President’s Update for Oct. 22, 2011

In this edition...

In this edition …

Gov. Parnell honors Ethel Lund at AFN: Gov. Sean Parnell honored SEARHC President Emeritus Ethel Lund with the Shirley Demientieff Award during his Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) speech. The award is named for the late Shirley Demientieff, an Athabascan from Nenana who helped found Alaska Natives Standing Up For Justice and was known for her work to end suicide, domestic violence and sexual assault among Native people. The Alaska governor presents this annual award at AFN to honor a person or organization that has been an advocate on the behalf of Alaska Native women and children. Ethel was honored for her work with SEARHC, starting in the 1970s when she chaired the board that started SEARHC in 1975 and later in her work as the consortium’s president from 1977-2000 and now in her role as president emeritus. “Ms. Lund charted a course for youth to embrace careers in the health care field. Her work is lasting. This can be seen with one of the nation’s oldest Native-run health care organizations bearing her name, Juneau’s Ethel Lund Medical Center,” Gov. Parnell said in his presentation. Congratulations to Ethel on this honor and thank you for all of the work she has done to promote health care in Southeast Alaska.

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Three Southeast members honored by AFN: The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) honored three of our Southeast Tribal members. Dr. Rosita Worl, the executive director of the Sealaska Heritage Institute, was announced AFN’s Citizen of the Year on Friday. Della Cheney was honored with the Culture Bearer Award. AFN recognized Della’s active participation in cultural activities and ceremonies as an elder, teacher, dancer, singer and artist. Dr. Gil Truitt received the Public Service Award. Dr. Truitt was honored for his tireless effort as a teacher, basketball coach, athletic director, administrator and principal. Dr. Truitt set high standards for his students and urged them to participate in extra-curricular activities. (Source: Alaska Federation of Natives, http://www.nativefederation.org/convention/).

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Gunanaastí Bill Brady Healing Center/Déilee Hít Safe Harbor House update sessions: Our Gunanaastí Bill Brady Healing Center/Déilee Hít Safe Harbor House adult substance abuse treatment program has a revised 2012 course schedule. To better accommodate our clients and further maximize our services, we adjusted the schedule by adding one day at the beginning of each cohort and by lengthening the one short course. Our past number of available bed days for clients was 3,012 per calendar year, i.e., 12 clients multiplied by the number of days we are open each year. We have added 132 client bed days by lengthening five out of the six yearly cohorts.

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National Take Back Initiative to collect unused medications in several communities: As part of National Red Ribbon Week (Oct. 23-31), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and its National Take Back Initiative will team up with the Alaska State Troopers (AST) to collect unused and expired medications in several communities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29. In Southeast Alaska, people can take their unused and expired medications to collection sites at the Alaska State Trooper Academy in Sitka, Hoonah City Hall Council Chambers, Plaza Mall in Ketchikan, the Klawock AST Post and the Skagway Police Department. According to the DEA, 70 percent of drug abuse starts at home, usually through misuse of prescription medications. By giving back your expired and no longer needed medications, we can help reduce drug abuse in our communities. To learn more, go to http://www.dea.gov/ or call the Alaska State Troopers.

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SEARHC hosts visit by Crossett Fund representatives: On Wednesday, Oct. 20, representatives from the Reuben E. Crossett Fund hosted a luncheon at the SEARHC At Kaník Hít in Sitka for Southeast Alaska organizations that support children’s health. The Crossett Fund is named for a former Ketchikan businessman and is administered by the Seattle Children’s Hospital. In recent years, SEARHC has received several grants from the Crossett Fund to support children’s health — $21,000 for pediatric dental sensors in 2010, $22,000 for caries risk prevention supplies in 2008, $14,740 for Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital breastfeeding support in 2008, $81,200 for the Sitka Youth First Responders program in 2006, $25,000 for daycare physical activity centers in 2005, $17,550 for a prenatal care demonstration project in 2003, $13,960 for a children’s safety centers project in 2002, and $12,672 for True Colors training and supplies in 2001. In addition to several representatives from SEARHC, there were representatives from Pacific High School, the Sitka Sound Science Center, the Sitka Local Foods Network, Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL), the Baranof Swim Club Barracudas, the Hames Athletic and Wellness Center, the Sitka Community Playground/Sitka Outdoor Kids, and Blatchley Middle School at the luncheon.

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SEARHC’SMILERS finish fifth in corporate division in Klondike Road Relay: The SEARHC’SMILERS, a 10-runner team comprised mostly of SEARHC Dental employees from Juneau, Haines and Sitka, finished fifth out of 16 teams in the 109.8-mile Klondike Trail of ’98 International Road Relay held Sept. 9-10 from Skagway, Alaska, to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. The team posted a time of 17 hours, 21 minutes, 24 seconds, and was followed closely by two other corporate division teams, beating the Horny Goats of Vancouver by 15 seconds and the Arctic WarRunners of Anchorage by 34 seconds. The SEARHC’SMILERS (which can be read as SEARHC Smilers or SEARHC’s Milers) finished 58th overall out of the 116 teams in the race. The team members were Dr. Tom Bornstein of Juneau, KC O’Connor of Haines (the only non-SEARHC employee), Lisa Cone of Haines (team captain), Olivia Barrow of Juneau, Megan Gregory of Juneau, Dr. John Sohonage of Juneau, Kelly Barnaby of Juneau, Dr. Matthew West of Juneau, Dr. Mandie Smith of Sitka and Dr. Robb Garni of Juneau.

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Regards, Roald