President’s Update for July 12, 2013

In this edition...

Well wishes and thanks to Dr. Marty Grasmeder

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the resignation of our friend and colleague, Dr. Marty Grasmeder, Hospital Administrator/Medical Director of the SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. His last day will be at the end of September in order to see through the completion of the Joint Commission Survey.

Marty has been with SEARHC for 19 years and his decision to leave was difficult, but it’s also an opportunity for not only his family, but him as well. He’s accepted a position in Portland, OR as the Medical Director of the Multnomah County Health Department. For his family, it takes his wife, Lee Draper, back to her roots and offers new and exciting opportunities for their daughter, Sullivan.

In the interim, Mr. Noel Rea will be filling in as the Hospital Administrator while SEARHC starts looking, first internally, then if needed, nationally to fill the position.

Please share with me well wishes and many thanks for all he has done for this organization.


SEARHC Seniors Food Survey in Haines

SEARHC Community Transformation Grant (CTG) manager, Martha Pearson recently presented survey findings at a meeting in the Haines public library. SEARHC Women's Health Program Assistant, Katherine Friedle conducted the survey and interviewed most respondents in person. The survey of 67 residents over age 60 was intended to assess availability of foods and the importance of local foods. It found 96 percent of Haines senior citizens felt they had enough to eat, but only 57 were satisfied with the variety of foods in their diet. Survey questions included use of proxies to harvest subsistence foods for seniors. Seniors praised the Haines Senior Center for frequently providing fresh and traditional foods, but some seniors didn’t know how the proxy system worked or how to participate in it.

Martha presented the information hoping it would motivate residents to create ways of providing better access and better structures of elder support in terms of native foods. Meeting attendees suggested ideas including where and when to find fresh salmon, shrimp, and crab and how to connect elders who qualify for proxies with potential helpers. SEARHC Community Transformation Grants could be used for improving access to food sources.


Dr. Sheufelt blazed a trail in Race Across America (RAAM)

Please join me in congratulating our own Dr. Janice Sheufelt, SEARHC Clinic Administrator and Medical Director of ELMC. In record time – six days, 22 hours and 29 minutes she finished the Race Across America bicycling event on June 22nd with teammate Joel Sothern. Their team was named the Flying J’s, and fly they did!

Team Flying J’s time was the fastest two-person mixed team finish and it was also just two hours off the winning two-person men’s time. The race began in Oceanside, CA and finished in Annapolis, MD. It was 3,000 miles, with 170,000 feet of climbing, across 12 states. Teams averaged 350-500 miles per day and solo riders 250-350 mile per day. The Flying J’s eleven-person support crew included some of Janice’s coworkers, husband James and daughter Megan. Dr. Sheufelt said they contributed to the record setting run just as much as she and Joel.

Charles Clement

Just a reminder...


ANTHC Fall Scholarship program and application

I wanted to let you know that ANTHC has opened the Scholarship application process for the fall term. They will be awarding 5 scholarships up to $5,000 each. The deadline is
July 15th.

Scholarships are available for Alaska Native or American Indians who are:

  • Permanent Alaska residents
  • Interested in working in the healthcare field
  • Currently enrolled in a formal education or training program

Please spread the word about this wonderful opportunity. The scholarship packet can be accessed through the following link: ANTHC Scholarship Packet