Working at SEARHC



American Heart Association's Fit-Friendly Worksite Gold Achievement seal

This workplace has been recognized by the American Heart Association for meeting criteria for employee wellness.

SEARHC received the annual Fit Friendly Worksite Gold Achievement Seal on April 1, 2014 from the American Heart Association.

Learn more about how SEARHC employees work together to ...

achieve innovation ...

At SEARHC, we take pride in the innovative abilities of our employees. That's one reason we are among the nation's leaders in tribal health care. By encouraging each other to think outside the box, SEARHC employees have been able to bridge gaps and enhance health care services provided to tribal beneficiaries.

Through the power of people SEARHC has become a pioneer in:

  • Telemedicine
    SEARHC is among the first organizations in Alaska to offer teleradiology, telebehavioral health, telenutrition and telepharmacy services.
  • Dental Health Aide Therapy
    SEARHC employees helped the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium develop the state's new Dental Health Aide Therapist program, which uses dental assistants with specialized training to provide preventive and routine dental care in remote communities that can't support a full-time dentist. Dental Health Aide Therapists are trained to fill teeth and perform tooth extractions under the remote supervision of a dentist. Dental Health Aide Therapists are common in nearly 50 other countries, but Alaska's program is the first in the United States.
  • Community Wellness Advocates
    SEARHC employees developed the award-winning Community Wellness Advocate program, in partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus, to train local residents to provide health education and health promotion services in their villages.
  • Frontier Extended Stay Clinics
    SEARHC served as the lead agency for the Frontier Extended Stay Clinic (FESC) national demonstration project that helps remote clinics provide a safe, comfortable place for patients who need to be treated and monitored for limited periods of time.
  • Tobacco-Free Policy
    SEARHC is one of the first health care organizations in Alaska to implement an employee initiated tobacco-free policy for all of its facilities.
  • Electronic Medical Records
    SEARHC is one of the first tribal health organizations in the country to begin implementing electronic medical records and online patient management systems, as well as financial and human resources software.

... to advance professionally ...

At SEARHC, we see our employees as our strongest assets. It is our priority to further their development and our organization by aiding in their professional advancement.

I started my career at SEARHC in 1993, answering phones at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. Through the advancement opportunities made available to me, I was able to obtain my educational goals and grow within the organization. I encourage you to recognize your power through these opportunities.

— Roald Helgesen, Former SEARHC President/CEO

Advancement opportunities for employees and their families include:

  • On the job training programs through tribes and the State of Alaska
  • Indian Health scholarship program
  • Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations Program (VHOP)
  • National and international conferences and seminars
  • Community Health Aide/Practitioner program training
  • Community Wellness Advocate training
  • Summer internships for college students
  • Pharmacy student externships
  • Educational loan repayment

... to live a healthy lifestyle ...

SEARHC employees live in one of the most beautiful and pristine areas in the world, so it's no surprise they care about both their personal wellness and the environment where they live. Our employees launched several initiatives, such as a leading employee wellness program, a consortium-wide tobacco-free policy and "Reduce," a committee of environmentally responsible employees that is creating a "Go Green" policy for SEARHC as an organization.

SEARHC's employee wellness program was created in the mid-1990s, and now includes a consortium-wide team and local wellness teams in Sitka, Juneau, Haines and Klawock. The SEARHC employee wellness program serves as a model for other businesses in Southeast Alaska wanting to create their own programs.

Some of SEARHC's employee wellness opportunities include:

  • A consortium-wide tobacco-free policy that includes access to
    on-site tobacco cessation services
  • Online health assessments (at least one a year, sometimes more)
    so all employees can stay on top of their own health
  • Nutrition programs
  • Physical activity programs
  • Stress relief programs
  • Access to eligible SEARHC-provided wellness and chronic disease
    management programs
  • Free or reduced-rate access to eligible medical care at SEARHC facilities
  • An Employee Assistance Program for employees who need help getting
    through a rough time