Bils to be heard pic

Following a contentious annual membership meeting last month, the Mat-Su Health Foundation board of directors wants to hold “dialogue” sessions with its members, many of whom are increasingly frustrated over the organization’s support for leftist social issues rooted in critical race theory and LGBTQ activism.

The heated June 12 membership meeting was marked by a growing divide between the rank-and-file membership and the governing board of directors. At one point, a group of conservative members attempted to bring the entire meeting to a halt by calling for a vote on whether to approve the evening’s agenda. The vote was taken, and the board said a majority wanted to proceed with the meeting. They did not, however, announce the final tally.

In a July 11 notice sent to members, the MSHF addressed the vote and lack of transparency.

“We wanted to take a moment to address important matters that arose during our recent Annual Membership Meeting and to share some news regarding our commitment to open communication and inclusivity,” the statement noted. “It came to our attention that we did not announce the vote count to approve the consent agenda at the Annual Membership Meeting. The vote tally was as follows: 67 votes in favor and 49 votes against. We apologize that the numbers were not announced at the meeting. We are grateful the consent agenda was approved because if it had not been, we would have had to end the meeting without hearing presentations by guest speakers or member comments.

In order to “facilitate open dialogue,” the board will host a series of “Community Listening Sessions” in September and October.

Controversy over the consent agenda was sparked by the fact that the board of directors refused to include an agenda item that would have allowed the members to vote on whether to change the way board members are elected.

Current bylaws state that only sitting board members can select and/or replace fellow board members. The larger membership has absolutely no say in the matter. Furthermore, in order for members to get a chance to amend the organization’s bylaws, the board of directors must first approve putting the change up for a vote of the membership. In the lead up to the June 12 meeting, the board of directors adamantly refused to allow members to vote on how board members are selected.

While 25% of the members can call a special board meeting, they have no authority to set the agenda. Only board members can do so. Given these circumstances, the board enjoys immense power over the foundation and its agenda.

It’s unclear how holding a few listening sessions will address this dispute or the controversial social issues pushed by the Mat-Su Health Foundation. Nevertheless, the July 11 email to members claimed the board is “deeply committed to hearing more from our members and the wider Mat-Su community and will be seeking greater insight and depth regarding your reflections on our work.”

In order to “facilitate open dialogue,” the board will host a series of “Community Listening Sessions” in September and October.

“We genuinely value your input and believe these sessions will provide an ideal platform for members and community stakeholders to share their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions,” the board stated. “We will make every effort to ensure these sessions are inclusive, engaging, and respectful spaces for open dialogue.”

Founded to promote the health and wellbeing of Mat-Su residents, the foundation has ballooned its assets to almost a quarter of a billion dollars by capturing 35% of the annual profits from Mat-Su Regional Hospital. Much of this money is redistributed to myriad nonprofit and educational groups that align with the health foundation’s philosophy and ideology.

In addition to funding noncontroversial scholarships and community programs, the health foundation also backs critical race theory workshops for educators, funds LGBTQ advocacy events and works with hard leftist organizations in an attempt to undercut the largely conservative social environment of the Mat-Su.  

The Mat-Su Health Foundation’s official membership consists of about 360 members, comprised of Mat-Su residents, ages 18 and older who fill out a one-page form and pay a $5 annual fee. Many of these members have only just recently joined with the hope of steering the organization in a direction that reflects the values of the majority of the largely conservative Mat-Su.


— Click here to become a voting member of the Mat-Su Health Foundation.

— To contact Mat-Su Health Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Ripley, email or call (907) 373-2805

— Click here to contact other members of the Mat-Su Health Foundation administration.

— Click here to see who serves on the Mat-Su Health Foundation Board of Directors.

— Click here to apply to serve on the Mat-Su Health Foundation Board of Directors.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Mat-Su Health Foundation to hold ‘listening sessions’ amid criticism over leftist activism

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Lobo says:

    ” Listening Sessions”.. I have to admit that I am not well informed on this particular subject, but, the title ” Listening Sessions” brings back memories of the Klintons, and their fraudulent listening sessions.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    In addition to the list of things that Mat-Su Health does, do not forget that Mat-Su Health Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Ripley met with Zink and the CDC to figure out how to combat the Mat-Su Valley “vaccine hesitancy.” This organization in its present form with its present CEO is dangerous to our community.

  • Johnny says:

    Supporting and promoting leftist ideology? No thank you I don’t support fascism and they can wordsmith it as much as they want, fascism is fascism. The biggest thorn in the side is the unapproved COVID vaccine push, people who have had it quite literally dropped dead from heart failure and to this day many are still dying from its blood clotting complications. If the health foundation wants community engagement they need to focus on what they do best, fixing and healing patients not sticking their noses into everyone’s homes and businesses, back off.

  • Bill Fikes says:

    So, what I’m seeing here is a group of conservatives decided that because the MSHF was trying to be inclusive and not just cater to the demands of the conservatives they decided shutting down the meeting was better than allowing liberals to be represented. This “all or nothing” mentality is why we should always work to make certain conservatism is held in by tight reins.
    If you do not want to be vaccinated don’t be, but if you try and make it so I can’t if I want to then we are going to have a problem. If you don’t want to attend LGBTQ events, don’t, you will not be missed. If you want to create an environment where LGBTQ events are forbidden, we will have a problem.

    • Lucinda says:

      I’m with you Fikes.

    • Aunt Sally says:

      Pull yourself together, Fikes; you’re hallucinating. It’s none other than you cultural marxists and monkeypox magnets who’ve been trying to destabilize healthy culture with your sick agenda. Nobody tried to prevent you from getting your goofy jab and you know it. And you fruits are perfectly free to partake in your “events” but don’t expect normal people to accept nor accommodate your little disease-swapping gatherings in the same fashion that normal gatherings are welcomed. Get back in your closet and quit imagining the good people are out to get you.

    • micah says:

      Go elsewhere. You are not welcome here.

    • Nunya says:

      We already DO have a problem and we’re going to solve it by insuring that this Valley resists your leftist degeneracy until the Lord returns to judge us all. Christ is King.

  • Lucinda says:

    Chappel. My information come from legitimate sources like Mayo Clinic, CDC, NIH, University of Utah and Cedar-Sinai. I suspect your sources are Mike Lindell and RFK Jr.

  • Ml Moore says:

    Bill Fikes, Alaska, is a conservative state, that believes God, and American values. This is not a place for liberal snowflakes. As far as the vaccine, your choice. As far as queer folks parading in our public streets, I prefer you keep it in the closet. American values are based in Christian values in general, and therefore we find fairies parading down the street offensive. so therefore, the majority of Americans would not attend, as they understand it is an abomination before God. (see Sodom and Gomorrah) It’s apparent we need to persuade those from the lower west coast stay there. Oh, and good job Johnny.

    • Lucinda says:

      You know what’s funny? Christians ACTUALLY believe in fairies in the form of ghosts and angels. I’m not making that up!

      • Nunya says:

        Seek exorcism. I think you’re possessed.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Lucinda, I am not sure where you get your information about Christians, but it is not accurate and is a fallacy. Maybe some believe in fairies and ghosts, but not all do.