April 26 2011The Sitka Tribe of Alaska and SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) are partnering to host the Sitka Tribal Health Fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. This health fair is designed to provide tribal citizens with an opportunity to learn about health care resources in Sitka, but the event is open to all Sitka residents. Sitka Tribe of Alaska will have traditional foods (with food samples), education, social services and enrollment department representatives on hand, and several SEARHC health programs will have booths (including human resources). Other community programs that provide services to Alaska Natives and their families also will host booths. Light refreshments will be available during the morning. The highlight of this event will be a visit to Sitka by “Nolan the Colon,” an inflatable, interactive super colon that stands more than 10 feet tall and 25 feet long. Nolan the Colon is designed to raise awareness about the importance of colorectal cancer screening, and people can walk through Nolan the Colon to see how precancerous polyps can grow to become colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) ranks among the leading causes of death for Alaska Natives, and Natives are twice as likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer as non-Natives. Colorectal cancer also is one of the most preventable cancers, if people get screening and make lifestyle changes such as eating healthy foods, avoiding red meat, getting regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight and quitting tobacco. In addition to the SEARHC Colorectal Health Program hosting Nolan the Colon, SEARHC will have booths from the WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program, Tobacco Cessation/Smoke-Free Homes, Injury Prevention, Behavioral Health Prevention, Diabetes, Community Resource Program Services (contract health), Dental, Traditional Foods, Social Services, Lifestyle Balance (an education program for people with prediabetes), Tribal Recruitment, the Southeast Area Health Education Center (SE AHEC) and the Yéil Jeeyáx Raven’s Way adolescent substance abuse treatment center. For more information about the health fair, contact SEARHC Health Systems Specialist Becky Koslovich at 966-8936. For more information about colorectal cancer and the SEARHC Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, talk to your SEARHC medical provider or call 966-8541.