President’s Update for May 10, 2013

In this edition...

Congratulations to the SEARHC Colorectal Screening Program staff

Congratulations to the SEARHC Colorectal Screening Program staff, and partners consortium-wide, on meeting our screening goals for Year 4, with two months still to go in the grant year! Thanks to all for your hard work and dedication to increasing screenings and awareness about colorectal cancer across our SEARHC communities. Looking forward to another year of CRC program successes! Great work!!!


National Nurses Week

It happened this week (May 6–12, 3013) and it’s dedicated to the men and women of Alaska who have chosen nursing as a career and are devoted and responsible professionals that make a difference each day in the quality of lives and medical care for all Alaskans. If you haven’t already, let’s give a rousing applause to the great nursing staff SEARHC is so lucky to have. Also, please be sure to tell them thanks for all the great care they provide.


SEARHC Canoe team completed its Canoe Journey to Wrangell

Joining the team were 11 paddlers ( Wilbur Brown, Rena Wallace,Kate Bold, Dale Lindstrom, Paula Lindstrom, Tony Phillips, Randy Gambell, Justin Mcdonald, Allen Bradley, Gary Lang, Desiree Beregeron). They left Sitka on the 25th of April arriving in Wrangell on the 2nd of May. It was a wonderful paddle that was focused on raising awareness for suicide prevention and a cultural awakening. The team, along with all the other canoe teams, where hosted very well by the communities of Kake, Petesburg and Wrangell during the journey and all had the opportunity to share some great food and took part in a cultural exchanges with each community.


The Community Transformation Grant (CTG)

The Community Transformation Grant (CTG) recently completed an initiative to increase enrollment in Medicare. Their method was successful because they made it personally appealing to elders in the region. They devised a culturally resonant, attractive mailer and incentive that would encourage both enrollment in Medicare for eligible patients and actually seeing a provider for a wellness visit. They offered patients who enrolled in Medicare and who also had a wellness visit with their primary provider a chance to win a $100 gift certificate by having their name put in a drawing. 2900 mailers were sent to patients who were in their patient record system and eligible by age for Medicare. Of the 1,290 Medicare patients who were seen in our clinics during this initiative, 789 were new enrollees. CTG worked closely with Patient access staff and especially Judi Brown to ensure that elders who needed help getting enrollment completed were served. Judi and Patient Access did the hard work of actually enrolling everyone.


Gathering Incredible Edibles in Klawock – Part 2

Join SEARHC Health Promotion for Part 2 of our spring harvesting events on: Saturday, May 18th at 12pm. They will meet at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center conference room (side door) and car pool to a nearby harvesting area. Cyndi Reeves, Alaskan gatherer, will be our guide and edible greens that we will be harvesting are: sea lovage (or wild parsley), wild celery, salmonberry sprouts and sea beach sandwort. Please wear appropriate clothes and boots for the weather.  For more information, call June May at #755-4959. Also in Klawock: Health Promotion will be doing the "Think Your Drink" activity with the Klawock Boys and Girls Club, Wednesday, May 15th at 6pm. What is “Think Your Drink?” It’s an activity where the teens will learn how to read a nutrition fact label to see how much sugar is in common drinks.  They will learn about the affects of too much sugar, soda and caffeine and the importance of healthy nutrients, like water, vitamin C&A and calcium for their bodies. 

In Craig – Joining the Behavioral Health Team on POW is Beverly Rivard, LCSW,MAC.  Beverly has been a clinician at Bill Brady Healing Center and brings to the Island great experience and will be joining an already awesome team of professionals on the Island.  Watch for new and expanded services on the island.  Also in the office working with Beverly is the newest CFSW, Joe Yates who is from POW.


The Behavioral Health department in Klawock and Craig

The Behavioral Health department in Klawock and Craig will be sponsoring a Native Youth Olympics on POW island. A practice is planned for Monday, May 13 from 6 – 8 pm at the Klawock Gym. The competition will be held Monday, May 20, from 6 – 8 pm at the same location. All of the events are games from differing Native cultures in Alaska. Looks to be exceptionally exciting, a great place for our students to learn a little more about our culture, and will promote positive, active alternatives to substance abuse and working together to overcome obstacles. Please encourage your Middle and High School students to participate.


In the FY 14 grant application to the State of Alaska

In the FY 14 grant application to the State of Alaska, Yéil Jeeyáx (Raven's Way) proposed to become an open access program. This will allow the program to serve youth 100 more days a year than the current model and a flexible period of time for the services based on the student's needs. RW hopes to be able to begin open access in the fall of 2013. Yéil Jeeyáx, Raven's Way would also like to welcome to the program three new staff. Christeen Thomas_Eblen is the new Chemical Dependency Clinical Supervisor, Chuck Miller as a Counselor II and Jean Sprague as the BH System Technician. All three employees bring years of experience, many at the recently closed Bill Brady Healing Center, and are strong additions to the RW team.


Some great news from Dental

Olivia Barrow, RDH has been selected to receive the 2012 Junior Dental Hygienist of the Year Award. It will be presented at the 2013 Commissioned Officers Foundation (COF) USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium later this month. Congratulations Olivia. Also: SEARHC Dental in Juneau has started a dental outreach program for SEARHC beneficiaries utilizing Juneau Alliance for Mental Health Inc.( JAMHI) services. Dental exams and caries prevention services are provided on site at JAMHI. Bridget Willet, DDS and Alexis Olsen, DHA II have been providing these services.


Water safety, it’s that time of the year

Water safety. It’s that time of the year when boating in S.E. AK waters becomes a daily occurrence. I can’t emphasize enough. the importance of wearing life jackets when boating on Alaska's cold water, especially since more than 100 Alaskans have died in drowning accidents over the past decade (the nation's highest rate of drowning deaths). I also want to bring awareness to the many new life jacket designs now available that are more comfortable and functional than the older styles, including inflatable life jackets. Bottom line: Every man, woman and child should wear a floatation device while boating for recreation, or for work.


SEARHC Sitka Social Services Department has two new staff

SEARHC Sitka Social Services Department has two new staff to welcome.  Julie Graham, is a State Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor I and holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. She brings over 4-1/2 years of residential treatment experience from Bill Brady Healing Center. She will be providing screening, assessments, referrals, and counseling to inpatients and outpatients experiencing challenges with alcohol or drug abuse/dependence issues. She will not be doing court ordered assessments.  Staff and patients can contact Julie directly at 966-8413. Dale Lindstrom is our new Patient Advocate for Sitka, Angoon, Kake, Pelican, Wrangell, Yakutat, Petersburg, and Tenakee Springs.  Dale brings 12 years of direct patient care experience from his employment at Raven’s Way and Bill Brady Healing Center.  He can be reached at 966-8860 to discuss patient concerns, suggestions, or positive feedback.

Charles Clement

Just a reminder...


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.


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).