President’s Update for Oct. 9, 2010

In this edition...

SEARHC updates Grand Camp: SEARHC provided health service updates to the Grand Camp of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood during its meeting in Saxman. On Friday, our Behavioral Health staff from Yéil Jeeyáx Raven’s Way and Gunaanastí Bill Brady Health Center joined Behavioral Health Promotion to discuss suicide prevention activities in the region. We also discussed the outcomes of a recent suicide prevention task force meeting. On Saturday, we provided an update on SEARHC activities, including:
  • Reading a resolution honoring Evelyn Hotch, long-time Board member from Klukwan.
  • Federal appropriations, inadequate contract support cost and IHS funding levels.
  • Human resources recruitment and turnover.
  • 2009 Grand Camp resolutions sent to SEARHC.
  • Program increases the Board approved for FY2011.
  • Survey for a Cancer care center in Southeast Alaska.
  • Intensive Outpatient Therapy for substance abuse.
  • Recent planning and partnerships to develop substance abuse detox facilities.
  • Positive health impacts of traditional foods and knowledge.
  • Tribal recruitment plan.
Several of our staff from Health Promotion (Tobacco Cessation & Traditional Foods), Behavioral Health Staff (Community Family Services, Yéil Jeeyáx Ravens Way, Gunaanastí Bill Brady Healing Center, Suicide Prevention), and Tribal Recruitment held information booths for participants. The Joint Commission surveys Ethel Lund Medical Center: Congratulations to the staff at the Ethel Lund Medical Center, which passed its Joint Commission survey on Tuesday through Thursday (Oct. 5-7). There were three minor findings that are easily corrected. By passing the survey, our accreditation with The Joint Commission is renewed for three years. The staff at ELMC did an awesome job and we appreciate all the work that contributes to a successful survey. Southeast Alaska Regional Suicide Prevention Task Force meets in Ketchikan: Developing a regional suicide prevention plan that can be taken back to local communities was the focus of the Southeast Alaska Regional Suicide Prevention Task Force meeting held Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 6-7, at the Ketchikan Indian Community building. The meeting was held to coincide with the Grand Camp of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood meeting. The regional task force is funded by a state grant managed by the SEARHC Behavioral Health Prevention program. Task force members will take the regional plan back to their communities for discussion, then they will bring their feedback back for a meeting by videoconference on Thursday, Nov. 18. When they go back to their communities, task force members will develop community coalitions and set the tone for local suicide prevention activities. For more information on the task force, contact Wilbur Brown at 966-8753. SEARHC joins other Southeast hospitals in cancer care survey: SEARHC has joined with the other five hospitals in Southeast Alaska to bring Oncology Management Consulting Group to the region this coming week to do a survey about cancer care. The consultants will have 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 will ask about what local resources exist 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 will ask cancer patients to describe their experiences. One of the Sitka meetings will allow medical staff and patients from other SEARHC communities to connect with the consultants through videoconferencing. For more information about the various meeting times and which groups will meet, contact Connie Goldhahn at 966-8629. Hospital hires surgeon and obstetrician/gynecologist: Two doctors who recently have served as locum providers at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital have decided to join the hospital’s medical staff starting on Jan. 24, 2011. Dr. Donna Smith (an obstetrician/gynecologist) and Dr. Robert Crochelt (a general surgeon) will move to Sitka from Elkins, W.V., where they have lived since 2007. Dr. Smith attended the Temple University School of Medicine and completed an ob/gyn residency at the Medical Center of Pennsylvania. She worked at Ketchikan General Hospital from 1993-2007, where she served as chief of surgery and chief of medical staff. Dr. Crochelt attended medical school at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and he completed a general surgery residency at the University of California-San Francisco. He also worked at Ketchikan General Hospital from 1993-2007. Both doctors spent several months in Sitka working as locums this past year, and they are very excited to return to Southeast Alaska on a permanent basis. SEARHC receives $1.2 million grant from HRSA for Haines Health Center: The U.S. Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA) Facilities Improvement Program has awarded $1.2 million to SEARHC to renovate the Haines Health Center to better accommodate its Frontier Extended Stay Clinic (FESC). The grant will be used to increase clinical space and offices. The physical therapy room will be expanded, the x-ray room will be relocated, two older exam rooms will be renovated and there will be more space for telecommunications equipment. The money also will add a hospital-like room for FESC patients who need a comfortable space while they wait for a medevac transport or short stay if the patient can go home. This room can also be used as an exam room when it’s not being used for FESC patients. Kake receives coho salmon: A break in the weather and a willing boat captain means the community of Kake now has coho salmon available for local families, the Kake Senior Center and community events. Georgie Davis-Gastelum from the SEARHC WISEFAMILIES Through Traditional Knowledge program and the Kake Healing Heart Council worked with the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA) to arrange for the roe-stripped coho salmon to be donated to the community by Hidden Falls Hatchery. Kake boat captain Delbert Kadake left Wednesday morning (Oct. 6) for a run to Hidden Falls to get the coho. The WISEFAMILIES Through Traditional Knowledge grant is reimbursing the boat captains for their fuel and time, and the community gets the fish. Sitka Health Summit chooses Wellness projects, honors champions: More than a dozen community wellness champions were honored, S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital internist/diabetes specialist Dr. Julien Naylor gave the keynote address and community members chose four health priorities for the next year during the fourth annual Sitka Health Summit that took place on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 4-5, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. This year’s community wellness/health priority projects are to plant 200 apple or other fruit trees in town, to get Sitka schools to serve more locally caught fish, to paint a Sitka Choose Respect mural for domestic violence awareness and prevention, and to support projects and programs that encourage people (especially kids and families) to get outside more often for recreation. The community wellness champions were Bill Hughes and Ann Marie LaPalme for physical activity; Kari Sagel, Kerry McAdams and Elvia Torres from Blatchley Middle School and Lori Adams from Down To Earth U-Pick Garden for nutrition; Andrea Thomas for tobacco; the U.S. Coast Guard-Air Station Sitka and Becky Charlton for injury prevention and safety; the Mt. Edgecumbe High School Yup’ik Dance Group for holistic health; Melissa Henshaw, Brenda Calkins and Elisabeth Crane for employee/worksite wellness; the New Archangel Dancers and Marcie Paden for general wellness; and Dave Nevins won the Steve Reifenstuhl Award. More information can be found at SEARHC EMS to host Wilderness First Responder course: 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. Because of the pre-course curriculum, students must register by Monday, Oct. 11, to receive the study packet. The course fee is $450, which includes all books and materials. 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. Regards, Roald