President’s Update for January 24, 2014

In this edition...

MEH bids “Fair Winds and Following Seas” to one of its most valued resources

January 22nd, Mt Edgecombe Hospital honored one of their most dedicated employees, Rose Gutierrez RN as it was her last day of work. Rose and her husband have retired and are moving to Arizona to enjoy their “Grandchildren, Family and completing my Bucket list,” said Rose.  photo of Rose holding infantRose has served our community with pride and distinction for the past 23 years on the OSS unit. Her skills and compassion as a Nurse have been exemplary to everyone. “When I was here for the birth of my baby I begged to have Rose as my Nurse”, said Kendra Poutney, Deputy Administrator MEH. Rose has been a part of the lives of so many of our community over the past 23 years, she has been here for the delivery and welcoming of so many Southeast Alaskans as they enter into the world. In fact, she may have been a part of the delivery of not only the new mother, but her mother and grandmother as well. There is no doubt the smile on her face and the twinkle in her eye is why so many of our community feel welcome from the start.  Her fellow employees have been truly blessed to have her as a “friend and coworker.”

Mental Health First Aid Training available to the public

SEARHC has partnered with Trust Training Cooperative (TTC) and Juneau Alliance for Mental Health, Inc. (JAMHI) in order to bring Mental Health First Aid Training to the communities of Sitka and Juneau.

Similar to 'First Aid' and CPR, 'Mental Health First Aid' teaches how to help those experiencing mental health problems until professional help is available. It is designed to arm the public with skills to help individuals who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. 

Mental Health First Aid is a non-clinical, public education experience offered as an interactive 8-hour certification course that presents an overview of mental illness and substance use issues in the United States. The course addresses the fear and stigma associated with mental illness and introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. Those who take the course to certify as Mental Health First Aiders learn a 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. 

The Sitka training is Wednesday, January 29, 2014 from 8:30am-5:00pm at the University of Alaska Southeast Campus (1332 Seward Ave Room 229) and the Juneau Training is Wednesday, February 5, 2014 in Juneau from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Tlingit and Haida Vocational Training Center (3239 Hospital Dr.).

Those who wish to attend either training must register through the TTC Learning Management System (LMS). To register online visit: or contact Jill Ramsey for more information at 907-264-6228 or The cost for each training session is $75 for training; $30 for Continuing Education Units (CEUs).  

In addition, the first 10 enrollees for each session as well as SEARHC staff are eligible to have SEARHC pay their registration fee. Please contact Maybelle Filler for either of these offers at or (907) 966-8739.

Petersburg hosts SEARHC Eye Clinic in February

The Sitka Eye Clinic will be providing Eye Clinics in Petersburg next month.

Dr. Pam Steffes, OD will be performing eye exams February 3rd – 6th at the Petersburg Medical Center in the Visiting Physician Office. In addition, eyeglass frames will available for patients that wish to order glasses. No appointment is required to order frames.

This is the first time that SEARHC has provided an Eye Clinic in Petersburg and plans to provide Eye Clinics there twice yearly.

To schedule an appointment for an exam, please call the Sitka Eye Clinic, (907) 966-8415.

Upcoming Lifestyle Balance Classes

Lifestyle Balance classes will be ending in January for Sitka, Juneau and Klawock. The next series of classes will begin at the end of Feb for Sitka and Juneau, with Klawock's next series of classes beginning in early Fall 2014. For more information please contact Maybelle Filler at 966-8739 or

Charles Clement
Charles Clement President/CEO
3100 Channel Drive, Ste. 300
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 463-4000

Just a reminder...

Starting 2014 off on the right foot

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 our website 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.