About Our Chapter

Welcome. We are the Alaska chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The grassroots work we do focuses on eliminating the loss of life from suicide by: delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs, raising funds for suicide research and programs, and reaching out to those individuals who have lost someone to suicide.  

As a part of AFSP’s growing nationwide network of chapters, we bring together people from all backgrounds who want to prevent suicide in our communities. Families and friends who have lost someone to suicide, vulnerable individuals, mental health professionals, clergy, educators, students, community/business leaders, and many others energize our chapter.

Meet the Alaska Board of Directors

Chairperson

Dennis Lasley has lived in Alaska since June of 2008.  He works full time for the Municipality of Anchorage at the Anchorage Police Department.  Currently, Dennis is working to complete his B.A.S in Justice Administration.  He is a survivor of the loss of his best friend Sean, December of 2008.  Dennis first joined AFSP at the Boston Overnight Walk June 2010.  Dennis is part of the core group that helped establish the Alaska Chapter.  

Secretary

Shelley Hanson has lived in Alaska since spring of 2010, coming from Phoenix, AZ.  She has been a nurse in the operating room for the past 20 years, loving every minute of it!  After working as a travel nurse for 5 years, her last travel assignment lead her to Alaska, where she fell in love with everything Alaska and made it her home.  Since coming to Alaska she has learned to fish, cross country ski and shovel.  Shelley lost her son, Drew, to suicide March 4, 2008; since then, she has participated in two Out of the Darkness Overnights and several community walks.  Shelley has also attended several conferences and events nation wide.  

General Board Members

James Biela (Jim) is an Itinerant School Social Worker for the Lower Kuskokwim School District in Bethel, AK.  He is a registered trainer for the Applied Suicide Intervention Training (ASIST) and has been actively working with the remote villages of Alaska in addressing the high rates of suicide in the villages.  Jim became active in suicide prevention when a close friend in a village died by suicide in 2009.  He first became involved with AFSP when he began the certification for School Suicide Prevention Specialist.  Jim became a Field Advocate for Alaska in March 2010 and attended the Advocacy week in Washington DC.  He has been encouraging the school district in Bethel to address suicide prevention in all schools in their district.  He has received support through the student government in Bethel to increase awareness in the Yukon-Kuskokwin Delta. 

Lorena Hernandez is employed by the Municipality of Anchorage at the Anchorage Police Department.  She is also a small business owner, Alaska Fur Enterprise.  She became involved with AFSP when a friend lost someone close to suicide.  She is an advocate of getting involved in one's community to make the changes one needs out of society.

Tony Bickert is a teacher with the Anchorage School District and former journalist in Anchorage.  Tony's free time is divided among golfing, dip-netting and cross country skiing.  Tony's father died by suicide in 1977.  Tony is apart of the core group that helped establish the Alaska Chapter. 

Kimberlee Hancox (Kim) Kim is the Practice Administrator for Denali OB-GYN Associates, LLC in Anchorage.  She completed her undergraduate degree in Health Care Administration and will be completing her Masters Business Administration in August 2013.  Kim relocated in 2012 from South West Michigan and has really enjoyed the transition to Alaska.  She became involved with AFSP when a friend and classmate of her 16 year old son died by suicide.  Kim's goal is to work diligently within the state of Alaska to increase awareness and advocacy for suicide.