President’s Update for November 8, 2013

In this edition...

A reminder not to harvest and eat shellfish in our region

Paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, is a potentially lethal toxin that can lead to fatal respiratory paralysis. This toxin can be found in shellfish every month of the year. It cannot be seen with the naked eye, it cannot be cooked, cleaned or frozen out of shellfish, and there is no simple test a person can do before harvesting it.

On October 25, the Department of Health and Social Services announced that two probable cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning were reported as result of eating shellfish harvested in the Sitka area on Oct. 18, 2013.

Please be safe and eat only commercially harvested or grown shellfish available in grocery stores and restaurants, as it goes through a regular testing program before going to market.


Free health screenings in Haines for National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month and in observance this year, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and SEARHC want people to know that Diabetes is a Family Affair. SEARHC and our partners are working with individuals, families, and communities to take action and encourage simple, but important lifestyle changes to improve their health.

November 14th is World Diabetes Day and the SEARHC Haines Clinic will be hosting an Open House at the clinic from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with diabetes information and healthy snacks. Later, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., there will be a discussion at the Haines Public Library with Lisa Schwartz, Certified Diabetes Education (CDE) and Pam Sloper, RN using Diabetes Conversion Maps. On November 15th, the Klukwan SEARHC Clinic will host an open House from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with refreshments, patient information, flu shots, and scheduled diabetic foot exams. On November 19th & 20th, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the SEARHC Haines Clinic and Health Promotion staff will be hosting free health screenings for adults 18 and older at the Haines Clinic. Contact Kathy Friedle in Haines at 766-6366 for more information or to make an appointment for a health screening.


Patient Advocates at SEARHC

Our Patient Advocates function as the customer service liaisons between the patient and SEARHC staff to help ensure that every patient receives the highest quality care and to improve customer satisfaction with care. Patient Advocates are also responsible for maintaining productive communication links with patients and their provider. They assist patients and family members to successfully utilize the health care system and are responsible for receiving complaints, concerns and compliments through a variety of sources (telephone, email, mail or in-person). SEARHC Patient Advocates maintain the internal patient report card system and help to resolve patient complaints or grievances and are part of the Performance Improvement team, helping to support its many functions. We believe in Customer Care.

Meet your Patient Advocates and please note the locations they each cover:

Dale Lindstrom, Sitka: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Social Services Department, (907) 966-8860 (Sitka, Angoon, Kake, Pelican, Petersburg, Wrangell, and Tenakee Springs)

Debra Graceland, Juneau: Ethel Lund Medical Center, (907) 463-6656 (Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Klukwan and Hoonah)

Cyndi Reeves, POW: Alicia Roberts Medical Center, (907) 755-4983 (Craig, Hydaburg, Kasaan, Klawock, and Thorne Bay)

Charles Clement

Just a reminder...


Expanded ELMC Clinic Hours

Beginning Monday, November 4, we expanded our clinic hours at the Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau. The clinic along with the Pharmacy will be open from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Monday through Thursday and 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Friday. The weekday hours were previously 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

Parents and students are so busy it just made sense to be open and available whenever it is most convenient. Providing access to patients that prefer to see a provider later in the day is important and we also hope that patients with non-emergent needs will be able to access the clinic instead of the emergency room during these expanded hours.