President’s Update for Dec. 18, 2010

In this edition...

In this edition … President Obama meets with the tribes: This past week, President Barack Obama hosted his second annual White House Tribal Nations Conference that featured hundreds of tribal representatives from around the country, including Southeast Alaska. Before the conference started, President Obama held a special meeting with 12 tribal leaders, including Central Council of Tlingít and Haida Tribes of Alaska President Ed Thomas. Thomas was the only Alaska tribal leader at the meeting and he represented our state’s 229 tribes. After the meeting, Thomas told the Juneau Empire that it was a good opportunity to get some insight on the president’s stance on issues Natives are facing, such as the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and the Tribal Law and Order Act. “He was trying to reassure us that he understands and supports us. He did speak to us on how he knows these issues,” Thomas told the Empire. During the short meeting, Thomas said he discussed subsistence rights and economic development in rural Alaska as other issues of concern. Back to top SEARHC outpatient clinics to be closed for Christmas, New Year’s Day holidays: So our employees can enjoy the holidays with their families, all SEARHC clinics will be closed on Friday, Dec. 24, for Christmas Eve, and Friday, Dec. 31, for New Year’s Eve. The S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital clinics and other clinics around the consortium that normally are open on Saturday (urgent care, eye clinic, etc.) will be closed on Saturday, Dec. 25, for Christmas. The hospital urgent care department will be open on Saturday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s Day, but all other Saturday clinics throughout the consortium will be closed. The hospital emergency room will be open throughout the holidays, and we will have staff on duty to take care of our inpatients at the hospital. Our community clinics that provide emergency services will have on-call staffing during the holidays. Back to top Presentation to CCTHITA Executive Committee: On Sunday, Dec. 19, we gave an update to the Executive Committee of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (CCTHITA). We covered activities from last year, quality and accreditation, updates on current operations, contract support costs, and the Board-approved objectives for this year. There were questions on long-term care, contract health services, and compliments on our efforts in dental services as well as encouragement for work in regional suicide prevention. We appreciate the opportunity to report on our work to CCTHITA. Back to top ELMC receives accreditation letter from The Joint Commission: Similar to S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, the Ethel Lund Medical Center (ELMC) recently received its official accreditation letter from The Joint Commission. The letter means ELMC is accredited for three years effective Oct. 8. The accreditation is based on an unannounced survey in October. The two accreditation letters mean our two largest facilities are meeting the highest standards for providing quality health care. Back to top SEARHC Hydaburg Health Center nearly ready: Plans are being made to dedicate the new SEARHC Hydaburg Health Center. We hope to coincide this dedication when the SEARHC Board of Directors will be on Prince of Wales Island for its quarterly meeting in January. Details are still being worked out on the time and date. We hope to move everything from our temporary clinic over to the new clinic so the new clinic can be open for business on Monday, Jan. 24. Back to top ARMC receives FESC certification: The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently certified the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock as a Frontier Extended Stay Clinic (FESC). The Alicia Roberts Medical Center (ARMC) is the fourth clinic in the nation and second SEARHC-managed facility to be certified as a FESC, joining the SEARHC Haines Health Center, which received its certification in November. The two other FESC-certified clinics in the country — the Inter Island Medical Center in Friday Harbor, Wash. (the first to win certification) and Iliuliuk Family and Health Services Inc. in Unalaska — are part of the SEARHC-managed Alaska FESC Consortium, http://www.alaskafesc.org/. CMS is conducting a demonstration of the FESC model for the next three years, and certification marks the official start of the demonstration. Before receiving certification, clinics are required to provide documentation that they meet stringent quality standards established by CMS. Back to top SEARHC Help Line (toll-free, 1-877-294-0074) available for holiday stress relief: A personal or family crisis doesn’t always happen during clinic hours, so the SEARHC Behavioral Health Division has contracted with a crisis call center to provide help for Southeast Alaska residents when they need it most. The SEARHC Help Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and staffed with a team of master’s-degree-level mental health therapists who will listen and provide effective, compassionate care. This line provides confidential telephone counseling for people during a time of mental health crisis, and it is not just an answering service. The counselors will assess the situation and provide appropriate intervention using protocols developed with SEARHC Behavioral Health. Follow-up calls from SEARHC Behavioral Health or our partner agencies will be made the next business day. For more information, contact SEARHC Behavioral Health Prevention Program Director Wilbur Brown at 966-8753. Back to top Regards, Roald