Wrangell women gain new, local access to health services

April 18 2010

Women living in Wrangell have new, local access to comprehensive women’s health screenings and other wellness services thanks to a partnership between the Wrangell Medical Center, Alaska Island Community Services (AkICS), SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program and the Alaska Breast and Cervical Health Check program. These screenings will give women the tools they need to fight cancer, heart disease and diabetes. These comprehensive women’s health services are free to women ages 30-64 who meet income eligibility requirements. The new partnership allows Wrangell women to receive basic disease prevention services locally. “This partnership gives access to vital women’s health services for the uninsured and income-eligible women in Wrangell,” said Martha Pearson, WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program Coordinator. “Wrangell Medical Center and Alaska Island Community Services are partnering together so women receive local care. SEARHC and the Alaska Breast and Cervical Health Check program are contributing to the cost of services so they are affordable.” To access these services, women should contact their local providers at Alaska Island Community Services (874-4700) to schedule heart health screenings, breast exam, mammograms and Pap tests. Wrangell Medical Center (874-7000) provides the lab work after the initial exam at AkICS. The SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program will cover the costs for eligible women receiving heart health screenings, while the Alaska Breast and Cervical Health Check program will fund the breast and cervical screenings. In addition, Project Assisistant Tammi Meissner of the SEARHC WISEFAMILIES Through Customary and Traditional Knowledge program in Wrangell (874-2712) will provide lifestyle interventions and help women set health goals. Anne Gore of the Alaska Breast and Cervical Health Check program said “we believe this effort represents the first ever blended funding between two separate grantees and their programs” (speaking of the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program and the Alaska Breast and Cervical Health Check). “While there is a certain amount of paperwork juggling that has to happen behind the scenes, services will be seamless for the women in Wrangell — which is our goal. Access to preventive services is key in keeping Alaska women healthy.” For more information, contact your Wrangell provider, or call the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program in Sitka at 966-8782 (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/.