President’s Update for Sept. 3, 2011

In this edition...

In this edition

SEARHC receives $250,000 grant from National Public Health Improvement Initiative: This week, SEARHC received word that it was one of three Alaska health organizations to receive a $250,000 Strengthening Public Health Infrastructure for Improved Health Outcomes Grant (joining the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium as grant-winners). This is the second year of the CDC's five-year National Public Health Improvement Initiative, which sponsors the grants. Last year, SEARHC received $100,000, which was used with other funding to help create our new Performance Improvement Division. This year's grant will be used to update and improve our consortium-wide emergency preparedness plan and to incorporate LEAN management principles for health care. These grants are funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The more than $40 million in grants announced nationwide this week are partly supported by the Affordable Care Act. The grants are made to state, tribal, local and territorial health departments and several schools of public health to enhance the nation's public health infrastructure and strengthen the public health workforce.

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Kake Traditional Foods program helps provide fish for the community: The Kake Traditional Foods program last week helped bring about 1,400 coho salmon from Hidden Falls Hatchery to about 95 households in Kake. Within hours, staff counted 17 smokehouses going in town, Community Wellness Advocate Georgie Davis-Gastelum said. This is the third year the fish has been donated to the community by the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA). Boat captain Jeff Jackson brought the fish to Kake, and the Traditional Foods program paid for the fuel and small stipends (Kake Tribal Fuel vouchers) to the two boat crew members, for a total expense of less than $1 per fish. This is a cooperative project between SEARHC, the Organized Village of Kake Healing Heart Committee (which is the advisory committee for the SEARHC WISEFMILIES Through Traditional Knowledge program) and NSRAA's Hidden Falls Hatchery. In addition to the coho salmon, Walleen Whitson and Heleena vanVeen of the Lifestyle Balance Program in Sitka have worked with Sitka Sound Seafoods, Seafood Producers Cooperative and Harris Air to bring in a monthly supply of fish heads to the elders at the Kake Senior Center.

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New anesthesiologist starts at S'áxt' Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital: Ann Patterson, MD, has joined the surgical team at S'áxt' Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital as a board certified anesthesiologist. Dr. Patterson completed her undergraduate work at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and attended medical school at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. She did her internship and anesthesia residency at the Ochsner Medical Foundation and at Louisiana State University Charity, both in New Orleans. Dr. Patterson comes to SEARHC after working in private practice in Brandon, Miss. She moves to Sitka with her husband, Robert Patterson.

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SEARHC, partners offer free child passenger seat safety fitting in Haines: SEARHC, in partnership with the Haines Police Department and Safe Kids Alaska, will offer a free child car seat fitting event from 3-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the Haines Police Department (213 Haines Highway). Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be available to help parents make sure their child passenger seats are the proper fit for their car and that they meet the child car seat requirements of state law. A limited number of child car seats are available for those in need (donations are requested). Fitting child car seats is difficult due to the wide variety of car seat designs and motor vehicle types, and fewer than one in five seats are properly installed. Improperly fitting seats greatly raise a child's risk for injury or death in motor vehicle crashes. For more information about this event, contact the Haines Police Department at 766-2121. To learn more about SEARHC's car seat safety program, contact Lorena Gray of the SEARHC Southeast Alaska Child Passenger Safety Program at 364-4456.

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SEARHC presents on elder care at Nurse Leaders in Native Care Conference: Auriella Hughes, RN, SEARHC Elder Care Nurse Case Manager for Angoon and Kake, recently attended and presented a poster of our village case management program at the Nurse Leaders in Native Care Conference, \"The Future of Nursing; Advancing Leadership to Enrich Health.\" The National Nurse Leadership Council sponsored this event in Albuquerque, N.M. Indian Health Service public health nurses and advanced practice nurses, including urban and tribal affiliates, from all over the country attended the conference. Our poster represented The SEARHC Village Elder Care Services/Case Management program in Kake and Angoon, and visually highlighted the cherished role and importance of the Alaska Native elders. The grant program was conceived and supported by a Board's strategic plan. It has the task of strengthening relationships with other regional service providers, supporting elders and families in managing their health care, and making the overall SEARHC system more \"elder friendly.\" The poster introduced the creation of the Elder Care Resource Coordinator positions, which were designed to address some of the gap areas that were identified earlier during the assessment phase, and how they work directly with the nurse case manager.

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Healthy Wrangell Coalition wins orchard from Fruit Tree Planting Foundation: The Healthy Wrangell Coalition, which includes SEARHC as a member, found out this week that it is one of 20 communities around the country to win an orchard from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation's Communities Take Root contest. The orchard will feature a minimum of 20 trees, with a mix of apples, cherries and plums that have proven to do well in Wrangell's climate. SEARHC Health Educator II Vivian Mork suggested the Healthy Wrangell Coalition enter the competition last year, and Wrangell Medical Center took the lead on the project. From April 15 through Aug. 31, people from around the country could vote on which communities they wanted to receive the orchards. In the last round of voting (for the 16th-20th orchards awarded), Wrangell moved up from fifth to fourth place at the end of the voting period. Wrangell Medical Center will provide for the planting of the orchard (during the 2012 summer) and care for the trees, but the fruit will be available to the entire community. Many SEARHC employees helped spread the word about the contest and voted for Wrangell's orchard, the only one from Alaska in the contest.

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SEARHC Health Promotion hosts Basics of Food Preservation classes in Sitka: SEARHC Health Promotion teamed up with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service and Kettleson Memorial Library to host two \"Basics of Food Preservation\" classes in Sitka on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at noon at the S'áxt' Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Litehouse Cafeteria conference rooms and at 7 p.m. at Kettleson Memorial Library. The free one-hour classes were taught by UAF Cooperative Extension Service Tanana District Agent Roxie Dinstel of Fairbanks, who discussed safe canning and preserving various types of foods. She also checked home-canning pressure gauges for people to make sure they are accurate. Roxie helped the UAF Cooperative Extension Service develop its Preserving Alaska's Bounty series of online tutorials about canning fish, meat, berries and veggies, http://www.uaf.edu/ces/preservingalaskasbounty/.

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Fall mobile mammogram schedule kicks off: The Fall 2011 schedule for the mobile mammogram van program kicked off last week with a visit Aug. 22-26 to Hoonah. It continues with trips to Haines on Aug. 29-Sept. 12, to Skagway on Sept. 13-14, to Klawock on Sept. 20-30 and Oct. 5-11, to Craig on Oct. 3-4 and to Metlakatla on Oct. 13-21. The mobile mammogram van program is operated as a partnership between Bartlett Regional Hospital and the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women's Health Program. Women are encouraged to contact their local clinics before the scheduled visit because they will need to have had a clinical breast exam before they can get their mammograms. The SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women's Health Program provides free clinical breast exams, mammograms, Pap tests and cardiovascular screenings for all women ages 40 and older who meet income and insurance guidelines. For more information, contact your local clinic, call the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women's Health Program in Sitka at 966-8782 (or 1-888-388-8782, toll-free in Alaska), or send e-mail to askwh@searhc.org. For more information about services available through the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women's Health Program, go to http://www.searhc.org/womenshealth/.

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Regards,
Roald