President’s Update for May 3, 2013

In this edition...

WELL (Wise Elders Living Longer) Balanced class

A WELL (Wise Elders Living Longer) Balanced class will begin May 7th in Sitka, Alaska. Health Promotion’s Diabetes and Injury Prevention programs are partnering with Baranof Island Housing Authority to offer the 16 session, eight-week long course at the Montasery Street apartments. Cory Welsh, Health Educator I, and Renae Mathson, Health Educator II will be leading the classes. For more information, please contact Cory Welsh at 966.8866.


April offered annual training for the Health Promotion division

Employees from Haines, Juneau, Kake, Klawock, and Sitka were taught CPR and first aid, biometric screening policies and procedures, and brief motivational interviewing. This training enables our employees to be able to feel confident while out on field trips gathering traditional foods and also when doing annual biometric (blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose) screenings. Your partners in health are now ready to come and offer a “Know Your Numbers” event in your community. If you would like a health screening, please contact Renae Mathson, 966.8797, for more information or to set a date.


There’s a new clinician at MEH

Keils Kitchen, PA-C is now working at SEARHC MEH in UC and ER. Keils completed the Saint Louis University PA Program in December 2008 and has worked for SEARHC previously at the Jesse Jim Health Center in Angoon Fall and Winter of 2012 and 2013. Prior to that he worked as an Orthopedic PA in St Helena, California for 18 months and at Iliuliuk Clinic in Unalaska, AK for 2 years. Keils is friendly and outgoing and an outstanding addition to our MEH Healthcare team. Please join me in welcoming him.


SEARHC Behavioral Health in Klawock and Craig

Behavioral Health in Klawock and Craig, have recently completed two Prime for Life Alcohol Education courses. One was an adolescent class, and the other an adult class. The department is currently looking into implementing more community outreach programs regarding mental health and substance abuse. Be on the look-out for flyers and information regarding outreach programs they will be holding.


SEARHC Eye Clinics

This coming week the SEARHC Eye Clinics will be hosting low vision clinics in partnership with the Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ACBVI). The low vision specialist will see patients at the POW Eye Clinic on May 6th, in Sitka on May 7th-8th and in Juneau on May 9th-10th. The low vision specialist works with patients experiencing vision loss to find low vision aids that help them continue activies they enjoy the most such as reading, beading, and cooking. We're fortunate to partner with ACBVI to bring this valuable service to our communities.  Patients interested in seeing the low vision specialist on future visits should visit their eye doctor for a referral.

Charles Clement

Just a reminder...


Applications are still 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.


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).