President’s Update for July 1, 2010

In this edition...

Systems transformation project gets ready to go live in Juneau: We are getting closer to taking the next big step with our systems transformation project, which eventually will take us from paper records into a comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) at all of our facilities. On July 6, we will go live with an updated version of the ALERT EDIS (Emergency Department Information System) software program at the Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital emergency room. We originally launched ALERT EDIS in January 2009 and we have used it as a way to try the system with a small patient load so we could work out the interfaces. That leads us to our next big date on July 13, when we will launch ALERT CLINIC at the Ethel Lund Medical Center (ELMC). ELMC will be our first clinic to go live with a comprehensive EHR for all patient encounters. ALERT CLINIC allows all of these computer programs to work together as one system, so medical providers can have an updated patient record in real time that includes lab results, x-rays, prescription records and disease prevention reminders. After we go live in Juneau, we plan to begin launching ALERT at our other clinics starting in a couple of months with Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. We hope to have all locations go live with ALERT by October 2011. When complete, SEARHC will be one of the first and largest tribal health systems in the country to have a comprehensive electronic health record. New x-ray machine installation at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital behind schedule: The installation of our new x-ray machine at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital is running behind schedule. We have been using our portable x-ray machine for the past month and we are looking forward to having the new machine operational. We had hoped to have everything completed by Friday, June 25, but now the Toshiba representatives installing the machine hope to have the machine ready by Tuesday, July 6. An applications tech from Toshiba will travel to Sitka so we can have training on the new machine starting Monday, July 12 (we will be able to do regular x-rays with the new machine starting July 6, but will not be able to do fluoroscopy exams until after training). Once it is up and running, the new x-ray machine will provide us with much clearer images while exposing our patients to lower doses of radiation. Haines clinic bike team and Dr. Janice Sheufelt compete in Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay: An eight-person mixed relay team from the SEARHC Haines Health Center finished in 43rd place for its 81-team division June 19 in the 146-mile Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay from Haines Junction, Yukon Territory, to Haines, Alaska. Dr. Janice Sheufelt, the clinic administrator and medical director for the Ethel Lund Medical Center, also competed as a solo rider, winning the solo women’s division title with a time of 9 hours, 4 minutes, 7 seconds. The Haines clinic team, called “Crash Test Dummies,” completed the course in 10:30:02. The team featured Dr. Julia Heinz, Aaron Hietala (son of nurse Shelley Hodnik), Dr. Noble Anderson, patient access representative Walter Clayton, intermittent pharmacist Laurie Weldon, nurse Adam DuPaul, Dr. Russ Bowman and Dr. Beth Charlotte Cant. Intermittent nurse Julie Anderson and ward clerk Christa Clayton drove support vehicles to get team members to their relay exchange points and to provide water breaks along the course. The annual Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay features close to 1,200 cyclists who compete as solo riders or on two-, four- and eight-person teams. ‘Then and now: Traditional and modern foods and activities’ offered in Hydaburg: The Alicia Roberts Medical Center's diabetes program will be teaming up with the tobacco cessation program to provide a modified “Then and now: Traditional and modern foods and activities” presentation at the Hydaburg Culture Camp. Julie Sturtevant, diabetes case manager, “is excited to offer this lesson from the diabetes education in tribal school curriculum.” The Hydaburg Culture Camp is scheduled for July 26-28. Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) warning released for Southeast Alaska: In June, two Southeast Alaska residents died of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) — a Juneau woman who ate cockles she gathered at the Point Louisa end of Auke Bay and a Haines man who ate Dungeness crab gathered near the Chilkat Inlet of Lynn Canal. There also have been three people in Kodiak who were sickened by PSP after eating butter clams. If confirmed, these will be Alaska’s first deaths to PSP since 1997, but there are people who get sick from PSP about every year. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and Alaska Department of Health and Social Services caution about eating any subsistence and recreational shellfish harvested on Southeast and other “uncertified” beaches in Alaska. The state is taking the lead on getting the word out about PSP, but because of the health implications we have added a page to the SEARHC website, http://www.searhc.org/, with safety warnings, first aid and other information about PSP. WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program events planned for Thorne Bay, Kasaan: An annual women’s health screening event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, July 13 and 15, at the SEARHC Thorne Bay Health Center, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21, at the SEARHC Kasaan Health Center. Look for fliers in your community and announcements in your post office box with more information. The annual women’s health screening includes a clinical breast exam, routine labs, heart health check and maybe a Pap test (depending on your personal health history). For women age 40 or older, this is a great time to get your clinical breast exam done before the mobile mammogram van makes its annual visit on Sept. 22-Oct. 8 to Klawock and on Oct. 11-12 to Craig. The annual women’s screening exam may be free for qualifying women through the WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Grant. Please call Mary Dinon or Helen Jackson at 1-877-755-4800 in Klawock (toll-free number) to see if you qualify or for any questions. Kasaan women can contact Helen for an appointment at their screening event, while Thorne Bay women should contact the Thorne Bay clinic at 828-8848. SEARHC Injury Prevention to host networking lunch and conference July 19-20 in Sitka: The SEARHC Injury Prevention Team will host a 1 1/2-day conference, “Preventing Injuries in Your Community: A Planned Approach,” on July 19-20 at the SEARHC At Kaník Hít Community Health Services building in Sitka. This conference is open to all Southeast Alaska residents, and will give participants a chance to meet other people working on injury prevention in the region and teach them how to get effective injury prevention messages into their communities. The meeting kicks off with a networking lunch, and the times are noon to 5 p.m. on Monday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The conference fee is $50, and a limited number of travel and registration fee scholarships are available. For more information, contact Lesa Way at 966-8804 or lesa.way@searhc.org, or contact Doug Osborne at 966-8734 or doug.osborne@searhc.org. Special well-child exams available on POW this summer: Nancy Cavanaugh, a pediatric nurse practitioner at the SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe High School Student Health Center in Sitka, will be on Prince of Wales Island on July 28 and Aug. 10-12 (tentative) to provide well-child exams, sports physicals, and immunizations. She also visited Prince of Wales on June 1-3 to provide special well-child exams for teens. Her July 28 trip involves well-child exams for ages 0-18 at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock. Her August trip arrangements still are being finalized, but she will provide well-child exams for teens at ARMC and at the SEARHC Hydaburg Health Center. These special well-child exam clinics are covered by the Indian Health Service for all Native patients, by most private insurance plans, and by Denali KidCare or Medicaid for Native and non-Native families that meet income requirements. To schedule appointments, call ARMC at 755-4800 or the Hydaburg Health Center at 285-3462. SEARHC, Bartlett Regional Hospital mobile mammograms prepare for summer/fall schedule: During the Summer/Fall 2010 mobile mammogram season, the mobile mammography van will visit Hoonah on Aug. 23-27, Haines on Aug. 30-Sept. 13, Skagway on Sept. 14-17, Klawock on Sept. 22-Oct. 8, Craig on Oct. 11-12 and Metlakatla on Oct. 14-22. This list gives women the dates the mobile mammogram van will be in town, and specific appointment times will be available from the local clinic. The mobile mammography program is run through a partnership between Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau and the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program. Between the spring and summer/fall seasons, the van provides about 800-900 women in nine communities with regular mammography screening services in places where the services aren’t available year round. For more information, contact your local clinic or call the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program at 966-8782 in Sitka or 1-888-388-8782 (toll-free in Alaska), send an e-mail to askwh@searhc.org, or go online at http://www.searhc.org/womenshealth/. SEARHC launches new 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 Prevention Program Director Wilbur Brown at 966-8753. Regards, Roald