President’s Update for February 28, 2014

In this edition...

SEARHC’s After Hours Nurse Triage is Live!

I am pleased to announce that Phase I of our After Hours Nurse Triage Line rollout went live on Wednesday, February 26th in Kake, Angoon, Hoonah, and Prince of Wales.

We are offering this as a free resource for SEARHC patients to obtain healthcare information and triaging services when the local clinic is not open, making reliable health information provided by Registered Nurses just a phone call away. The service will be available in Haines, Klukwan, and Pelican by the end of March, and in Juneau later this spring.

The free After Hours Nurse Triage Line offers advice to SEARHC patients for things as simple as what over the counter remedies are appropriate for an individual’s cold symptoms and as complex as explaining what a patient’s new medication is for. These nurses are also available and can help advise patients during, what may be a more serious and extremely stressful, health-related situation. As always, if you have an emergency medical condition, please call 911 or your local emergency medical services number.

For more information you are encouraged to visit the After Hours Nurse Triage Line webpage or call your local SEARHC clinic.

If you have any questions, concerns or comments about the SEARHC After Hours Nurse Triage Line, you may call Angela Shipley, Health Systems Specialist at (907)785-6536.


UAS & SEARHC Providing Help with Affordable Healthcare Enrollment in Sitka

The Federal deadline for individuals to enroll in health insurance, file an exemption, or pay a tax penalty is March 31. A free enrollment session will be held this Saturday, March 1 from 1:30-3:30 at UAS Sitka Campus in the Student Learning Center. UAS will give access to computers so people can get assistance getting on healthcare.gov. Interested people should bring their Social Security Number, Date of Birth and income information (needed for all members in a family). Trained enrollment counselors will be available to assist community members. More information may be found on Healthy Living Southeast.


2014 Annual Elders & Caregivers Workshop

This workshop is on March 6th from 8:30am – 4:00pm and offers valuable resources that will be useful for elders, their families, and their caregivers – this can include spouse, sons, daughters, grandchildren, or anyone who care for an elder. This workshop is co-sponsored by CCTHITA TFYS Elders Caregivers Program and T&H Elders Caregivers Council. We have made more information available on Healthy Living Southeast.


March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal (colon) cancer is the #2 cause of cancer deaths in the United States. About 51,000 people die from colorectal cancer each year. Screening could have prevented 60% of these deaths.

Screening can find polyps (abnormal growths in the colon) that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Colon Cancer and polyps may not cause symptoms, so it is important that you not wait for symptoms before getting screened. It’s generally recommended that you begin screening for colorectal cancer at age 50, but your doctor may recommend that you begin screening earlier.

In order to help you through the process, the SEARHC Colorectal Cancer Screening Program has a dedicated Patient Navigator, Maria Eells. Please feel free to contact Maria at 907-966-8541 or 907-966-2411 ext 8541.

Charles Clement

Just a reminder...


Pharmacy at Ethel Lund Medical Center opens on weekends

Beginning Saturday, March 1, the pharmacy at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau will be expanding its hours to include weekends. The ELMC pharmacy hours will mirror the hours the clinic operates and will be open from 9:00am – 5:00pm on Saturdays and 12:00pm – 4:00pm on Sundays.


Talking Circle for Elders

Tea-Time: A Talking Circle for Elders is also being facilitated by SEARHC’s Beverly Rivard, LCSW, MAC, and began on Wednesday Feb 19 from 3:30-5:00PM at the Senior Center in Klawock. This is a community support group for sharing stories, processing ideas and feelings related to loss and change, and celebrating life's joyful moments in an accepting non-judgmental format. Snacks and beverages will be provided. No pre-registration is necessary, just come and enjoy!


Upcoming Lifestyle Balance Classes

Lifestyle Balance Program is offering in Juneau beginning on February 26 and in Sitka beginning on March 11. These hands-on classes will run every Tuesday for 16 weeks. These classes will help anyone that has been diagnosed with pre-diabetes to delay or avoid the onset of diabetes. Participants will receive individual support from a Lifestyle Coach who will provide support in learning healthy lifestyle skills. For more information and to check eligibility, please contact the program facilitators: In Sitka call or email Maybelle Filler at 966-8739 or mayf@searhc.org and in Juneau either Tiffany Nelson at 364-4459 or tnelson@searhc.org or Kathy Dennis at 364-4453 or kathryn.dennis@searhc.org.


Shingles vaccine available until April 24, 2014

The State of Alaska has provided a one-time allocation of shingles vaccine (Zostavax) to Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka and Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau. Shingles vaccine is very fragile and must be maintained within strict guidelines, which makes shipping difficult to outlying communities. If you live in one of the villages and would like shingles vaccine, please contact your local clinic.

There are several things you should know about the vaccine (including how to get it of you live outside Juneau or Sitka) which we have made available on our online lifestyle magazine, Healthy Living Southeast, so please take a look at the information at your earliest convenience.

To get the vaccine you may request a nurse appointment in the MEH Outpatient Department in Sitka at 966-8318 or Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau at 463-6608.