President’s Update for February 14, 2013

In this edition...

The Walk for the Health of It Event is coming to an end.

Walkers began tracking their minutes walked following a Kick Off event at the Dimond Field House on 1/12/13 and have walked for the last 4 weeks.  Week 4 ended this past Saturday, 2/9/13.  Walkers phoned in, emailed, or brought their walking logs to the Tuesday night group walks.  Those who came on Tuesday nights also became eligible for the weekly drawing of a custom fit pair of NIKE walking shoes. The weekly NIKE shoe winners were (in order): Jodi Garrison; Sabrina Noe; Kami Barros; and Priscilla Steele.  Congratulations to all four winners! 3 of the 4 winners had indicated (on registration form) that they had not walked at the Dimond Field House before this event. That is awesome!  In fact, the Dimond Field House reported 518 SEARHC Track uses for the month of January alone.  The average for the previous 4 months was 64 SEARHC uses.  Walkers cumulatively walked 14,433 minutes (240.55 hours) in week 4, exceeding the goal they had set for themselves (12,855 minutes or 214.25 hours) by 1,578 minutes (26.3 hours).  Out of the 160 walkers that registered, 70 have completed and submitted walking logs for all four weeks, making them eligible for the grand prize drawing – 25,000 Alaska Airlines miles.  Other prizes will be awarded for best in category and there will be door prizes as well at the Grand Finale Event on next Saturday, 2/23/13, at the Dimond Field House from 10 to noon. Bring your family and friends and come join the fun.  For more information, contact Edy Rodewald at 1-907-364-4452.


This is a reminder that the SEARHC Tobacco Program wants you to know

It’s time to quit putting cancer in your mouth. Join millions of Americans as they raise awareness on the dangers of smokeless tobacco during “Through with Chew Week” this February 17-23. Tobacco users are encouraged to quit with the support of their peers on Feb. 21, the official day to “quit.” The SouthEast Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is proud to support this annual national event, and encourages people to take charge of their health by making better choices. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in Alaska and the US. In Alaska, 5 percent of adults and 8 percent of high school youth use smokeless tobacco. Alaska Native adults use smokeless tobacco at higher rates, with usage rates averaging 15 percent for men and 9 percent for women. There are FREE resources available to help. If you are interested in quitting tobacco, call the SEARHC Tobacco Quit Program toll free at 1-888-966-8875. They offer free one on one quit support, educational services, and nicotine replacement therapy. Or you can call Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW to begin your quit journey today! Also visit www.alaskaquitline.com or www.facebook.com/alaskaquitline for more information.


Kake is celebrating it’s 6th Annual Chili Cook-off/Wear Red Day

The Annual Chili Cook-off/Wear Red Day is co-sponsored by SEARHC and the Organized Village of Kake. The event takes place on Saturday, February 23 from 1 - 4 pm at the Assembly of God church. There’ll be prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the chili cook-off and for the best dressed in red along with lots of door prizes.  They’ll also have free blood pressure checks and information on heart health.  Moose meat is available from the tribe for your dish. Remember that February is American Heart Month.  Join us in our Wear Red Day activities to raise awareness of heart disease in women. If you have any questions, call Anthony Gastelum at 1-907-723-9523 or Georgie Davis-Gastelum at 785-6516.


Make sure your voice is heard

Please take the Healthy Alaskans 2020 Survey and pass this link along to all of your coalition and community partners.  We need to know what health issues are most important to Alaskans! Healthy Alaskans 2020 is a statewide initiative with the goal of identifying 25 leading health indicators, or measurements, to guide health efforts in Alaska over the next decade. Your input is needed to help us achieve the vision: "Healthy Alaskans in Healthy Communities." This survey is the second in the year-long process to gather input about health priorities that are important to Alaskans. Results from Survey One helped to identify 71 potential leading health indicators. This survey will help to further narrow the potential leading health indicators down to 25.

Charles Clement

Just a reminder...


SEARHC has a new website

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://www.searhc.org.


Check out SEARHC’s new page on Facebook

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 patient advocates serve as customer liaisons

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.


SEARHC hosts 24/7 crisis help line, toll-free at 1-877-294-0074

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 provides 24/7 on-call travel coordinators for patients traveling for care

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).