President’s Update for July 31, 2010

In this edition...

S’áxt’ Hít – Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital scores 96 percent in special patient satisfaction survey: In May and June, S’áxt’ Hít – Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital staff conducted a special patient satisfaction survey that asked 200 people about their experiences at the hospital. On the question about how patients rated the care they received, 96 percent of them gave an answer of A or B (using A, B, C, D and F as the grades). There were 149 A’s and 44 B’s. The scores were 94 percent on the question about staff courtesy (155 A’s, 32 B’s), 89 percent on the question rating the information given to patients (127 A’s, 51 B’s), and 87 percent on the question about how well patients were provided for their comfort (130 A’s, 44 B’s). This special survey saw significant improvement from our usual quarterly surveys, which have a lot fewer respondents. We are very proud of the work by our front desk staff, nurses, doctors, lab, pharmacy, radiology, environmental services, and all other staff that make this level of satisfaction a reality. These are incredible results that demonstrate their effort to our patients and our mission. Hydaburg raises poles – an exciting event: The community of Hydaburg held another historic event when it raised 4 totem poles this last week. The events followed a week of culture camp, Haida Day, and two days dedicated to the pole raisings. The poles were raised in Hydaburg’s Totem Park. The community was joined by Haidas and other Alaska Natives from across the region and included Haidas from Masset, Haida Gwaii. We are very proud of the work done in the community and by the Tribe to continue the culture and a way of life. Háw’aa to Hydaburg for the wonderful events! SEARHC traditional foods programs receive national recognition: Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hosted a meeting for the holders of its special grants where traditional foods are used to prevent diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other health problems. The national newspaper Indian Country Today interviewed several of the program managers and produced a special package of articles in its issue on Tuesday, July 27. Two of the articles quoted SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program workers Martha Pearson of Sitka and Tammi Meissner of Wrangell, who talked about how not only are these programs teaching people how to live healthier lifestyles but they also are helping build and strengthen their communities. The top link below is to Indian Country Today’s “ICT Insider: Health” newsletter, which featured the article package. The next two links are to the articles that mention SEARHC. Alicia Roberts Medical Center staff participates in Hydaburg Culture Camp: The Hydaburg Culture Camp this week (July 26-28) featured several programs and staff from the Alicia Roberts Medical Center. Community Wellness Advocate June May led a berry-picking and jam-making activity for youth. Community Family Service Worker Anna Trudeau provided a rock art activity where youth drew pictures on cut marble rock and then sealed the designs with a lacquer finish. Diabetes Case Manager Julie Sturtevant, with assistance from Health Educator Sandy Demmert, provided a presentation called “Then and Now: Traditional and Modern Foods and Activities,” which is from the diabetes education in Tribal schools curriculum. SEARHC staff visit with Petersburg and Wrangell health leaders: On Monday and Tuesday, July 26-27, SEARHC Chief Operating Officer Frank Sutton and SEARHC Community Resource Program Services Program Manager Karen Fredrickson took a trip to Petersburg and Wrangell to visit our staff there and with health leaders from those communities. In Petersburg, Frank and Karen met with staff to discuss the relationship with our hospital and Alaska Native Medical Center when it comes to referrals, and staff was asked about possibly moving the SEARHC referral office to a building owned by the Petersburg Indian Association (PIA is very interested in having us move into their building when our current lease ends in July 2011). Frank and Karen also met with PIA administrators about their available office space and met with Petersburg Medical Center officials about starting specialty clinics there like we have in Wrangell (PMC wants to wait until they get back to full staff this fall). He discussed PMC’s new pain management program in Petersburg. In Wrangell, Frank and Karen met with our Healthy Wrangell program staff as part of an evaluation with the Indian Health Service. Frank and Karen then met with Alaska Islands Community Services (AICS) staff and saw their new pharmacy, learned about their new pain management program and heard about AICS’s hopes to be in a new facility by December 2011. They also met with Wrangell Medical Center staff about the new hospital being built in Wrangell, how WMC wants SEARHC to have a space in the new building, and about how billing and payment seems to be running very smoothly. Later Frank and Karen met with tribal members to discuss their concerns. New psychology intern joins Sitka behavioral health staff for a year: Ted Askwith, a doctoral student in psychology from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., arrived in Sitka in July to start working at the SEARHC Haa Toowóo Náakw Hít behavioral health clinic as part of a year-long work through the Alaska Psychology Internship Consortium (AK-PIC). SEARHC is one of five health organizations hosting interns through the new program this year, and Dr. Rand West, PsychD, of Haa Toowóo Náakw Hít is serving as associate training director for AK-PIC. The AK-PIC mission is to prepare and retain psychologists to provide culturally competent collaborative health care for Alaska’s unique and diverse people. Ted is here with his wife and young son. He grew up in rural northern Michigan, and he has worked in a college counseling center, a community mental health clinic and at an in-patient court-mandated drug and alcohol clinic. SEARHC Facilities Management program working to create apprenticeships: The SEARHC Facilities Management is developing two apprenticeship programs to provide formal training for Alaska Native employees and potential employees. SEARHC Sitka Facility Manager John Blankenship and Tribal Recruitment Coordinator Romee McAdams are working with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development on a facility management apprenticeship, which is helping staff move toward journeyman status. Employees in maintenance mechanic and staff engineer positions already are taking advantage of this program. The other apprenticeship is in biomedical engineering, since it is extremely difficult to recruit qualified biomedical technicians. SEARHC Biomedical Engineering Manager Randy Berlin is developing an apprenticeship program that is geared toward recruiting Alaska Natives, especially those with Southeast Alaska roots, and providing them with the formal training and education they need to be successful. We hope to have this program going by the first quarter of FY2011. SEARHC Health Promotion offers free health screenings in Sitka and Haines: The SEARHC Health Promotion program offered free health screenings for adults (ages 18 or older) this week (July 29-31) in Sitka and will offer similar screenings on Sept. 1-2 in Haines. The first two days (July 29-30) of the screenings in Sitka took place at the S’áxt’ Hít – Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Litehouse Cafeteria conference rooms, with the third day (July 31) at the Sitka Firehall as part of the Sitka Volunteer Fire Department’s Super Saturday. The screenings in Sitka were very successful. The health screenings in Haines are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30-6 p.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday (Sept. 1-2) at the Chilkat Center for the Arts, located on the grounds for Fort William H. Seward. Participants are encouraged to call early to schedule 20-minute appointment, though walk-in patients will be seen when there are gaps in the schedule. The screenings feature a simple blood test that gives people their non-fasting glucose, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and blood pressure results. To schedule an appointment for the Sept. 1-2 screenings in Haines, contact Mandy Ramsey at 766-6317. Regards, Roald.