President’s Update for March 07, 2014

In this edition...

“Walk for the Health of It” Success

The 6 week “Walk for the Health of It” program wrapped up on Tuesday, March 4. The 138 walkers who registered were invited to attend the finale event where a light dinner was served, success stories were shared, and 25,000 Alaska Air miles was awarded to one lucky walker who completed all 6 weeks of turning in their log. The walking program also featured a pre and post biometric screening so participants could see the benefits to their health with consistent physical activity.

One participant shared her experience with us, saying, “I was excited to participate in the Walk for the Health of It campaign in January 2014. I received a Dimond Park Field House pass and set a goal of walking three times a week. The possibility of winning one of the weekly prizes was a great incentive to keep me going throughout the 6 week program. Biometric screening was also offered, and I got my baseline blood numbers, which were good. Towards the end of the program the Biometric screening was offered again. When I got my numbers I realized they had gotten BETTER in a 5 week period.  That was additional motivation to keep walking, and it really made me happy! Thank you SEARHC for offering such a great program!”

Congratulations to all of the participants and staff that put in so much time and effort to make this year’s event a success.


March is National Nutrition Month

Every March, we at SEARHC celebrate National Nutrition Month.  The national theme this year is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”

For ideas on how to make your meals tastier and more interesting, we suggest you: 1) check out the displays at ELMC and the Dental Building; 2) visit the “Eat Well” section SEARHC’s online magazine, Healthy Living Southeast (www.healthylivingse.org) for more great ideas; and 3) contact one of SEARHC’s four dietitians. In Juneau, you can contact Susan Hennon at 364-4476 or Aleene Poulsen at 463-4097.  In Sitka, you can contact Kelly Whitcomb at 966-8427 or Jessica Holland at 966-8651. Remember, healthy eating can and should be delicious, too!

Also, in Juneau, SEARHC employees are invited to participate in our annual food drive.  All proceeds will be donated to the Southeast Alaska Food Bank at the end of the month.  Donation boxes are located in the break rooms on both floors of the Ethel Lund Medical Center, the break room in the Administration Building and in the lobby of the Dental/WIC/Health Promotion & Behavioral Health Building. Thank you in advance for your generous donations.


ANTHC $5000 Scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year

Applications are currently being accepted now through June 20, 2014 at 4:30 pm. Awards go towards the academic Fall 2014 – Summer 2015 school year. ANTHC grants these scholarships as an integral part of its long-term strategy to increase Alaska Natives and American Indians in the healthcare field. You may visit the ANTHC website for more information.

Charles Clement

Just a reminder...


March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal (colon) cancer is the #2 cause of cancer deaths in the United States. About 51,000 people die from colorectal cancer each year. Screening could have prevented 60% of these deaths.

Screening can find polyps (abnormal growths in the colon) that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Colon Cancer and polyps may not cause symptoms, so it is important that you not wait for symptoms before getting screened. It’s generally recommended that you begin screening for colorectal cancer at age 50, but your doctor may recommend that you begin screening earlier.

In order to help you through the process, the SEARHC Colorectal Cancer Screening Program has a dedicated Patient Navigator, Maria Eells. Please feel free to contact Maria at 907-966-8541 or 907-966-2411 ext 8541.


Pharmacy at Ethel Lund Medical Center opens on weekends

Beginning Saturday, March 1, the pharmacy at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau will be expanding its hours to include weekends. The ELMC pharmacy hours will mirror the hours the clinic operates and will be open from 9:00am – 5:00pm on Saturdays and 12:00pm – 4:00pm on Sundays.


Talking Circle for Elders

Tea-Time: A Talking Circle for Elders is also being facilitated by SEARHC’s Beverly Rivard, LCSW, MAC, and began on Wednesday Feb 19 from 3:30-5:00PM at the Senior Center in Klawock. This is a community support group for sharing stories, processing ideas and feelings related to loss and change, and celebrating life's joyful moments in an accepting non-judgmental format. Snacks and beverages will be provided. No pre-registration is necessary, just come and enjoy!


Upcoming Lifestyle Balance Classes

Lifestyle Balance Program is offering in Juneau beginning on February 26 and in Sitka beginning on March 11. These hands-on classes will run every Tuesday for 16 weeks. These classes will help anyone that has been diagnosed with pre-diabetes to delay or avoid the onset of diabetes. Participants will receive individual support from a Lifestyle Coach who will provide support in learning healthy lifestyle skills. For more information and to check eligibility, please contact the program facilitators: In Sitka call or email Maybelle Filler at 966-8739 or mayf@searhc.org and in Juneau either Tiffany Nelson at 364-4459 or tnelson@searhc.org or Kathy Dennis at 364-4453 or kathryn.dennis@searhc.org.


Shingles vaccine available until April 24, 2014

The State of Alaska has provided a one-time allocation of shingles vaccine (Zostavax) to Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka and Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau. Shingles vaccine is very fragile and must be maintained within strict guidelines, which makes shipping difficult to outlying communities. If you live in one of the villages and would like shingles vaccine, please contact your local clinic.

There are several things you should know about the vaccine (including how to get it of you live outside Juneau or Sitka) which we have made available on our online lifestyle magazine, Healthy Living Southeast, so please take a look at the information at your earliest convenience.

To get the vaccine you may request a nurse appointment in the MEH Outpatient Department in Sitka at 966-8318 or Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau at 463-6608.