President’s Update for June 4, 2011

In this edition...

In this edition … SEARHC Summer Internship Program: Seven Alaska Native/American Indian students from around the region have been chosen to participate in the SEARHC Summer Internship Program this year. The eight-week internship program starts June 20 and runs through Aug. 15. There are four high school interns — Jolene Lemieux of Haines, Cassi Williams of Klawock, Justin Watanabe of Juneau and Shaenel Gamble of Angoon — and they will rotate through different departments at their local clinics. There are three college students — Caitlin Way of Sitka (a recent Sitka High graduate), Tammy Eddy of Juneau and Georgianna “Annie” Foruria of Sitka. Caitlin will work in physical therapy, Tammy will work in administration, patient access and records, and Annie will rotate to different floors with the nurses at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. The SEARHC Summer Internship Program is designed to help train more Native health care workers. Congratulations, interns and we wish you a successful summer. Back to top ANTHC assures patient housing for ANMC: The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) assured that patients traveling to Anchorage for appointments will be housed. In the past, some appointments were delayed as patients were waiting for available housing in Anchorage. Late last year, ANMC began to house patients in limited overflow rooms in Anchorage. Don Kashevaroff, ANTHC CEO, committed that housing at ANMC will be available to all patients. Patients will be housed either at the Quyana House or hotel rooms in the community. We are very appreciative of this effort by ANTHC as Anchorage housing will no longer be a delay associated with access to care at ANMC. Back to top Late News … IHS should receive funds after OMB approves spending plan: SEARHC and other tribal health organizations have waited since Oct. 1 to receive a lump-sum payment of its compact funding agreement. We received a message late this week that the rest of the compact funds will finally arrive by June 10. This amount represents our entire IHS revenues and nearly half of all SEARHC revenues. We received partial payments over the last eight months ranging from periods of two months to a couple of days. Some of these payments came multiple days after funds ran out for that period (meaning that we upfront these costs for the IHS). Although Congress adopted the federal budget in April through a continuing resolution for the rest of the year, it has taken until June for the agency’s budget to be approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). We have not seen the final approved funding level from the IHS, but we are estimating this amount to be similar to last fiscal year’s funding. This number would be less than what was projected last year by about 1 percent of our entire revenue budget. We are pleased to receive this news as we have tightly managed our account payables while waiting for these compact funds. Back to top New Anchorage-based patient advocate being recruited for KANA, SEARHC: The Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA) is recruiting for an Anchorage-based patient advocate position it shares with SEARHC. The patient advocate will be based with the Customer Experience staff at the Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) and will be supervised by KANA. The patient advocate serves as a customer liaison for KANA and SEARHC patients who travel to Anchorage to receive care at ANMC. The patient advocate helps patients navigate the Alaska Tribal Health Care System and ensures patients receive the highest quality health care possible and are satisfied with the care provided. To learn more about the open position and its job requirements, go to http://www.kanaweb.org/html/jobs.php and scroll down to the Patient Advocate job listing. Online applications should be submitted through the KANA website, and should be submitted by Friday, June 17 (note that this is an extension of the original June 10 due date listed on the site). For more information, contact the KANA Human Resources Department at 907-486-9800 (in Kodiak) or send e-mail to hr@kanaweb.org. Back to top Haines Tribal Youth Program hosts rededication of 3.5 Mile Cemetery on June 10: The Haines Tribal Youth Program — a partnership between the SEARHC Behavioral Health Prevention Program and the Chilkoot Indian Association (CIA), through a grant from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) — will host a rededication at the 3.5 Mile Cemetery at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 10. Rodney Hinson, who works for the SEARHC Behavioral Health Prevention program, said the Tribal Youth Program applied for and received one of only 11 grants given out by the History Channel under their “Save Our History” program. The students in the program cleaned and restored a Native cemetery at 3.5 Mile of the Haines Highway. They made new cedar fences for the graves, replacing fences built in 1904 by the contractor that built Fort Seward. Our local youth provided much of the labor for the project and it has been well documented in our local paper and radio coverage. The rededication ceremony will begins at 5 p.m. on June 10, and will be followed by a potluck at Tlingít Park in Haines. CIA will provide the meat and drinks while others are asked to bring a side dish or dessert. The Tribal Youth Program invites everyone to attend and asks people to bring their drums. Over the past 15 months, the program has provided materials and instruction for the making of over 140 drums in our community. The program hopes people will be able to attend to celebrate not only the restoration work, but also the history of the 3.5 Mile Cemetery. Back to top Spring mobile mammograms continue through June: The Spring 2011 schedule for the mobile mammogram van program launched in May. The program is operated by Bartlett Regional Hospital and the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program. The mobile mammogram van visited Haines on May 2-13, Kake on May 17-20, Gustavus on May 26 and Skagway on June 1-3 to open its schedule, and then it will go to Yakutat on June 8-13 and Angoon on June 16-22. Women are encouraged to contact their local clinics before the scheduled visit because they will need to have had a clinical breast exam before they can get their mammograms. 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 Alaska VA Mental Health Wellness Council seeks art for suicide prevention cards: The Alaska VA Mental Health Wellness Council is working with the Suicide Prevention Coordinator to gather art from veterans that can be used on the covers of 12 monthly suicide prevention cards. Each month the coordinator sends suicide prevention cards to high-risk veterans so they feel more connected. This is a statewide request for artwork from any Alaska veteran of the armed services, including the National Guard and the Reserves. Veterans may submit original art, which can be digital art, a photograph or a photograph of a three-dimensional piece. The artwork is due by July 31, and the 12 images selected for the monthly card covers will be unveiled during a National Suicide Prevention Week ceremony at 1 p.m. on Sept. 7, at the Alaska VA Healthcare System, 1201 N. Muldoon Rd., Anchorage, 99504. The cards will be mailed out from October 2011 to September 2012. For more information, contact Ginny Crawford, a program analyst with the Alaska VA Health Care System, at 907-257-4703 or virginia.crawford@va.gov. You also can call (last names not available) Jorge at 907-529-4859 or Woody at 907-245-0284 for more information. Back to top Regards, Roald Helgesen