President’s Update for Aug. 13, 2011

In this edition...

In this edition … Sen. Murkowski’s staff visits: Kristi Williams, a Legislative Assistant with Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office visited SEARHC last week. Ms. Williams is Sen. Murkowski’s lead staff person on tribal health issues. She joined us for a tour of our Ethel Lund Medical Center, executive offices, and Dental/Behavioral Health, WIC, Health Promotion building on the Juneau campus. We appreciate the opportunity to share our health operations in Juneau with the Senator’s staff. Back to top Budget and Audit Committee meets: On Friday, Aug. 12, the Board’s Budget and Audit Committee met in a work session to review the Fiscal Year 2012 operating and capital budgets. Our next fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. The committee reviewed projected operating revenues and expenses as well as the proposed capital budget. Revenues from the Indian Health Service compact are expected to remain flat with some increases in our patient generated service revenue. This revenue increases are a combination of improved collections and higher volumes. To balance the increases in labor expenses, nonlabor expenses were held to FY2011 levels. Several business plans and service expansion proposals were presented to the committee. Committee members provided guidance on the budget format and clarification on expenditures. The committee advanced the draft budgets for consideration by the full Board of Directors. Back to top Jessika Beam named new SE AHEC director: Jessika Beam will become the new director of the SEARHC-hosted Southeast Area Health Education Center on Aug. 28. Jessika has been with SEARHC and the SE AHEC program as the health career coordinator for over two years, placing health professions students in clinical rotations and arranging job shadows in healthcare facilities throughout our region. Jessika’s intimate knowledge of the mission, values and goals of the program made her the ideal candidate to fill the position being vacated due to the retirement of current director Iva GreyWolf, PhD, on Aug. 26. The SE AHEC recently moved to Room 219 at the At Kaník Hít Community Health building after spending the past two years in the Human Resources building in Sitka. The SE AHEC is one of six regional sites in the state’s AHEC program, which is designed to help build Alaska’s health care staffing. The state AHEC program works to help encourage Alaskans from disadvantaged backgrounds (including rural communities) get into health careers, helps organize clinical rotations to encourage advanced health students decide to stay in Alaska, and provides continuing education to help retain those workers. To learn more about SE AHEC, go to http://www.seahecak.org/. Back to top SEARHC works to clear up pharmacy discrepancy: An internal audit by SEARHC recently found a discrepancy at our Ethel Lund Medical Center pharmacy in Juneau. SEARHC is working with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Juneau Police Department (JPD) to resolve this issue and to implement guidance set forth by the DEA. As a further result of this internal review, SEARHC will be working with a pharmacy consultant on the operations of all SEARHC pharmacy facilities. No pharmacy services to patients are impacted. Back to top Receptions for former COO Frank Sutton being arranged: We have set the dates for two community celebrations of former COO Frank Sutton’s lengthy career with SEARHC. The first celebration will be on Thursday, Aug. 25, in Juneau to coincide with the Board’s budget meeting. The second celebration will be on Thursday, Sept. 22, in Sitka. We will let you know more once we have the times and exact locations set for these events, but you can mark the dates on your calendars now. Frank retired on Aug. 5 after 40 years with SEARHC, and we want to honor that service. Back to top Fall mobile mammogram schedule ready to start: The Fall 2011 schedule for the mobile mammogram van program has been announced, and it will start with a visit Aug. 22-26 to Hoonah. Other trips on the fall schedule include Aug. 29-Sept. 12 in Haines, Sept. 13-14 in Skagway, Sept. 20-30 and Oct. 5-11 in Klawock, Oct. 3-4 in Craig and Oct. 13-21 in Metlakatla. The mobile mammogram van program is operated as a partnership between Bartlett Regional Hospital and the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program. Women are encouraged to contact their local clinics before the scheduled visit because they will need to have had a clinical breast exam before they can get their mammograms. The SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program provides free clinical breast exams, mammograms, Pap tests and cardiovascular screenings for all women ages 40 and older who meet income and insurance guidelines. 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 send e-mail to askwh@searhc.org. For more information about services available through the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program, go to http://www.searhc.org/womenshealth/. Back to top Free at-home STD testing kits available from ANTHC: Unfortunately, Alaska had the country’s highest rate of chlamydia and second-highest rate of gonorrhea in 2010, so the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) is launching the “I Want The Kit” (IWTK) at-home testing service to help reduce those numbers. Each home test kit comes in an anonymous envelope with instructions, a unique identification number and a prepaid return envelope to return self-collected vaginal, penile or rectal swabs in specially sealed test tubes to the IWTK lab at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. The lab tests the swabs for Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Trichomonas vaginalis. The free tests are provided through a partnership between ANTHC, the Indian Health Service (IHS) and Johns Hopkins University, and they are available to anyone residing in Alaska. Alaskans can request the at-home testing kits online at http://www.iknowmine.org/ (ANTHC’s site about sexually transmitted disease testing) or http://www.iwantthekit.org/ (Johns Hopkins University’s national site for the kits, which also are available in the Lower 48), or by calling (toll-free) 1-866-575-5504. Anybody with a positive test will be contacted with various options for treatment. Alaskans with questions can contact ANTHC’s HIV/STD Program Services (toll-free) at 1-877-334-8762. Back to top Regards, Roald