President’s Update for February 22, 2013

In this edition...

Sounds like the WIC office is getting back on their feet

The WIC office is getting back on their feet with new faces and a great service. If you are a Mom, Dad or legal guardian of a child under 5, WIC could be for you! Call the Juneau office at 463-4099, or toll-free at 1-800-330-2229.

The Juneau WIC office is open:  Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 8 - 4:30, Wednesday: 12:30 - 6:00 and Thursday: 9 - 3:30.

The Sitka WIC office is open:  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 8:30 - 1:30 and Thursday 1 - 6pm. Call 966-8352 to schedule an appointment. We still have vacancies for someone to join the SEARHC WIC team.


Health Promotion department is hosting two free traditional food cooking demonstrations

In partnership with Fresh49’s chef Rob Kinneen, the Health Promotion department is hosting two free traditional food cooking demonstrations. The free cooking demonstrations will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 26, at the Grace Harbor Church, 1904 Halibut Point Road, and from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27, at the Swan Lake Senior Center, 402 Lake Street. Traditional foods are an important facet to living a healthy style. Alaskan chef, Rob will share great ideas on preparation of these amazing foods. On Tuesday, chef Rob Kinneen will demonstrate how to make a heart healthy fish soup and a refreshing berry beverage that is friendly to patients living with diabetes. Wednesday’s demonstration will be an equally delightful and healthy traditional surprise for your palate. Please come and experience chef Rob Kinneen’s mouth-watering creations, and add some healthy recipes to your recipe box. 

For more information, contact SEARHC Health Educator Renae Mathson in Sitka at 966-8797.


Applications are available for the SEARHC Summer Internship Program

The SEARHC Summer Internship Program provides opportunities for six Native students who are studying at the high school, bachelor’s degree and/or master’s degree/clinical level. The program allows participants to explore career options in health care, and the interns receive valuable on-the-job training in their health care career of interest and a minimal hourly stipend. At the end of the program, interns will receive a performance evaluation with valuable feedback from their mentor(s). Students must be enrolled tribal members or descendants as certified through a Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB) and currently be enrolled full-time in high school, college or vocational school with a minimum GPA of 2.5. To apply, students must complete a SEARHC Summer Internship Application, a SEARHC job application, provide two letters of recommendation (from teachers, counselors, employers, tribal leaders, etc.), a copy of the student’s current resume and a copy of the student’s current college transcripts.

The application deadline is Friday, May 10 (the application must be received or postmarked by this date), and the final selection of interns takes place on May 17. The internship program runs from June through September 2013. Completed applications may be mailed to Jessika Beam (966-8903) at SEARHC, c/o Human Resources Department, 222 Tongass Drive, Sitka, AK 99835. Applications also can be faxed to 966-8527, or scanned and e-mailed to jessika.beam@searhc.org. Because space is limited, interested students should apply early. Application packets are available at Southeast Alaska high school offices, through local tribal organizations or by going to http://searhc.org/students/summer-internships.


SEARHC Director of Radiology announcement

Karin Johnson, SEARHC Director of Radiology announced that MEH Mammography just had their annual FDA inspection and they passed with no violations!  Along with Karin, I would like to extend a big thank you to Chelsea McLeod and Nicole Balovich for a great job in running our mammography department and keeping outstanding records!


Raven’s Way students participated in a unique and memorable ceremony

On Thursday, February 21, Raven’s Way students participated in a unique and memorable ceremony by presenting a traditional robe hanging they created for Steve Bradshaw. The theme of the robe honors commitment to Native Education in our community and Steve has worked earnestly as an administrator throughout his lengthy career to ensure that our district is set-up for the success of our Native children through supporting, advocating and ensuring funding for personnel and programs that infuse Native Education in the classroom as part of the daily curriculum. He advocates not only for our Native Children in our community, he is a strong voice for the homeless and down trodden students in our community. He stated that, “Out of all the recognitions he has been awarded, this bar far, is the most honorable.” There was support and guidance by local culture bearers, Nancy Douglas, Jamie Brady and Mamma Cass Pook.

The students learned about and created the robe in Ryan Hill’s AK history class. The beautiful traditional robe hanging is adorned with the form line design of the Biorka Bear, which was created and given to Raven’s Way by Barry Burger, the Biorka island caretaker.  The design is bordered by mother of pearl and Sitka deer horn buttons. The bear represents the students at Raven’s Way as they empower themselves with the knowledge and skills to overcome addictions. The mink hide, which was trapped by students on Biorka, represents the addictions that afflict our students and the bear is chasing the mink away.  The mink is attached with special buttons chosen by the students to represent themselves on the hide. A strong “aha” moment for the students was realizing they were in a healthy space, so healthy in fact they could sincerely give of themselves for somebody else.

Charles Clement

Just a reminder...


SEARHC has a new website

SEARHC has a new website and it’s been created to increase (with ease) the way you access information about SERHC, its locations, services, providers and more. The way you search and apply for a job at SEARHC has also gotten a lot simpler, which will help to quicken the response time from SEARHC to the applicants. The site will continue to take shape in the months to come with the addition of publications like HealthBeat that will be written in the form of a blog. Links to outside sources like the CDC, other Tribal healthcare networks and health education websites will be added as the site grows. Please check it out at http://www.searhc.org.


Check out SEARHC’s new page on Facebook

If you haven't already done so, please check out SEARHC's new page on Facebook. This page will provide people with updates about what's happening around the consortium. This page is new, so it will be adding more content over time. If you're on Facebook, please like our page so you can keep up on the news at SEARHC.


2013 Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations Program (VHOP) is gearing up

Each year, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) selects several Southeast-area Native students interested in health careers for VHOP, and the students spend a week at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka learning about different health careers and educational opportunities. The health field is growing, which means plenty of job opportunities for people with the right training. Health careers usually offer good pay and employee benefits, as well as the satisfaction of helping others. The experience enables students to evaluate their own strengths and decide which jobs might best suit them. This year's VHOP session is scheduled for April 22-27. Students selected to participate in VHOP receive assistance to cover the travel costs to and from Sitka, housing, meals and some evening entertainment. The application deadline is Friday, March 29. Completed applications may be mailed to Jessika Beam, SEARHC Tribal Recruitment Coordinator, c/o Human Resources Department, 222 Tongass Drive, Sitka, AK 99835. Applications also can be faxed to 907-966-8527, or scanned and e-mailed to jessika.beam@searhc.org. Because space is limited, interested students should apply early. Application packets are available at high school offices, at local village corporations or by going to http://searhc.org/students/summer-internships. For additional information, contact Jessika Beam at 907-966-8903 or by e-mail at jessika.beam@searhc.org.


SEARHC patient advocates serve as customer liaisons

SEARHC has three patient advocate positions in Southeast Alaska — (Sitka), Cyndi Reeves (Sitka and POW), and Debra Graceland (Juneau) — who serve as customer service liaisons between patients and SEARHC, and help patients navigate their way through SEARHC’s health system. In addition, the Alaska Native Medical Center provides Anchorage-based patient advocates who serve patients from around the state receiving care at the Alaska Native Medical Center. Patients living in Sitka, Angoon, Kake, Pelican, Tenakee Springs, Yakutat, Petersburg and Wrangell and patients in Klawock, Craig, Hydaburg, Kasaan, Thorne Bay and other POW communities should contact Cyndi Reeves at 755-4983 (965-0040, cell). Patients in Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Klukwan and Hoonah should contact Debra Graceland (463-6656). Patients traveling to Anchorage for care should contact the ANMC patient advocates at 729-3990.


SEARHC hosts 24/7 crisis help line, toll-free at 1-877-294-0074

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 it will be 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/Suicide Prevention Program Manager Wilbur Brown at 966-8753.


SEARHC provides 24/7 on-call travel coordinators for patients traveling for care

SEARHC has a 24/7 on-call travel coordinator to assist patients needing after-hours help while traveling for a medical appointment. The on-call staff person helps patients find new connections when a plane is diverted by weather, or assists with late-night housing. For assistance, call 1-800-916-8566 (toll-free in Alaska) or 1-907-966-8345 in Sitka, and then follow the prompts. To help us better help you, please call as soon as you know your travel schedule has been changed. For patients needing assistance from the Community Resources Program (contract health), such as emergency health care while traveling, call 1-866-966-8316 (toll-free).