President’s Update for August 15, 2014

In this edition...

Learning from Tragedy

The world will miss Robin Williams. He was a great actor and comedian that not only entertained, but genuinely had a positive impact on the lives of millions people around the world. The news reports explain that Mr. Williams had been struggling with depression for decades which ultimately resulted in the actor taking his own life.

His passing provides a reminder and a very strong message – depression knows no bounds. Anyone can be stricken with depression; the leading cause of suicide. Fame, wealth, status, intellect, and position in life cannot protect anyone from depression and suicide. Alaskans have one of the highest depression and suicide rates in the United States, but please know that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. There is help available.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with depression, please be aware that SEARHC Behavioral Health is an excellent resource for help. We have professional mental health therapists, substance abuse counselors, psychiatrists, as well as various education and support groups. We also provide strong culturally appropriate programs for anyone that might be interested.

If you would like more information or to make an appointment, please contact your local clinic.

Additional resources include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the SEARHC 24/7 Toll-free Helpline at 1-877-294-0074.


Group Medical Visits for diabetes patients in Juneau

I am pleased to announce that beginning on September 16th, SEARHC will be offering the option of Group Medical Visits at the Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau to our patients living with diabetes.

Group Medical visits are shared medical appointments with about 10-15 others who have the same health condition and include the participation of a medical provider and diabetes educator. During the visit, patients have time to talk with others who have diabetes, learn more about related health issues, and explore skills that might help them better manage their diabetes. Patients will also meet with their provider privately.

Group Medical Visits are a relatively new concept, and are becoming increasingly popular because they help address many aspects of care that may be difficult to cover during the typical office visit. We are happy to be able to offer this progressive option to our patients.

For more information, patients in Juneau are encouraged to speak to their medical provider, local Diabetes Educator or call the Ethel Lund Medical Center at 463-6664 to schedule participation in a group visit. Patients may also contact Maybelle Filler, Diabetes Grants Program Manager at (907) 966-8739 or maybelle.filler@searhc.org.


SEARHC Labs Recognized for Quality

In June of 2014 the laboratories at Alicia Roberts Medical Center and Haines Health Center were surveyed by COLA, an national healthcare accreditation organization. Both labs did exceedingly well and are now fully accredited by COLA.

Accreditation is given only to laboratories that apply rigid standards of quality in day-to-day operations, demonstrate continued accuracy in the performance of proficiency testing, and pass a rigorous on-site laboratory survey, and it is important to note that both Alicia Roberts Medical Center and Haines Health Center met all criteria for Laboratory Accreditation by COLA.

The hard work of all the staff involved as well as providing the highest quality healthcare to the patients that we served has made this possible and we thank you.


Celebrating National Health Center Week

This past week was National Health Center Week (August 10-16), and our recognizing it brings awareness to both the mission and accomplishments of the local Health Centers that make health care accessible to as many people as possible. They are a bright spot in our country’s health care system, especially in Alaska, as our geography can make the delivery of quality medical treatment a challenge at times.

SEARHC is proud to provide a patient centered medical home for the communities we serve that address local needs and foster healthier communities. Patients receive the care they need, and are treated with dignity and respect. This is what we celebrate during National Health Center Week.

Charles Clement

Just a reminder...


Healthcare App from SEARHC

SEARHC has a web-based Nurse Triage Smartphone application (or app) for your Smartphone called “Healthcare on the Hip.” It contains an extensive library which can help you assess health concerns whenever & wherever your mobile device can get service. It is a convenient tool to help you decide whether you should contact your provider or can treat something at home. To download the web-based Smartphone app, you can visit the Nurse Triage Line page to learn how.


Summer Mobile Mammogram Schedule

The mobile mammography van will visit Hydaburg on 8/1, Klawock from 8/2-8/8, Hoonah from 8/12-8/15, Skagway on 8/18, and Haines on 8/20-8/25. For more information contact your local clinic, the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program in Sitka at 966-8782 (1-888-388-8782, toll-free in Alaska), or e-mail the WISEWOMAN Health Program.


Sitka Senior Walking Group

The Injury Prevention Falls Prevention Program kicked off the “Sitka Senior Walking Group” at the Sitka Memorial National Park in June, and there will be weekly walks for the rest of the summer. Walkers of all ages and activity levels are welcome to meet outside the National Park Visitor’s center on Tuesdays at 10:15AM. For more information contact SEARHC’s Injury Prevention program at (907) 966-8866


Free Health Insurance for Alaska Natives/American Indians

Alaska Natives and American Indians may be eligible for free additional health insurance coverage through a trial program known as Tribally Sponsored Health Insurance Program (T-SHIP). Anyone interested in being screened for health insurance coverage should call Andrea Thomas at (907) 966-8883 or email email Andrea.