SEARHC hires Debra Graceland as patient advocate

July 26 2012

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) has hired Debra Graceland as its Juneau-based patient advocate, with an office on the upper floor of the Ethel Lund Medical Center near the pharmacy. Debra will serve as the customer service liaison for patients from Juneau, Haines, Klukwan, Skagway and Hoonah.

“I am excited that Debra Graceland has accepted the position of patient advocate located at the Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau,” said SEARHC Performance Improvement Division Director Rhonda Bowen, CPHQ, CPMSM, CPCS. “As a referral coordinator at the Ethel Lund Medical Center, Debra has worked hand in hand with our patients and staff to resolve many challenges and to ensure the best possible experience for our patients.”

Debra has been a referral care coordinator at the Ethel Lund Medical Center for the past four years, so she already knows many of the patients she’ll serve. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree (BAS) in psychology, sociology and fine arts from the University of Washington.

“Serving the community in health care is rewarding when you see the patient’s health improve and you know that you were a part of that process,” Debra said. “I have met several hundred beneficiaries since working at SEARHC, and each one has impacted my life; which has encouraged me to continue working with the medical staff so all benefit in the collaborative process. The beneficiaries have taught me to continue ‘to serve others’ and that is the reward in itself.”

Debra joins SEARHC’s other two patient advocates in Southeast Alaska — Bryan Whitson in Sitka and Cyndi Reeves in Klawock. The patient advocate trio serves as customer service liaisons between patients and SEARHC, and help patients navigate their way through SEARHC’s health system. Also, the Alaska Native Medical Center provides Anchorage-based patient advocates who serve patients from around the state receiving care at the Alaska Native Medical Center.

The SEARHC patient advocates, their contact information and the communities they serve are:

  • (966-8860 office, bryan.whitson@searhc.org) is based at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka and serves our patients from Sitka, Angoon, Kake, Pelican, Petersburg, Wrangell, Yakutat and Tenakee Springs.
  • • Debra Graceland (463-6656 office, debra.graceland@searhc.org) is based at the Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau and serves Juneau, Haines, Klukwan, Hoonah and Skagway.
  • • Cyndi Reeves (755-4983 office, 965-0040 cell, cynthia.reeves@searhc.org) is based at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock and serves Klawock, Craig, Hydaburg, Kasaan and Thorne Bay.
  • • Anchorage patient advocates (729-3992 main office, or Tammy Philemonoff at 729-3990) are based at and employed by the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. They serve patients from around the state receiving care in Anchorage.