Gearhart to receive Carla Timpone Award

In Newsby Charles Ward

Sister Rachel Gearhart testifies on Senate Bill 93, which would extend and expand a student loan-repayment program for Alaska health care workers, at a legislative committee meeting on April 9, 2019. Gearhart is one of three Juneauites who will be honored by the Alaska Women’s Lobby with a Carla Timpone Award at a June 9 brunch. 

Sister Rachel Gearhart will be one of three Alaskans to receive the 2019 Carla Timpone Award, the Alaska Women’s Lobby recently announced.

The award honors Alaskans who “who have dedicated themselves through professional and volunteer work to addressing social wrongs, particularly as they relate to women, children and families,” said Nancy Courtney, treasurer of the Alaska Women’s Lobby, in an email. 

“Rachel does great work, both paid and volunteer, in many social justice issues, health, and education, including her work with JAMHI, the Juneau Pro-Choice Coalition, and many other local community support organizations,” Courtney said. “As co-chair of the State of Alaska’s SHARP Advisory Commission, she did yeoman’s work to get Senate Bill 93 passed this legislative session, which renews the health care professions loan repayment and incentive program. She always does a lot of work with her trade organization — the National Association of Social Workers Alaska Chapter — and is serving as co-chair of their biennial conference being held in Juneau this fall.”

In addition to her advocacy work, Gearhart is a member of Juneau Chapter No. 7, Order of the Eastern Star and is a majority member of Job’s Daughters. She also volunteers her time with Juneau Assembly No. 3, International Order of the Rainbow for Girls.

Gearhart will receive her award at a brunch scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on June 9. Joining her as award recipients will be Lin Davis and former Rep. Sam Kito III.

The award’s namesake came to Alaska in 1976 and helped establish Women in Crisis — Counseling and Assistance and the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. She also served as a legislative aide and served on the boards of several advocacy organizations.