President’s Update for April 29, 2011

In this edition...

In this edition … SEARHC hosts koo.eex’ memorial ceremony: SEARHC hosted a koo.eex’ memorial ceremony on Friday and Saturday, April 29-30, at SEARHC’s Sitka campus. On Friday night, people gathered at the Litehouse Cafeteria in S’áxt’ Hít (House of Medicine) Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, and the koo.eex’ will started with a blessing ceremony followed by a candlelight vigil on each floor of the hospital led by the Sitka Ministerial Association. Many people believe the spirits of the deceased are still with us, and the purpose of the candlelight vigil is to recognize and free the spirits within the walls of the hospital and to give peace to their loved ones. On Saturday morning, the koo.eex’ continued with a drum ceremony with the Haa Shagoon Drum and Drummers at in the covered area outside the S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital emergency room entrance. After a continental breakfast, participants visited the memorial site on John Brown’s Beach (transportation provided). Everyone then gathered at the Yei Éek Kwa Néix Kootéeyaa (You Are Going To Get Well Totem) in front of the At Kaník Hít (House From Where Information Is Given) Community Health Building for an opening prayer and tribal welcome from clan leaders. The ceremony moved inside the At Kaník Hít Community Health building for more prayer, clan sorrow songs, speakers and responses, a recognition of health care providers, a history of the memorial ceremony, a presentation about SEARHC at.óow (valued or sacred possessions), a recognition of those promoted to glory, and finally a joyful celebration with dance groups, dinner and gifts. The koo.eex’ happens every two years and has become a cultural tradition. Back to top Spring mobile mammograms to start: The Spring 2011 schedule for the mobile mammogram van program operated by Bartlett Regional Hospital and the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program will launch in May. The mobile mammogram van will visit Haines on May 2-13, Kake on May 17-20, Gustavus on May 26, Skagway on June 1-3, Yakutat on June 8-13 and Angoon on June 16-22. Women are encouraged to contact their local clinics before the scheduled visit. Patients 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/. Back to top POW schedule announced for Nolan the Colon: “Nolan the Colon,” the 10-foot tall by 25-foot long inflatable super colon used to promote colorectal cancer awareness and screening, will be on Prince of Wales Island on May 2-5 with visits to Klawock, Hydaburg, Craig and Thorne Bay. The POW trip opens from noon to 6 p.m. on Monday, May 2, when Nolan the Colon will be at the Klawock Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. In addition to Nolan’s visit to Klawock, SEARHC Community Health Care Services Medical Director Dr. David Vastola will give a presentation at 7 p.m. on May 2 at the Klawock ANB Hall. From noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, Nolan will be at the Hydaburg school gym. Nolan then heads to the Craig Community Association building from 3-7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4. The POW tour concludes from 3-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, when Nolan will be at the Thorne Bay school gym. For more information about Nolan the Colon’s Southeast tour, please call SEARHC Health Systems Specialist Becky Koslovich at 966-8936. For more information about colorectal cancer and the SEARHC Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, talk to your SEARHC medical provider or call 966-8541. Nolan the Colon is owned by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Cancer Program and the Alaska Colorectal Cancer Partnership. Back to top Sitka Tribal Health Fair takes place May 7: The Sitka Tribe of Alaska and SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) are partnering to host the Sitka Tribal Health Fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. This health fair is designed to provide tribal citizens with an opportunity to learn about health care resources in Sitka, but the event is open to all Sitka residents. Sitka Tribe of Alaska will have traditional foods, education, social services and enrollment department representatives on hand, and several SEARHC health programs will have booths. Other community programs that provide services to Alaska Native people and their families also will host booths. Light refreshments will be available during the morning. A highlight for this event will be a visit to Sitka by “Nolan the Colon, which is being hosted by the SEARHC Colorectal Health Program. SEARHC also will have booths from the WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program, Tobacco Cessation/Smoke-Free Homes, Injury Prevention, Behavioral Health Prevention, Diabetes, Community Resource Program Services (contract health), Dental, Traditional Foods, Social Services, Lifestyle Balance (an education program for people with prediabetes), Tribal Recruitment, the Southeast Area Health Education Center (SE AHEC) and the Yéil Jeeyáx Raven’s Way adolescent substance abuse treatment center. For more information about the health fair, contact SEARHC Health Systems Specialist Becky Koslovich at 966-8936. Back to top Father Oleksa presents cross-cultural communication: Father Michael Oleksa provided two training sessions on cross-cultural communications to our managers and supervisors in Juneau (April 28) and Sitka (April 29). Father Oleksa is a Russian Orthodox priest and university professor who has spent 35 years in Alaska and written several books on Alaska Native cultures and history. His four-part PBS television series, Communicating Across Cultures, is widely acclaimed. This training was mandatory for all supervisors and managers. Back to top Behavioral health training: Each spring members of our SEARHC Behavioral Health Division conducts training for staff. This year’s training topics included methamphetamines, case management, batterer intervention, buprenorphine treatment (used for chronic pain patients with an addiction to opioid pain relievers), emergency services, the adverse childhood experiences study (ACE Study), working with resistant clients, personality disorders and addiction, professional and paraprofessional assessments, and specialized program training for Community Family Services, Gunaanastí Bill Brady Healing Center and Yéil Jeeyáx Raven’s Way. Back to top SEARHC staff helps Saxman get 2006 boil water notice lifted: On Wednesday, April 27, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation announced that the Saxman water treatment plant is operational and providing adequate filtration and chlorination. The DEC said recent bacteria tests were satisfactory, so it was lifting a boil water notice issued for the community of Saxman back in 2006. This was due to the work of community members, tribal council and administrators, water treatment plant operators and even SEARHC staff, who helped the community return to having safe drinking water. Saxman community members no longer need to use bottled water or boil their tap water before they drink it. Back to top Sitka Vision Clinic hosts special low vision clinic: On Saturday, April 23, the Sitka Vision Clinic at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital hosted its first low vision clinic with Debra Gilley, a certified low vision therapist with the Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. This was Debra’s first trip to our vision clinic in Sitka, but she has held clinics in Juneau. Back to top SEARHC honors National Nurses Week: SEARHC is pleased to honor the work of our nurses as part of National Nurses Week this week. National Nurses Week is an annual event celebrated throughout the U.S. The event usually starts on May 6, National Nurses Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. SEARHC nurses extended this celebration through May 13. This year’s theme, selected by the American Nurses Association, is “Nurses: Trusted to Care.” SEARHC employs more than 120 registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN) and family nurse practitioners (FNP). Our nurses provide exceptional care to our patients throughout Southeast Alaska. Back to top0 Regards, Roald