After a successful rollout of the first phase of our After Hours Nurse Triage Line on February 26th in Kake, Angoon, Hoonah, and Prince of Wales, the second phase went live in Haines, Klukwan and Pelican on April 1st.
We are extremely pleased with the success of the program so far and are extremely satisfied with the use of nationally standardized protocols to help determine whether or not immediate care by a patient’s provider or an emergency facility is necessary. To illustrate how well it has worked in the first five communities during the first month we evaluated the calls and found we had 500 total calls into the After Hours Nurse Triage Line, but only 73 of those required a provider’s involvement. This means patients were able to avoid the inconvenience of unnecessary visits to see a provider during the night or on the weekend, and providers were able to get much needed rest when the clinics are closed.
For more information about the After Hours Nurse Triage Line you are encouraged to visit the Nurse Triage Line web page.
Please join me in welcoming our new, Interim Director of Performance Improvement, Cynthia Dixon. Cynthia is a highly skilled Nursing Professional with over 25 years of experience in leadership positions. She is results-oriented with a focus on customer service and performance/outcomes improvement. Cynthia will be a good fit as our Interim Director of Performance Improvement and will remain in the position until it is filled permanently.
I am pleased to report that Congress has approved a one-year extension of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) that was set to expire on September 30, 2014. The extension ensures the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) and the Special Diabetes Programs for Type 1 Diabetes (SDP-Type1) will continue through September 2015 with an additional $300 million in funding.
SDPI provides prevention, education and treatment programs for the American Indian and Alaskan Native community. At nearly 16.1 percent, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups. The vital programming the SDPI provides, contributes to the overall reduction of the deadly diabetes complications that disproportionately affect this population.
This extension will be instrumental in allowing our diabetes program to continue its important work. Thank you to everyone who works so hard to make the SEARHC Diabetes Prevention program successful.
The fundraiser for Phineas mentioned in last week’s report and was to take place Saturday, April 5th has been postponed until further notice. A new date and time will be posted as soon as plans are finalized.
Applications are currently being accepted now through June 20, 2014 at 4:30 pm. Awards go towards the academic Fall 2014 – Summer 2015 school year. ANTHC grants these scholarships as an integral part of its long-term strategy to increase Alaska Natives and American Indians in the healthcare field. You may visit the ANTHC website for more information.
The State of Alaska has provided a one-time allocation of shingles vaccine (Zostavax) to Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka and Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau. There are several things you should know about the vaccine which we have made available at our online lifestyle magazine, Healthy Living Southeast, so please take a look at the information at your earliest convenience.
To get the vaccine you may request a nurse appointment in the MEH Outpatient Department in Sitka at 966-8318 or ELMC in Juneau at 463-6608. If you live in one of the villages and would like shingles vaccine, please contact your local clinic.