President’s Update for July 6, 2012

In this edition...

In this edition …

Alicia Roberts Medical Center lab passes accreditation inspection: On June 28, the Alicia Roberts Medical Center was inspected by COLA (formerly the Commission On Laboratory Accreditation), a physician-directed clinical laboratory education, consultation and accreditation organization. It went very well with only one minor citation, or what they call an educational citation. This is due to the fantastic job that is done by all the staff that performs lab testing at ARMC. A special thanks goes out to the sole lab tech at the clinic, Pam Fredericksen, who does a great job making sure that each day we are maintaining our high level of quality. Our accreditation has been renewed through 2014. Great job everyone.

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S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital is offering teen clinics in July: Get a head start on your sports physical. As part of our commitment to preventive care, SEARHC would like to encourage teen physical exams. Adolescence is a period of rapid growth and change, and yearly exams are recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Dr. David Vastola and Dr. Jennifer McNichol are available for appointments. Exams provided are comprehensive, addressing the unique health care needs of teens. CDC-recommended vaccinations will be available to those meeting eligibility requirements for federally funded vaccines. Requirements are uninsured, Alaska Native or American Indian, eligible for Medicaid or Denali KidCare and under 19 years of age. Tdap vaccine — a tetanus booster that also protects against pertussis (whooping cough) — is available to all adolescents under 19 years of age regardless of eligibility. To schedule an appointment, please call SEARHC MEH Outpatient Department at 966-8318.

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SEARHC offers Gatekeeper suicide prevention training to Prince of Wales Island communities: The SEARHC Behavioral Health/Suicide Prevention Program on Prince of Wales Island has scheduled an Alaska Gatekeeper suicide prevention class from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with a one-hour lunch) on Saturday, July 7, in Thorne Bay, at the Thorne Bay City Hall. The SEARHC Behavioral Health/Suicide Prevention Program helps teach Alaska Gatekeeper suicide prevention classes on Prince of Wales Island in the four Native communities on POW (Craig, Hydaburg, Kasaan and Klawock) and in other island communities. The Prince of Wales Island classes are taught by Timothy R Booth in communities showing interest in hosting the Alaska Gatekeeper suicide prevention training. The classes last approximately 7-8 hours, and so far the training has taken place in Craig, Klawock, Kasaan, Hydaburg and Thorne Bay. To register or express interest about POW classes, contact Timothy Booth at 755-2140 or by e-mail at timothy.booth@searhc.org, or send him a message on his Facebook page. The Alaska Gatekeeper suicide prevention training helps people learn more about the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, training them how to be good listeners so they can help people at risk of suicide until appropriate care can be available. To learn more, go to http://www.hss.state.ak.us/suicideprevention/pdfs_sspc/sspcgatekeeper.pdf (opens PDF document).

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Renae Mathson to present at National Wellness Conference: SEARHC Health Educator II Renae Mathson, who works with the Diabetes Program in our Health Promotion Division will be a presenter at the National Wellness Conference July 16-19 in Stevens Point, Wis. This event is hosted by the National Wellness Institute. Renae’s presentation, “Using Digital Storytelling to Preserve Cultures and Lives,” will be part of the Wednesday morning breakout sessions on July 18. Renae, SEARHC Community Transformation Grant Manager Martha Pearson and SEARHC Corporate Communications Director Michael Jenkins have been trained to teach people how to tell their stories about wellness in a digital format. People use computers, photos, music, sound effects and more to create a short 2- to 6-minute story about a variety of wellness topics, such as how they manage diabetes, learn about traditional foods or cope with cancer. Several examples of digital stories produced in past SEARHC classes can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/SEARHCmedical or https://www.facebook.com/video/?id=437382196276247.

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Just a reminder …

SEARHC patient advocates serve as customer liaisons: SEARHC has three patient advocate positions in Southeast Alaska — Bryan Whitson (Sitka), Cyndi Reeves (POW), and our Juneau position is temporarily vacant — 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). Since our Juneau position is vacant, patients in Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Klukwan and Hoonah should contact Cyndi until we can hire a new Juneau patient advocate (use Cyndi’s numbers above or the Juneau patient advocate’s number of 463-6656, which will be routed to Cyndi). Patients traveling to Anchorage for care should contact the ANMC patient advocates at 729-3990.

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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.

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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).

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Charles Clement SEARHC President/CEO