President’s Update for March 8, 2013

In this edition...

Electronic Health Records Update Part 2

Klawock successfully went live with the RPMS EHR on schedule on March 4 and at this writing, it appears that everything is running smoothly. I want to thank everyone that have worked hard to make this happen and look forward to our other locations joining in. For more information or questions about the project, please contact Project Manager Peter Apathy at (907) 966-8577 or by email at peter.apathy@searhc.org


Higher healthcare costs has become a major concern

Higher healthcare costs has become a major concern for healthcare providers, insurers, and employers alike, along with the likelihood that individuals will develop a chronic, preventable disease resulting in poor quality of life and declining productivity. Because SEARHC believes that each individual is unique and requires personalized assessment based on the best medical evidence, we hosted a Know Your Numbers® display at the 1A basketball tournament at Thunder Mountain High School on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. They hope to get 400 surveys completed by either students, parents, or spectators from the 8 participating Southeast Alaskan communities of Thorne Bay, Skagway, Kake, Klawock, Yakutat, Hoonah, Angoon, and Hydaburg.  

Upon completion of a brief survey testing the individual’s knowledge of normal and abnormal values for blood pressure, cholesterol, and fasting glucose, participants receive a Know Your Number® rally rag with their communities’ name and colors to display as they cheer on their team!  Attached to the rally rag is a list of what are considered to be normal values and an invitation to go to a SEARHC website to complete a post-survey and receive a $10 iTunes gift certificate.  Go Teams!


Health Promotion, Injury Prevention staff

Health Promotion, Injury Prevention staff have all been working at the Region V, 2A, 3A and 4A Basketball Tourney to educate participating students about seat belt laws and the effectiveness of how seat belt use can save your life. As of Thursday morning  200+ high school students from the region have completed the first seat belt survey, received education, received a buckle up rally rag and are entered in a daily drawing to for a iPod shuffle. Chris Turner from Haines and Steven Barger from Wrangell won the iPod shuffle for Tuesday and Wednesday. The SEARHC Buckle up program is also giving a $10 iTunes’s card to a super fan from each school.  These super fans are selected by each school athletic director or designee and are selected based on their overall support of youth health and activities. This work is supported by a CDC grant.

Charles Clement

Just a reminder...


March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month

As part of our efforts to provide more regional public education around colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and prevention, the SEARHC Colorectal Health Program recently purchased their own traveling colon health display. “Minnie Colon” is a 4’ x 6’ inflatable, cross-sectional colon display – not as large as “Nolan the Super Colon,” and easier to transport and set up for community events. Minnie travels with educational materials and information about CRC screening at SEARHC. Please contact Clara Gray at 966-8936 for more information about scheduling Minnie for your program or community group.


Applications are available for the SEARHC Summer Internship Program

The SEARHC Summer Internship Program provides opportunities for six Native students who are studying at the high school, bachelor’s degree and/or master’s degree/clinical level. The program allows participants to explore career options in health care, and the interns receive valuable on-the-job training in their health care career of interest and a minimal hourly stipend. At the end of the program, interns will receive a performance evaluation with valuable feedback from their mentor(s). Students must be enrolled tribal members or descendants as certified through a Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB) and currently be enrolled full-time in high school, college or vocational school with a minimum GPA of 2.5. To apply, students must complete a SEARHC Summer Internship Application, a SEARHC job application, provide two letters of recommendation (from teachers, counselors, employers, tribal leaders, etc.), a copy of the student’s current resume and a copy of the student’s current college transcripts.

The application deadline is Friday, May 10 (the application must be received or postmarked by this date), and the final selection of interns takes place on May 17. The internship program runs from June through September 2013. Completed applications may be mailed to Jessika Beam (966-8903) at SEARHC, c/o Human Resources Department, 222 Tongass Drive, Sitka, AK 99835. Applications also can be faxed to 966-8527, or scanned and e-mailed to jessika.beam@searhc.org. Because space is limited, interested students should apply early. Application packets are available at Southeast Alaska high school offices, through local tribal organizations or by going to http://searhc.org/students/summer-internships.


2013 Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations Program (VHOP) is gearing up

Each year, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) selects several Southeast-area Native students interested in health careers for VHOP, and the students spend a week at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka learning about different health careers and educational opportunities. The health field is growing, which means plenty of job opportunities for people with the right training. Health careers usually offer good pay and employee benefits, as well as the satisfaction of helping others. The experience enables students to evaluate their own strengths and decide which jobs might best suit them. This year's VHOP session is scheduled for April 22-27. Students selected to participate in VHOP receive assistance to cover the travel costs to and from Sitka, housing, meals and some evening entertainment. The application deadline is Friday, March 29. Completed applications may be mailed to Jessika Beam, SEARHC Tribal Recruitment Coordinator, c/o Human Resources Department, 222 Tongass Drive, Sitka, AK 99835. Applications also can be faxed to 907-966-8527, or scanned and e-mailed to jessika.beam@searhc.org. Because space is limited, interested students should apply early. Application packets are available at high school offices, at local village corporations or by going to http://searhc.org/students/high-school-programs-vhop. For additional information, contact Jessika Beam at 907-966-8903 or by e-mail at jessika.beam@searhc.org


SEARHC patient advocates serve as customer liaisons

SEARHC has three patient advocate positions in Southeast Alaska – Bryan Whitson (Sitka), Cyndi Reeves (POW), and Debra Graceland (Juneau) – 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). Patients in Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Klukwan and Hoonah should contact Debra Graceland (463-6656). Patients traveling to Anchorage for care should contact the ANMC patient advocates at 729-3990.