President’s Update for April 18, 2014

In this edition...

New Executive Director for Healing Hand Foundation

The Healing Hand Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Debra O’Gara as its new Executive Director. Ms. O’Gara will be working closely with the Board of Directors with its fundraising campaigns and increasing access for Alaskan Natives to unfunded healthcare services. The Healing Hand Foundation, formerly known as The SEARHC Foundation, was formed in 2001 to help fill the funding gap in health care services for Southeast Alaskan Native people. 

For those interested in learning more about the Healing Hand Foundation, please contact Debra O’Gara at 907-364-4404 or

Mental Health First Aid Training in Sitka

After several successful training sessions earlier this year, we are pleased to again partner with Trust Training Cooperative (TTC) in order to bring Mental Health First Aid Training to the community of Sitka for a third time. This training will take place at UAS on Saturday, April 26th, from 8:30am – 5:00pm to allow those that work a traditional Monday through Friday schedule the ability to attend.

Mental Health First Aid is a non-clinical, public education experience like 'First Aid' and CPR that teaches how to help a family member, friend or co-worker that is experiencing a mental health crisis until professional help is available. Here you can learn the risk factors and warning signs and gain the skills, resources and knowledge necessary to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate care.

The cost is $75 for training; $30 for Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Those who wish to attend must register through the TTC Learning Management System (LMS). To register online visit: or contact Jill Ramsey for more information at 907-264-6228 or

Greens for Kids

With help from the SEARHC Community Transformation Grant program, the Association for the Education of Young Children, Southeast Alaska (AEYC) Child & Adult Care Food Program was awarded a Community Transformation grant of $20,000 to increase the amount of leafy greens young children eat. And as we all know, greens are packed with nutrition that growing bodies need. 

The grant launches a gardening program for family child care providers and Headstart programs in Juneau, Wrangell, and Haines that includes year round indoor “sprout farms” indoor grow labs, and summer backyard gardens, with participation in traditional foods harvesting and local community gardens as available.

This project is the second year of a four year plan to improve the health and nutrition of young children ages birth to five in Southeast Alaska. Partners on the project include Southeast Cooperative Extension, Juneau Public Health, Tlingit & Haida Headstart, Rural Cap, Gruening Park Family Learning Center, and Partnerships for Families and Children.

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week April 20th – 26th

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week is an annual celebration of the laboratory professionals and pathologists who play a vital role in every aspect of health care. Since they often work behind the scenes, few people know about the critical testing they perform every day. Lab Week is a time to honor the more than 300,000 medical laboratory professionals around the country who perform and interpret more than 10 billion laboratory tests in the US every year. Please join me in thanking all of the Medical Laboratory Professionals at SEARHC.

Certification Accomplished

Julie Graham, Counselor I, recently fulfilled the requirements for certification as a Chemical Dependency Counselor II (CDC II) with the Alaska Commission for Behavioral Health. The requirements included passing the national exam as well as achieving four years full time substance abuse experience (8,000 hours).  Julie worked for our Behavioral Health Prevention Program for two and a half years and Bill Brady Healing Center for five years prior to transferring to the social services department in February 2013.  She currently works with inpatients and outpatients providing screening, assessments, referrals, and supportive counseling for those experiencing alcohol and drug abuse or dependence.

Please join me in congratulating Julie. We are extremely proud of her accomplishment.

Charles Clement
Charles Clement President/CEO
3100 Channel Drive, Ste. 300
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 463-4000

Just a reminder...

Canoe Paddle Workshops

In partnership with the One People Canoe Society, SEARHC will be hosting several upcoming Canoe Paddle Workshops; in Kake (April 17-19), in Sitka (April 18-21), and in Klawock (April 24-26), to prepare for the 2014 Paddle to Celebration Canoe Journey. For more information, or if you wish to participate, please contact Rena Wallace at 966-8755 or 738-5593. You may also visit the Healthy Living Southeast Event Calendar for details.

Spring Mobile Mammogram Schedule

The WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program in partnership with the Breast Cancer Detection Center has set the Spring 2014 mobile mammography schedule. The mobile mammography van will visit Angoon from May 12-14, Haines from May 17-21, Kake on May 23 & 24, 2014. For more information contact your local clinic, call the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program in Sitka at 966-8782 (or 1-888-388-8782, toll-free in Alaska), or e-mail the WISEWOMAN Health Program.

ANTHC $5000 Scholarship for the 2014-2015 AcademicYear

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.

Shingles vaccine available until April 24, 2014

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.