President’s Update for January 17, 2014

In this edition...

Affordable Care Act Provides More Choices for Alaska Natives

The Affordable Care Act provides Alaska Native people with more choices for additional healthcare coverage beyond the Indian Health Service benefit. Alaska Natives may also qualify for special coverage and protections. There are excellent reasons to purchase insurance over and above any IHS benefits. Applying for health care coverage would assist in covering all of one’s health care needs. 

Under the new health care law, everyone is required to maintain minimum essential coverage or pay a fee (known as the shared responsibility payment). Being eligible for IHS services alone does not meet the minimum essential coverage requirement. If you do not already have private insurance or qualify for Medicare or Medicaid you must still actively file for an exemption. Failure to file an exemption or purchase insurance will result in a tax penalty of $95/adult, $47.50/child (up to $285/family) or 1% of income in 2014 followed by $695/adult and $347.50/child (up to $2,085/family) or 2% of family income the next year.

To file an exemption, visit
http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/publications-and-articles/tribal-exemption.pdf. For more information or assistance, please contact the SEARHC Outreach and Enrollment department free at 1-855-966-8684. You can also send an email to outreach@searhc.org.


SEARHC’s New Healthy Lifestyle Website

I am pleased to announce that on January 6th, we launched Healthy Living Southeast, www.HealthyLivingSE.org, an online, lifestyle magazine that will to provide readers with the information needed to be successful in a journey toward health as well as to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

One of the SEARHC core values is to promote “healthy lifestyle choices among the people in Southeast Alaska.” Healthy Living Southeast is one of the tools offered that may help readers know and understand healthy choices. Within the pages of this website, readers will find stories and articles about program successes, people who are making a difference, health tips, healthy recipes (traditional and not so traditional), special events, changes that effect the way SEARHC provides a service, and more. All things that will interest and motivate both the people we serve and the Southeast Alaska community as a whole.

This new online publication will allow SEARHC to continually update and post new stories and information, including a robust calendar of events, enabling readers, both affiliated with SEARHC and those that are not, access to vital and interesting information on health and wellness, some of which will be unique to Southeast Alaskans.

SEARHC will be regularly adding new content and encourages everyone to visit the website often. There will also be notifications of new content posted both on the SEARHC Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/SouthEastAlaskaRegionalHealthConsortium as well as on Pinterest, http://www.pinterest.com/searhchealth.


Cervical Health Awareness Month Event

The WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program is sponsoring an informational event about cervical health awareness and what every woman needs to know about preventing cervical cancer on Wednesday, January 22, from noon to 3pm at the SEARHC Litehouse.

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and that’s the perfect time to schedule your women’s health screenings. Regular Pap tests give health providers a chance to notice changes in the cervix before they become cervical cancer.

Stop by the SEARHC Litehouse to learn more about cervical health and to see if you may qualify for a FREE women’s health screening. For more information about this event, please call Loretta Coleman at 966-8819.


Walk for the Health of It!

Last Saturday was the kick off for our “Walk for the Health of It” event and there was a great turn out at the Dimond Park Field House. Dan Neumeister and I were really glad to be able greet everyone as the event began and happy to see so many participants, not only from SEARHC, but from our partners sponsoring the event – 88 total!

Sponsors pose with Walk for the Health of it! t-shirts

Tana Bell, Barbara Fujimoto, Charles Clement and Ricardo Worl helped kick off the "Walk for the Health of it" last week in Juneau.

Don’t forget that this is an ongoing event that will last through February 24th, so anyone that wasn’t able to attend the kickoff may get started anytime. It is every Tuesday from here on out, and each week SEARHC will have a different event scheduled in addition to walking. For example, on Tuesday, January 14th, walkers had the opportunity to participate in a biometric screening. Several walkers took advantage of this opportunity and were able to find out their blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol numbers.

If that weren’t enough, there are also great prizes to be won, including a drawing for a pair of Nike sneakers each week! For more information visit the Walk for the Health of it web page or contact Tiffany Nelson at 364-4459.

Charles Clement

Just a reminder...


Starting 2014 off on the right foot… literally.

You’re invited to participate in “Walk for the Health of it,” a planned walking event that lasts for six weeks and runs from January 11th through February 24th. All you have to do is set your own goal, join other walkers at Dimond Park Field House (2961 Riverside Drive) every Tuesday from 4:30-6:30 PM, and turn in your weekly log. Your log not only tracks your progress, but is combined with all of the others from that week for a weekly prize drawing. For more information visit the Walk for the Health of it web page or contact Tiffany Nelson at 364-4459.


Patient Satisfaction Surveys

In order to ensure that we provide the best patient care and services possible, SEARHC has partnered with health care industry consultants, Press Ganey Associates, to gather patient satisfaction information through email surveys for all SEARHC outpatients.

All outpatients seen at MEH, ELMC, or a CHS clinic who have provided SEARHC with an email address will receive an email survey to rate the services received during a visit that took place approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior.

These confidential surveys cover topics such as wait time, access to our facilities, moving through a visit, interactions with nurses or assistants, assessment of provider’s service and efforts, as well as an overall assessment that outlines a few areas covered in the survey. Patients will also have the opportunity to provide comments as well.


Call ELMC for appointments on weekends

We have moved from a weekend Walk-In Clinic model at the Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau to scheduling specific appointment times for patients on Saturday and Sunday.

It is our goal to provide access for patients without causing them the inconvenience of waiting to be seen on a first come, first served basis. This will make the process much smoother and provide the convenience of knowing one’s appointment time in advance, thus decreasing the long wait to be seen by a provider.


Expanded ELMC Clinic Hours

Our clinic and pharmacy hours at the Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau have permanently been extended. The clinic and the Pharmacy are now open from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Monday through Thursday and 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Friday. The weekday hours were previously 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.