President’s Update for October 4, 2013

In this edition...

Affordable Care Act

As you know, beginning January 1, 2014, every American must demonstrate that they have health care coverage, as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Enrollment for those not otherwise insured began on October 1st.

There is some excellent information and pertinent links on the SEARHC website that will be helpful. I encourage you to read through the information and click on the links provided for further details. In turn, you can help others at work, members of your family, and your community, understand how the ACA works.

Diabetes Prevention Program Expands

Kudos to the Lifestyle Balance team. The fall Lifestyle Balance classes are off to a successful start. The classes are a 16 week curriculum program for adults (18 yrs and older) who have either been diagnosed with pre diabetes or who have had an abnormal glucose reading. The program recently expanded and will now have classes in Juneau, Sitka, Kake, and ARMC and it's not too late to sign up for classes. The Lifestyle Balance classes just started in Sitka and Juneau and are scheduled to take place in Kake and ARMC soon. Check back for a list of the class schedule and community activities on the program webpage Lifestyle Balance. If interested please contact Sitka: (907) 966-8914; Juneau (907) 364-4459; Kake (907) 785-6516 and Prince of Wales Islands ARMC (907) 755-4959. And remember, space is limited for anyone else who is at risk of diabetes or who have already completed the curriculum and want a refresher or other age groups.

Car Seats Available

Car seats are now available through the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Village Public Safety Officers and some of the Head Start Program staff.

The nine VPSO’s will have opportunity to distribute convertible car seat in their communities.  These car seat are for rear facing infants weighing 5 – 22 pounds and forward facing toddlers weighing 22 to 40 pounds. The eleven Head Start program staff that participated in the training will be able to distribute the Cosco combo car seats.  This car seat is for a forward facing toddler up to 40 pounds and transition into a belt positioning booster seat up to 80 pounds.

The twenty participants each learned proper installation of one of the two car seats provided by SEARHC injury Prevention program, through a CDC Tribal Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention program and will be able to teach you how to correctly install the car seat into your own vehicle.

Proper installation is the key to keeping children safe in a vehicle and studies show about 70% of car seats are installed incorrectly. With the September trainings and access to car seats in additional communities we are working towards safer transportation for our children. 
For information on how to obtain a car seat for your child, contact Lesa Way (SEARHC Injury Prevention) at (907) 966-8804.

ANA – SEDS Grant Fully Funded

I am pleased to announce that our application to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Native Americans: Social and Economic Development Strategies (ANA – SEDS) grant was fully funded this week.

In spite of the Federal Government shutdown, we have a notice of award for year one, of three and we are moving forward with the activities of the grant.

Gunal ch'eesh and profound gratitude goes to tribal leaders and elders who have developed traditional food and knowledge camps in the region for generations. Our basic model of delivery comes directly from your vision, experience and wisdom. Thank you.

While this is an “economic development” grant, our argument was that good health strengthens the economy and ANA-SEDS agreed. The ultimate goal of the grant is to organize, implement and evaluate Southeast Alaska Native traditional foods and cultural activities that are evidence and practice-based. These activities will strengthen families and local economies while reducing the rates of chronic diseases.

October Awareness

October is a big “awareness” month for all of us in the healthcare field.

It is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the perfect time to remind the women in your life how important it is to be proactive; self-exams and mammograms are keys to early detection.

National Physical Therapy Month is this month as well, with this year’s focus is sports injury prevention. Alaskans are active all year round and winter sports and other activities often come with the risk of injury. This is good reminder that the key to avoiding injuries is to participate in these activities in the right way. Don’t get sidelined, stay safe.

October is also American Pharmacists Month and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) wants you to "Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine."

The fact is that the better you know your pharmacist, the more you’ll know about your medications, and the potential side effects and contraindications. They are an important part of your medical team.

Please join me in thanking every member of the SEARHC team that participates in each of these areas every day. You all work so hard to make our lives better and healthier and we appreciate you more than you know.

Charles Clement
Charles Clement President/CEO
3100 Channel Drive, Ste. 300
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 463-4000

Just a reminder...

SEARHC Honors Health Cares about Domestic Violence Day October 9th

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and October 9th is Health Cares about Domestic Violence Day. One in four women will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime and, on average, three women are killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.

Please stop by our information table at MEH ground floor each Monday throughout October for information and resources about domestic violence prevention. Purple is the color for the month’s activities. Wear a purple ribbon to bring national awareness to the issues faced by battered women and their children. Throughout October, communities across the country will mourn those whose lives were taken by domestic violence. Celebrate the tremendous progress victim advocates have made over the years, and connect with one another for a true sense of unity to end domestic violence.