YKHC Provider Profile
Jean was a registered nurse at ANMC in Anchorage, then a nurse practioner with the ANMC/CHAP training before moving to Bethel in 1994. She brought with her incredible experience in health and science education, volunteering, and Health Aide training, and soon put all that to good use at YKHC as a nurse practitioner in Yukon clinic.
Jean’s pre-Alaska adventures included three years in the Peace Corps, served in the mountainous landlocked country of Losotho in southern Africa where she taught science and math.
She turned to nursing after returning to California and finding teaching positions hard to come by. She met her husband, Martin Langlois, there and they moved to Alaska in the late 70s, eventually attending UAA’s nursing school and taking turns raising their children, working, and completing their educational pursuits.
The Brinich-Langlois family moved to Bethel with their three young children (Cynthia, Heather, and Patrick) in 1994, planning to stay only a couple of years. Jean said, “surprisingly, it was kind of hard to get a job out here in Bethel at the time, but everyone I spoke with who had worked out here in the Y-K Delta only had the most positive things to say about the people and how receptive they were to providers, to new people. Working and living out here is very rewarding all on account of the local people and it still is to this very day.”
When the family arrived, “we didn’t even know where we were going to physically live,” she said. “Linda Curda (long time Bethel Health Aide instructor) picked us up from the airport. We managed to find a decent place at first, and ended up financing a home a year later.”
Things you may not know about Jean
She is the second oldest in a family of eight children.
Her family is of Austrian, German and Irish descent, and appreciation of music is a family tradition. She plays the cello and her son Patrick plays piano.
All three of the Brinich-Langlois children are Bethel high and college graduates.
She has served as a KYUK radio volunteer for Sunday’s classical music program from 5-8 p.m. since 1995.
Jean enjoys commuting to work on skis or walking, even in the dark of winter. She finds it a peaceful time to clear her before she starts a busy day in Family Medicine’s Yukon clinic.
When we asked Jean about her recommendations to improve the overall health and wellness of people in the Y-K Delta, she said, “I come down really hard on soda pop and sugary beverages. Why someone would want to spend all that money to make themselves sick is frightening. . .”
Jean expressed concern over the diabetes/obesity problem not just in the Y-K Delta, but for the rest of the country, saying, “eventually, all of us, as Americans, will end up paying a price for this crisis which faces our Nation. I think it is time that the government steps in to impress upon industries that contribute to this epidemic for some resolve. People also have the power to make healthier choices for themselves, for their children.”