This past week, Dr. Ursula Bauer was in Sitka to see the impact of the $2.4-million in CDC grants to prevention programs like Women’s Health, cancer screening, injury prevention, tobacco cessation, and diabetes prevention. Dr. Bauer is head of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. Some of the big questions discussed were: "What is effective use of taxpayer dollars for public health in SE Alaska?" Healthier people is the goal, but what is the best way to get there?
Dr. Bauer also visited the SEARHC clinic in Kake, and had lunch with community elders. Her purpose was to learn how the Centers for Disease Control can better support Alaska Natives. For information about Dr. Bauer visit
In Klukwan on June 19, 20 and 21 Wayde Lee and his wife Adele P. Lee taught the Pono Curriculum (The Right Balance in Life). Wayde is from Molokai, Hawaii. The curriculum is a Native Hawaiian approach to Substance abuse prevention and Treatment. The Prevention Specialists from Klukwan and Angoon were taught the base of the curriculum and will be taking it back to their communities and adapt it to fit the Lingit culture. Many similarities were noticed throughout the workshop that will make the process of adapting much quicker and enable Prevention Specialists to implement the curriculum much sooner. The Behavioral Health Prevention Manager, Administrative Assistant and Grant Evaluator attended along with the Task Force representative from Klukwan.
Klukwan community members were invited to attend and a few stopped by throughout each day. One family of 6 attended and participated in most of the 3 day workshop. The Lingit dance group from Klukwan performed for Wayde and Adele on Thursday. Wayde responded by teaching two of the youth a Hawaiian song and dance. New lifelong friendships were made. The journey through the world of substance abuse prevention and treatment will be made less difficult through the knowledge passed to us from Wayde Lee.
On June 17th, SEARHC received a $15,000 grant from ASHNHA, the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association. This will help defray the cost of implementing VistA Imaging, a clinical document scanning system that integrates with the Indian Health Service Electronic Health Record being implemented across the consortium. VistA Imaging is already being used in Haines, Klawock and Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, and will be deployed next at the Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau.
Please join me in welcoming Jeff Bentley, our new PA in Sitka. Jeff received his physician assistant training at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, in Portland. He was born in Chiloquin, Oregon and is proud to have been raised within the Native American culture of the Klamath Tribes. Prior to physician assistant school he returned to work for the Klamath Tribes managing their diabetic and pre-diabetes programs. Jeff’s previous medical experience was spread among several specialty groups in Southern Oregon and includes caring for patients in the operating room, hospital and clinic as well as work in trauma service and internal medicine specializing in Endocrinology.
Jeff looks forward to the challenges and variety of medicine at MEH in the emergency and urgent care departments. He and wife, Jaime have three children, Taelyn, Jema and Cyrus. Outside work Jeff enjoys hiking, hunting and watersports with his family.
The SEARHC Women’s Health Program announced they received notice this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of successful refunding for both our WISEWOMAN and Breast & Cervical Cancer Screening Programs. We look forward to continuing this tradition of preventive health services, which include regular women’s health exams, mammograms, clinical breast exams, Pap tests, screenings for cardiovascular disease risk factors (cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes) and follow-up support for healthy lifestyles. For more information about program enrollment and services, please call the Women’s Health Hotline at 888-388-8782.
The Fourth Annual Sobriety Picnic will be held at Sandy Beach Wednesday July 3rd. The shelter is reserved from 12pm to 8pm. SEARHC staff will begin cooking at 3pm. Hot dogs, hamburgers and snacks will be provided. Please bring your favorite dishes to share and beverages (alcohol free of course). Knowing how hard it is for people to stay sober we want to provide a safe and sober activity for the holiday. We are offering games and prizes for the children and sober fellowship for adults. Please call Toni Weber with any questions at 463-6670.
ANTHC Scholarship application process for the fall term is open. They will be awarding 5 scholarships up to $5,000 each.
Scholarships are available for Alaska Native or American Indians who are:
* Permanent Alaska residents
* Interested in working in the healthcare field
* Currently enrolled in a formal education or training program
The deadline is July 15th. Please spread the word about this wonderful opportunity. The scholarship packet can be accessed through the following link: ANTHC Scholarship Packet