President’s Update for May 15

In this edition...

Chilkat River Walk from Klukwan to Haines breast cancer awareness event: The fourth annual Chilkat River Walk took place on Saturday, May 15, with a 23-mile walk from Klukwan to Haines that drew about 100 participants. The event raised awareness of breast cancer and breast health issues, with donations split between the Haines Hospice Cancer Travel Fund and the national Susan G. Komen For The Cure breast cancer foundation. The SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program partners with Alaska Power and Telephone (AP&T), Alaska Meat and Grocery, and the Alaska Guard House to host this event. To help increase awareness of the importance of breast cancer screening, the Chilkat River Walk is scheduled during the annual spring mobile mammogram van visit to Haines, which is May 4-18 this year. To learn more, contact SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program Patient Care Coordinator Pam Sloper at 766-6367 or SEARHC Community Wellness Advocate Mandy Ramsey at 766-6317. Alaska Native Medical Center update: Last week members of the Alaska Tribal Health Directors and Alaska Native Health Board heard an update from the Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) on current operations and improvements in services. ANMC Administrator Dan Neumeister discussed ANMC’s planned upgrades for Quyana House, improved financial position, and efforts ANMC is making for better patient safety and quality of care. He talked about improvement in coordination of care and a pilot project on discharge planning with Kotzebue. He also noted how ANMC worked to drastically reduce outpatient pharmacy waiting times. We will continue to share as updates are received from ANMC. Alaska Tribal Health Compact/IHS negotiations: This week is the annual negotiations for the co-signers to the Alaska Tribal Health Compact and the Indian Health Service (IHS). These negotiations include finding common language for the Alaskawide Compact and the individual Annual Funding Agreements (AFA) between co-signers and the IHS. We expect discussions related to changes in agreement language and new opportunities included in the reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. The Compact and AFA account for roughly half of our operating revenue. SEARHC staff participates in Juneau car seat training event: On April 28-30, SEARHC coordinated with the State of Alaska and Safe Kids Worldwide to host a Certified Passenger Safety Training in Juneau. Eight students from Haines, Craig, Angoon, Juneau and Anchorage completed this national certification program for child car seat technicians. On May 1, program graduates participated in a community car seat check with the Juneau Police Department that provided 15 car seats to families with small children. To learn more about the Alaska Child Passenger Safety Partnership, go to http://www.carseatak.org. SEARHC joins Denali Commission staff for Prince of Wales facilities tour: SEARHC staff joined with Denali Commission staff — Director of Programs Tessa Rinner and Health Facilities Program Manager Nancy Merriman — during the first week of May for a tour of Prince of Wales Island health facilities that have received Denali Commission funds. The group visited the Klawock Senior Center/Senior Housing, Alicia Roberts Medical Center, Craig PeaceHealth Clinic, Kasaan Health Center, Thorne Bay Health Center, Coffman Cove, Hydaburg Health Center and Hydaburg Carving Project. The Denali Commission has been very supportive of SEARHC’s efforts to upgrade primary care facilities throughout the region, and the commission is interested in supporting other infrastructure and economic development projects in the region. Wrangell youth wins national writing award – mentions SEARHC in essay: Darian Meissner, 13, of Wrangell placed second in the personal narrative writing category for grades 6-8 in the “2010 Bringing Honor Through Education” Native American student artist competition. Only two Alaskans won awards out of the 817 students from 33 states who submitted contest entries (in all of categories). In her essay, Darian mentions that she participates in the SEARHC Traditional Foods program (Darian’s mother, Tammi Meissner, leads the program in Wrangell) and she loves how the program connects her with her Tlingít culture. She also writes that her current career goal is to become a chef so she can incorporate Native traditional foods into her meals and teach others how to enjoy them. Congratulations on this national award, Darian. SEARHC, Bartlett Regional Hospital release Summer/Fall 2010 mobile mammogram schedule: SEARHC and Bartlett Regional Hospital this week released the Summer/Fall 2010 mobile mammogram schedule for Southeast Alaska. This list gives women the dates the mobile mammogram van will be in town, and specific appointment times will be available at a later date. The van will be in Hoonah on Aug. 23-27, in Haines on Aug. 30-Sept. 13, in Skagway on Sept. 14-17, in Klawock on Sept. 22-Oct. 8, in Craig on Oct. 11-12 and in Metlakatla on Oct. 14-22. Also, the Spring 2010 mobile mammogram season kicked off on Tuesday, May 4, when the van arrived in Haines. The mobile mammogram van is in Haines on May 4-18, in Kake on May 24-27, in Skagway on June 1-4, in Yakutat on June 9-16 and in Angoon on June 21-23. The mobile mammography program is run through a partnership between Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau and the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program. Between the spring and summer/fall seasons, the van provides about 800-900 women in nine communities with regular mammography screening services in locations where the services aren’t available year round. For more information, contact your local clinic or call the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program at 966-8782 in Sitka or 1-888-388-8782 (toll-free in Alaska), send an e-mail to askwh@searhc.org, or go online at http://www.searhc.org/womenshealth/. Regards, Roald