For decades, obesity rates among our youngest children have been on the rise. According to a new CDC Vital Signs report, obesity among low income preschoolers has declined in many states and U.S. territories. This is good news, but childhood obesity rates are still too high, with 1 in 8 preschoolers being obese.There is more work to be done to continue to move childhood obesity rates down. More information may be found at these links CDC MMWR, CDC Vital Signs August 2013 and CDC Childhood Overweight and Obesity.
This is a good time to point out SEARHC programs that aim to reduce childhood obesity. The Community Transformation Grant (CTG) works with the Association for the Education of Young Children on a preschool physical activity program implementation. SEARHC CTG supports Fish to Schools programming in the region as well as school gardens in Haines, Coffman Cove and Craig.
The new clinic began this week on Thursday, August 8th at the, “At Kanik Hít” Community Health Service Building in Sitka. Veterans interested in participating in the Telebehavioral Health Clinic meet with a member of the Telebehavioral Health Clinic’s staff, George Bennett, Sr first to have the clinic explained to them. An initial telebehavioral health evaluation is then conducted by a VA clinician, Dr. Mark Holman to determine the Veteran’s treatment needs. The clinician works with the Veteran to access available treatment resources for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health needs. The clinic services are provided by a telebehavioral health connection between SEARHC Behavioral Health and the Alaska VA in Anchorage. Through this Telebehavioral Health Clinic the Veterans can receive counseling for symptoms related to PTSD without having to leave Sitka. Dr. Mark Holman will work with SEARHC Psychiatrist for any medication needs. This is a joint clinic operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Rural Health and the Alaska VA Healthcare System in Anchorage and the University of Colorado, all in partnership with Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). Veterans can connect directly with George Bennett, Sr the Rural Veteran Liaison. Providers making referrals can make the referral directly to 907-966-8776.
SEARHC frequently brings in traveling medical specialists to hold specialty clinics at a variety of facilities. This can save the expense and inconvenience of flying to Anchorage or Seattle for services not available in Southeast. Some SEARHC medical providers make regular trips to smaller, remote clinics to provide specialty services that aren’t normally available in those villages. All specialty clinics, except for medical field trips and specified dental clinics, must be referred through a SEARHC provider (no self-referrals).
If you would like to check the Specialty Clinic Schedules you can find them on searhc.org. They are listed under both the “Services” menu and the “Patient Information” menu and at the following links: Dental Clinic Field Trips, Medical Field Trips, Juneau Specialty Clinics and Sitka Specialty Clinics.