President’s Update for Oct. 16, 2010

In this edition...

SEARHC joins other Southeast hospitals in cancer care survey: This past week, SEARHC patients and staff members had an opportunity to provide feedback about cancer care in Southeast Alaska. SEARHC partnered with the other five hospitals in Southeast Alaska to bring Oncology Management Consulting Group to the region to conduct the survey, and the results will help us decide if we want to set up some sort of regional cancer care center. The consultants had staff travel to Ketchikan (Oct. 11), Sitka (Oct. 12), Petersburg (Oct. 12), Wrangell (Oct. 13) and Juneau (Oct. 13-14) to meet with local medical staff and hold community town hall meetings. The consultants asked about existing local resources for cancer patients and their families, what is the quality of those services, what services are missing, how do patients decide where to go for cancer care, what prevents patients from seeking cancer care, and other questions. They also asked cancer patients to describe their experiences. One of the two Sitka meetings allowed medical staff and patients from other SEARHC communities to connect with the consultants through videoconferencing, though turnout was light due to heavy winds throughout the region. SEARHC Hoonah Health Center one-year celebration: SEARHC and the Hoonah Indian Association will host a community celebration honoring the first year of SEARHC operating the Hoonah Health Center. The celebration takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in Hoonah. During the celebration, SEARHC will update Hoonah community members on progress toward the 4-year plan and the new clinic. Hoonah residents are encouraged to join the celebration. For more information, call the SEARHC Hoonah Health Center at 945-2756. Heavy winds cause power outages: Heavy winds caused the power to go out Tuesday afternoon in both Sitka and Juneau. Sitka’s outage knocked the town off its hydroelectric power, and there was so much strain on the diesel generators that there were rolling blackouts from Tuesday night through Friday where people on one end of town had power for an hour, then the other end of town got power for an hour. At S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, we used our own generator power to stay open for business. The MRI and CT units were down until Sitka got back on hydro power on Friday afternoon. The MRI and CT units were available for emergencies, but not routine scans. The power outage in Juneau impacted all our outpatient health clinic operations on Tuesday afternoon. AFN Convention on GCI cable television, National Native News radio: The annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention takes place Oct. 21-23 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, and GCI will provide live coverage for those people who cannot attend. The convention will be broadcast from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 21-23, and it can be viewed on GCI cable channel 1 (available at http://www.gci.net/). Replays will be available on GCI’s Video on Demand Service. The Quyana Alaska cultural events from the convention will be aired live from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Oct. 21-22, and the Oct. 21 event will be available on Video on Demand after the performance ends. In addition to the television broadcasts, Antonia Gonzalez will produce and anchor her National Native News show from Fairbanks during the First Alaskans Institute Elders and Youth Conference on Oct. 18-20 and the AFN Convention on Oct. 21-23. National Native News will provide event highlights and is available on many Alaska Public Radio Network stations (http://aprn.org/), on the Native Voices 1 (NV1) station on Sirius Satellite Radio (http://www.nv1.org/) and on the Web at http://nativenews.net/. SEARHC EMS to host Wilderness First Responder course in Sitka: The SEARHC Emergency Medical Services program will teach a Wilderness First Responder course in Sitka from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 25-29 at the SEARHC At Kaník Hít Community Health building first-floor conference room. This is a special five-day class, instead of the usual eight days, because there is an intensive web-based pre-course curriculum that must be completed before the first class. This course is geared for individuals age 18 or older who frequent remote places by land or sea. No previous emergency medical training is required, and students who complete this class also can earn an Emergency Trauma Technician certificate from the state if they do not have the credential. For more information, contact Eric Van Cise at 966-8769. Reminder, the toll-free 24/7 SEARHC Help Line is available 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 is 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 Prevention Program Director Wilbur Brown at 966-8753. Regards, Roald