President’s Update for June 1, 2012

In this edition...

In this edition …

Dr. Kim Hort wins Clinical Excellence Award for Dental Specialist from NOHC: SEARHC pediatric dentist Dr. Kim Hort, DMD, won a national award from the National Oral Health Council Executive Committee. Dr. Hort received the Clinical Excellence Award for Dental Specialist 2012, which honors performance while providing clinical services, providing clinical consultations, program development, clinical presentations and contributions to continuing education, and clinical impact. Dr. Hort, who holds the rank of Commander with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, is the sole pediatric dental consultant for Southeast Alaska and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She started as a general dentist with SEARHC in 1999, then took time out in 2005-07 to attend a two-year pediatric dental residency with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. She returned to SEARHC in 2007 after earning her board certification as a pediatric dentist, earning the Richard C. Pugh Award for scoring in the top 3 percent on the board exam. She now manages SEARHC’s children’s dental program, seeing about 1,800 patients each year and overseeing the services provided to another 2,000 patients. Dr. Hort also has made several presentations and led many staff trainings on SEARHC’s caries risk assessment program (dental caries is the tooth decay that leads to cavities). Congratulations, Dr. Hort.

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Litia Garrison presents at World Congress for Exercise is Medicine/American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting: On Thursday, May 31, SEARHC Women's Health Program Manager Litia Garrison had the opportunity to present on a symposium panel at the Third World Congress for Exercise is Medicine/American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Meeting in San Francisco. She spoke on “Exercise is Medicine for Alaska Natives — Challenges and Opportunities.” Several years ago, Litia was appointed to the Exercise is Medicine Committee for Underserved Populations at ACSM, and she previously served as executive director of the ACSM Alaska Chapter. This presentation was one of the committee's efforts to increase awareness about the Exercise is Medicine initiative and the many benefits of physical activity for health. Exercise is Medicine is a joint initiative developed by ACSM and the American Medical Association. Exercise is Medicine is committed to the belief that exercise and physical activity are integral to the prevention and treatment of chronic disease and should be regularly assessed as part of medical care. Regular moderate intensity physical activity has been shown to significantly improve overall healthy reducing the risk of heart disease by 40 percent, lowering the risk of stroke by 27 percent, reducing the incidence of high blood pressure by almost 50 percent, and reducing the incidence of diabetes by almost 50 percent. Exercise also can reduce mortality and the risk of recurrent breast cancer by almost 50 percent, lower the risk of colon cancer by more than 60 percent, reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by one-third, and decrease depression as effectively as medications or behavioral therapy.

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Melonie Boord named director of social services at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital: Melonie Boord, LCSW, has been named S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Director of Social Services after serving as acting director for several months. Melonie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in humanities from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. She started work with SEARHC in 2003 in a developmental position as a social worker assistant under former director Nancy Jo Bleier (who recently moved to the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program). Melonie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks distance-delivery program in 2005 and was promoted to Social Worker I. She continued her education, and in 2007 was promoted to Social Worker II after earning her Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage distance-delivery program. Melonie is married to Clancy Boord and has two children. She is the daughter of Al and Pauline Duncan.

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Eagles vs. Ravens vs. Juneau Staff Wellness Triathlon launches on June 1: Friday, June 1, was the launch of the inaugural Eagles vs. Ravens vs. Juneau Staff Wellness Triathlon. This two-month event is allows SEARHC patients and Juneau staff to complete an Ironman-length triathlon from June 1 through July 31. An Ironman triathlon features a 2.4-mile swim (4,250 yards or 85 out-and-back laps in a swim pool), 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run/walk. People can participate as individuals, or on two- or three-person teams. Participants report their progress by Thursday each week (the first report due date is Thursday, June 7) by dropping off their mileage log slips at the Ethel Lund Medical Center clinic, at the Juneau Administration building, or the SEARHC Juneau Dental/Behavioral Health building. Mileage results will be posted on a spreadsheet in the Ethel Lund Medical Center clinic lobby, and will be e-mailed to all participants who supply an address. This is event is a fundraiser for the Healing Hand Foundation, which raises money to help provide SEARHC Native patients with unmet needs in durable medical equipment, pharmaceuticals or patient travel. The event is sponsored by the Juneau Commissioned Officers. The cost is $20 per participant, and checks should be made payable to the Killer Whale Chapter COA (Commissioned Officers Association). For more information, contact Chelsea Kleinmeyer at 364-4486 or Sara Lang at 364-4497.

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Dr. William LeMaire writes e-book about his experiences delivering babies around the world: Longtime S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital obstetrics/gynecology specialist Dr. William “Wim” LeMaire recently published a free e-book called “Cross Cultural Doctoring: On and Off the Beaten Path” about his decision to leave academia at age 55 and go to work delivering babies around the world, with Chapter 9 being devoted to his time in Sitka. More information about the book and Dr. LeMaire’s career is at Dr. LeMaire’s book website, http://www.freewebs.com/wimsbook/. Dr. LeMaire, now 78, is back in Sitka working this month on an intermittent basis. While the e-book is free, Dr. LeMaire encourages people to go to the website of the Hospital San Carlos in Chiapas, Mexico, to make a donation, http://www.hospitalsancarlos.org/. To access the e-book, go to this link and choose the best format, http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/161522.

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Today’s Dietitian magazine honors SEARHC community dietitian Janai Meyer: SEARHC Community Dietitian Janai Meyer, RD, LD, CLC, is featured in the June 2012 issue of Today’s Dietitian magazine as one of 10 exceptional registered dietitians who are making a difference. Janai is based in Ketchikan, and also works with SEARHC and WIC clients on Prince of Wales Island. She has been with SEARHC for nearly 16 years. The feature starts on Page 26, and Janai’s item is on Pages 27-28, http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/84f5ddeb#/84f5ddeb/26.

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Saturday is National Trails Day, and Sitka will launch a Parks Prescriptions program: Saturday, June 2, is the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day. As part of the celebration Saturday at Sitka National Historical Park, they will be launching the new Parks Prescriptions program sponsored by the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, Sitka Community Hospital and SEARHC. The Parks Prescriptions program also has the backing of the Sitka Health Summit. SEARHC psychiatrist Dr. Carmen Sugai and behavioral health clinician Debi Terry are scheduled to present on the benefits of outdoor activity for mental health at 2 p.m. There also will be presentations from other health organizations, the grand opening of the new River View Trail and more. The SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program also will have a booth Saturday at the park, which has festivities planned from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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SEARHC POW Health Promotion celebrates 10th annual Putting Up POW Grub: SEARHC POW Health Promotion will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Putting Up POW Grub event this year. The event helps community members put up local foods safely by offering gauge testing for pressure cookers (recommended each year) and food preservation information and recipes. This year’s events will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday June 15, at the Alma Cook Health Center in Hydaburg; and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 16 at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Klawock. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Putting Up POW Grub, a locally designed canvas bag will be given to each guest and there will be the traditional door prizes, along with an exciting grand prize to be drawn from all those who have their canner gauges checked. Everyone is welcome, so mark your calendars now for an event you don’t want to miss. For more information, call June May at 755-4959.

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SEARHC hosts garage sales June 15-16 in Juneau and Sitka: SEARHC will host two spring clean-up garage sales from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday-Saturday, June 15-16, in Juneau and Sitka. The Juneau garage sale will be located in the Ethel Lund Medical Center overflow parking lot, across from the clinic and below the birth center. The Sitka garage sale will be on the lawn in front of Penrod Hall, which is on Tongass Drive just before S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital and across from short-term housing. The garage sales will feature a variety of surplus items, such as furniture, office equipment and other miscellaneous items no longer being used by SEARHC. For more information, contact Libby Watanabe in Juneau at 463-6680 or Dori Biggs in Sitka at 966-8451.

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Just a reminder …

SEARHC patient advocates serve as customer liaisons: SEARHC has three patient advocate positions in Southeast Alaska — Bryan Whitson (Sitka), Cyndi Reeves (POW), and our Juneau position is temporarily vacant — 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). Since our Juneau position is vacant, patients in Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Klukwan and Hoonah should contact Cyndi until we can hire a new Juneau patient advocate (use Cyndi’s numbers above or the Juneau patient advocate’s number of 463-6656, which will be routed to Cyndi). Patients traveling to Anchorage for care should contact the ANMC patient advocates at 729-3990.

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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.

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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).

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Charles Clement SEARHC President/CEO