President’s Update for July 20, 2012

In this edition...

In this edition …

S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital hires nurse practitioner Mary Barrett: The SEARHC S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital recently added longtime Alaska family nurse practitioner Mary Barrett, MSN, ANP-BC, to its medical staff. Mary specializes in family practice and urgent care, and she will work in the hospital’s urgent care department. Mary holds a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and environmental science from Wesleyan University. Over the past 20-plus years, Mary has worked in family practice and urgent care with clinics in Palmer and Wasilla, worked in urgent care in Anchorage, was an outpatient department registered nurse (RN) and public health nurse (PHN) in Kotzebue, and a RN at the Providence Hospital Thermal Unit and Progressive Care Unit in Anchorage. She is certified as an Advanced Nurse Practioner-Board Certified (ANP-BC) by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Mary interested in preventive medicine, especially through nutrition, exercise and stress reduction. She enjoys running (she has completed the New York and Boston marathons), plant-based cooking, hiking, biking, singing, dancing, reading and playing with her two cats. She is married to SEARHC behavioral health clinician Jeff Arndt, who works for the Gunaanastí Bill Brady Healing Center.

Back to top

SEARHC’s Russ Cameron helps teach hazmat course: On Monday, July 16, Sitka Fire Department Assistant Chief Al Stevens and SEARHC Safety Manager Russ Cameron taught a three-hour hazardous materials awareness course for Sitka Community Hospital. This awareness course focused on the local hazardous materials in Sitka and safe decontamination procedures. This awareness course is being developed as collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security, Metropolitan Medical Response Systems (MMRS), Sitka Fire Department and SEARHC. Currently there are plans to teach this course this fall for the Alaska State Troopers’ ALET (Alaska Law Enforcement Training) Academy and SEARHC S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. For more information, please contact Russ Cameron at 966-8802.

Back to top

Two Biomed workers earn CPAS credentials for medical imaging: Kevin Burkart and Erin Kitka of the SEARHC Biomed Department in Sitka have completed an intense two-week class culminating in both passing a rigorous exam and receiving the CPAS certification (Certified PACS Associate) for medical imaging. Kevin and Erin had to prove proficiency in every aspect of PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications Systems) from networking and IP/MAC addressing; relational databases and basic SQL (structured query language); security including authentication and integrity; as well as clinical knowledge of image characteristics of all modalities, process flow, quality assurance, quality control, and much more.

Back to top

SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program to host women’s sweat lodge: The SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program will host a women’s community sweat lodge event from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, July 28, at Yeesdooseigu Xáay, the New Breath Sweat Lodge located behind the SEARHC At Kaník Community Health building and the SEARHC Daycare Center in Sitka. Harry Bradley of the Gunaanastí Bill Brady Healing Center will lead the sweat, which is open to women of all ages. If possible, women should fast with only juice and water the day of the sweat lodge event, but fasting is not required. Women are welcome to bring light foods for a post-sweat potluck after the event. Participants should bring a water bottle, two towels, and modest, loose-fitting clothing or a bathing suit to wear in the sweat lodge. For more information, contact Clara Gray at 966-8936.

Back to top

Just a reminder …

Fall 2012 mobile mammogram van schedule announced: The SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program and Bartlett Regional Hospital have announced the Fall 2012 schedule for the mobile mammogram program. The mobile mammography van will visit Hoonah on Aug. 20-24, Haines on Aug. 27-Sept. 10, Skagway on Sept. 11-14, Klawock on Sept. 19-28 and Oct. 3-9, Craig on Oct. 1-2, and Metlakatla on Oct. 11-19 (no weekend or holiday appointments). Women are encouraged to contact their local clinics prior to the scheduled visit because they will need to receive a clinical breast exam before they can get their mammograms. The mobile mammography program is run through a partnership between Bartlett Regional Hospital and the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program. It makes regular mammography screening services available to women who live in communities where they aren’t available year round. The SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program provides free clinical breast exams, mammograms, Pap tests and cardiovascular screenings for all women ages 40 and older who meet income and insurance guidelines. For more information, contact your local clinic, call the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program in Sitka at 966-8782 (or 1-888-388-8782, toll-free in Alaska), or send e-mail to askwh@searhc.org. For more information about services available through the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program, go to http://www.searhc.org/womenshealth/.

Back to top

SEARHC patient advocates serve as customer liaisons: SEARHC has three patient advocate positions in Southeast Alaska — Bryan Whitson (Sitka), Cyndi Reeves (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 should contact Bryan Whitson at 966-8860. 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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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).

Back to top

Charles Clement SEARHC President/CEO