Did you know that a University of Alaska Anchorage College of Health alum is now the president and CEO of Alaska Family Services, one of the leading social services organizations for Alaskan families in the Greater Anchorage area and Mat-Su region?

Desiré Shepler received her Master of Public Health from UAA in 2010 and has gone on to lead multiple innovative organizations that deliver essential social services to Alaskans — more important than ever during the pandemic.

Before joining Alaska Family Services –– which provides 23 different programs dedicated to helping families in the areas of behavioral health, domestic violence, nutrition and family support –– Shepler led Raising Our Children with Kindness, a collaborative focused on family services and child welfare. In recognition of her work serving Alaskan families, Shepler was included in Alaska Journal of Commerce’s Top 40 Under 40 list in 2018.

Across the university system, the number of health-related degrees has grown from 380 in 2000 to more than 1,000 in 2020. As the lead health campus for the system, the UAA College of Health collaborates with UAF and UAS to offer degree programs across the state including nursing, public health, mental health, and many others. Graduates are joining the Alaska health care workforce in the fight against COVID-19.

Desiré Shepler