & Social Services will give priority to those who call in beforehand. The Department of Health & Social Services may, before the hearing begins, limit the time allotted for each person providing oral testimony. The time limit may be necessary to conclude the hearing in the time provided.

You may submit written questions relevant to the proposed action to Robert Sewell by e-mail at sharp.inquiry@alaska.gov or mail at State of Alaska, Department of Health & Social Services, Division of Public Health, Section of Rural & Community Health Systems, P.O. Box 110616, Juneau, AK 99811-0616. The questions must be received at least 10 days before the end of the public comment period. The Department of Health & Social Services will aggregate its response to substantially similar questions and make the questions and responses available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System and at ttp://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/healthplanning/pages/sharp/default.aspx.


If you are a person with a disability who needs a special accommodation in order to participate in this process, please contact Robert Sewell by electronic mail at robert.sewell@alaska.gov or phone at (907) 465-4065 not later than June any necessary accommodations can be provided.


A copy of the proposed regulation changes is available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System and by contacting Robert Sewell at sharp.inquiry@alaska.gov or by phone at (907) 465-4065.

A copy of material proposed for adoption by reference is available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System web link at: https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=198153

 A copy of material proposed for adoption by reference may be viewed at the agency's office at the Department of Health & Social Services, Division of Public Health, 350 Main Street, Suite 508, Juneau, AK 99801.

 After the public comment period ends, the Department of Health & Social Services will either adopt the proposed regulation changes or other provisions dealing with the same subject, without further notice, or decide to take no action. The language of the final regulation may be different from that of the proposed regulation. You should comment during the time allowed if your interests could be affected.

The Power of Social Work

members make change possible

Preserving rights.

As dedicated advocates for children’s rights, civil rights, disability rights, lesbian and gay rights, crime victims’ rights, labor rights, human rights, patients’ rights, women’s rights and many others, social workers continue to lead efforts that enhance human well-being. We shape programs and policies that strengthen individual lives and improve the society in which we live.

Strengthening voices.

Social workers also work to empower those who are frequently unheard. We open doors of access and opportunity for everyone, particularly those in greatest need. Whether we work in direct practice, administration, education and research, or policy development, professional social workers are trained to make an impact. Every day, the quality of life for millions of people is improved as they learn to use their own personal power, to build brighter futures for themselves and their families.

Executive Director:

Tonie Protzman, MS 

Tonie ProtzmanTonie Protzman, whose Native name, Yethnhahnilats, means “makes her life strong,” is an enrolled descendant in the Turtle Clan of the Oneida Tribe in Oneida, WI. Tonie grew up and remains in Anchorage, Alaska with her Inupiaq Eskimo daughter, Paisley.

Protzman holds a Master of Science (MS) degree in Clinical Psychology (2012) and a bachelor’s degree in Justice and Psychology (2006) both from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She was accepted to a dual PhD in Clinical and Community Psychology with rural and indigenous emphasis, where she has completed all the classes, just short internship and dissertation.  After graduating with her MS, Protzman started her own consulting business, Protzman Consulting, where she has held contracts for both public and private sectors of behavioral health. She currently holds a contract with Cornerstone Recovery, as the Program Administrator and in July 2019, she accepted the Executive Director position with the National Association of Social Workers, Alaska Chapter.

Prior to NASW, Protzman was the Executive Director for the Alaska Psychological Association (AK-PA) for 9 years. In addition to serving in the role of ED with AK-PA, Protzman served in the capacity of the state and federal lobbyist for the Association where she developed long-standing relationships with members of the legislature. 

Tonie currently volunteers with the Women’s Power League of Alaska where she mentors young professionals new to the behavioral health field. She is passionate about disseminating information and educating Alaska communities about access to behavioral health services, while reducing the stigmatism of receiving these services. Tonie is an amazingly strong American Native woman who is passionate about Alaska’s behavioral health needs, access to care and the Alaska Native cultures. She has solid business expertise in executive management and fundraising skills, while networked throughout the State of Alaska and globally around the world.

Recruitment flyer 2020

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Welcome to NASW's Alaska ChapterWe're committed to promoting the social work profession, advancing social work practice, shaping public policy, advocating to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities in Alaska while promoting social justice.Learn more about us >>/About\Images\ChaptersHomepageBannerImages\naswak.socialworkers.org\alaska-homepage-1400x300.jpgmountains, pine trees in Alaska wildernessnaswak.socialworkers.org