Yesterday, January 31, 2013, we received news that Clarence Jackson, Aasx’aak, quietly Walked Into the Forest at the age of 78. On behalf of the SEARHC Board and staff, I would like to extent our heart felt condolences to his family. In the words of Rosita Worl “Clarence was a Man of the People. He walked among our People. His footsteps are embedded across our land. He travelled across our waters and the salmon and halibut gave themselves to him because he willingly shared with many. He laughed, joked and told stories. He was a wise man, who could in a few words gently remind you that you could do better,” Services will be held in Juneau tomorrow Saturday, February 2 at 5:00 p.m., at the ANB Hall.
The 1is2 Many Suicide Task Force is holding 2 gatekeeper trainings in Metlakatla, on the 5th and 6th. If you would like one in your community they can call Wilbur Brown at 907-966-8753 or email him at email@example.com. The Task Force is also hosting it’s quarterly meeting in Juneau at the VTRC on the 8th and 9th. Everyone is welcome to attend. They are also looking for participants for Survivors Voices, to be held in Juneau. It’s a talking circle about suicide loss which teaches those bereaved by suicide how to speak safely and effectively about their loss. If you are a survivor and would like to attend, please contact Rena Wallace at 907-966-8755 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than Wednesday, February 6, 2013.
The 2013 Village Health Occupations Program (VHOP) is gearing up. Each year, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) selects several Southeast-area Native students interested in health careers for VHOP, and the students spend a week at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka learning about different health careers and educational opportunities. The health field is growing, which means plenty of job opportunities for people with the right training. Health careers usually offer good pay and employee benefits, as well as the satisfaction of helping others. The experience enables students to evaluate their own strengths and decide which jobs might best suit them. This year's VHOP session is scheduled for April 22-27. Students selected to participate in VHOP receive assistance to cover the travel costs to and from Sitka, housing, meals and some evening entertainment. The application deadline is Friday, March 29. Completed applications may be mailed to Jessika Beam, SEARHC Tribal Recruitment Coordinator, c/o Human Resources Department, 222 Tongass Drive, Sitka, AK 99835. Applications also can be faxed to 907-966-8527, or scanned and e-mailed to email@example.com. Because space is limited, interested students should apply early. Application packets are available at high school offices, at local village corporations or by going to http://searhc.org/students/high-school-programs-vhop. For additional information, contact Jessika Beam at 907-966-8903 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Become a founding donor for the Walter Soboleff Center. The Center will honor the cultures of Southeast through art, language and education programs for all Alaskans. The future Center is named for Dr. Walter A. Soboleff, a Tlingit Native of the Raven, Dog Salmon clan. He was a spiritual leader who helped Native and non-Native people alike at a time when segregation was the norm. Throughout his life, he worked tirelessly to advance Native civil rights. Dr. Soboleff’s generosity of spirit and small acts of kindness made him a giant of a man to people across Alaska. He practiced our traditional Native values, especially Haa Shagóon—honoring our past while preparing a better future for our children’s children. In May 2011, Dr. Soboleff “Walked Into The Forest” at age 102, but his accomplishments and people whose lives he touched live on. The Walter Soboleff Center will be a physical manifestation of Haa Shagóon and all the ideals he held dear. You can donate by clicking on the following link: http://www.sealaskaheritagecenter.com/ or ask your place of work if they have an Employee Contribution Plan.
SEARHC has a new website and it’s been created to increase (with ease) the way you access information about SERHC, its locations, services, providers and more. The way you search and apply for a job at SEARHC has also gotten a lot simpler, which will help to quicken the response time from SEARHC to the applicants. The site will continue to take shape in the months to come with the addition of publications like HealthBeat that will be written in the form of a blog. Links to outside sources like the CDC, other Tribal healthcare networks and health education websites will be added as the site grows. Please check it out at http://searhc.org.
If you haven't already done so, please check out SEARHC's new page on Facebook. This page will provide people with updates about what's happening around the consortium. This page is new, so it will be adding more content over time. If you're on Facebook, please like our page so you can keep up on the news at SEARHC.
SEARHC has three patient advocate positions in Southeast Alaska – Bryan Whitson (Sitka), Cyndi Reeves (POW), and Debra Graceland (Juneau) – who serve as customer service liaisons between patients and SEARHC, and help patients navigate their way through SEARHC's health system. In addition, 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. Patients living in Sitka, Angoon, Kake, Pelican, Tenakee Springs, Yakutat, Petersburg and Wrangell should contact Bryan Whitson at 966-8860. Patients in Klawock, Craig, Hydaburg, Kasaan, Thorne Bay and other POW communities should contact Cyndi Reeves at 755-4983 (965-0040, cell). Patients in Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Klukwan and Hoonah should contact Debra Graceland (463-6656). Patients traveling to Anchorage for care should contact the ANMC patient advocates at 729-3990.
A personal or family crisis doesn't always happen during clinic hours, so the SEARHC Behavioral Health Division has contracted with a crisis call center to provide help for Southeast Alaska residents when they need it most. The SEARHC Help Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it will be staffed with a team of master's-degree-level mental health therapists who will listen and provide effective, compassionate care. This line provides confidential telephone counseling for people during a time of mental health crisis, and it is not just an answering service. The counselors will assess the situation and provide appropriate intervention using protocols developed with SEARHC Behavioral Health. Follow-up calls from SEARHC Behavioral Health or our partner agencies will be made the next business day. For more information, contact SEARHC Behavioral Health/Suicide Prevention Program Manager Wilbur Brown at 966-8753.
SEARHC has a 24/7 on-call travel coordinator to assist patients needing after-hours help while traveling for a medical appointment. The on-call staff person helps patients find new connections when a plane is diverted by weather, or assists with late-night housing. For assistance, call 1-800-916-8566 (toll-free in Alaska) or 1-907-966-8345 in Sitka, and then follow the prompts. To help us better help you, please call as soon as you know your travel schedule has been changed. For patients needing assistance from the Community Resources Program (contract health), such as emergency health care while traveling, call 1-866-966-8316 (toll-free).