President’s Update for March 15, 2013

In this edition...

Juneau SEARHC has embarked on a campus-wide employee recognition program

Juneau SEARHC has embarked on a campus-wide employee recognition program to reward exceptional staff for their hard work. The rewards will include a written recognition letter; name tag pin; 2 hours of annual leave award; and a money gift certificate.  Award winners will be celebrated at quarterly intervals during ELMC all staff meetings. Staff being are asked to nominate any staff person based on their excellent performance in skill, attitude, or creativity innovation. The deadline for this cycle of nominations is next week Friday, 3/22/13. A selection committee will meet on 3/25/13 and the winners will be announced via e-mail shortly thereafter. Staff have been asked to please send their nominations to Tiffany Nelson via email at tnelson@searhc.org or send them to the Health Promotion Office in the Dental Building, attention Tiffany Nelson (ext 4454). We look forward to celebrating the people who help to make our workplace the best it can be.


“1 is 2 Many Southeast Alaska Suicide Prevention Task Force”

“1 is 2 Many Southeast Alaska Suicide Prevention Task Force” recently had their quarterly meeting. One of the first reports came from the Doug and Alicia Chilton of the One People Canoe society. Doug gave an update on the canoe Journey to Wrangell to raise awareness for suicide prevention and cultural awakening; the canoe team will also take part in the Chief Shakes grand reopening that is scheduled for May 3 and 4.


The Youth Ambassador program

The Youth Ambassador program also had four youth attend the Task Force meeting. Two were from Juneau, one from Kake and one from Petersburg and they hope to add more as time progresses. Each Ambassador contributed diverse points and ideas that would spark interest in involving other youth in the program. The youth were all excited to be part of the Youth Suicide Prevention Program and brought lots of ideas and suggestions to the table. The overall gist of the meeting consisted of recognizing the need for youth mentorship and healthy activities, leadership building and overall team building exercises and the need to facilitate connections and networking opportunities for Southeast Alaska youth in a way that honored and respected our cultures. The Task Force and youth ambassadors where also visited by several State Representatives, State Senators and members of the State Suicide Prevention Council. They where given an overview of the task force and youth ambassadors. Overall, they are supportive of our program and made themselves available for questions and insights.

Charles Clement

Just a reminder...


March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month

As part of our efforts to provide more regional public education around colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and prevention, the SEARHC Colorectal Health Program recently purchased their own traveling colon health display. “Minnie Colon” is a 4’ x 6’ inflatable, cross-sectional colon display – not as large as “Nolan the Super Colon,” and easier to transport and set up for community events. Minnie travels with educational materials and information about CRC screening at SEARHC. Please contact Clara Gray at 966-8936 for more information about scheduling Minnie for your program or community group.


Applications are available for the SEARHC Summer Internship Program

The SEARHC Summer Internship Program provides opportunities for six Native students who are studying at the high school, bachelor’s degree and/or master’s degree/clinical level. The program allows participants to explore career options in health care, and the interns receive valuable on-the-job training in their health care career of interest and a minimal hourly stipend. At the end of the program, interns will receive a performance evaluation with valuable feedback from their mentor(s). Students must be enrolled tribal members or descendants as certified through a Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB) and currently be enrolled full-time in high school, college or vocational school with a minimum GPA of 2.5. To apply, students must complete a SEARHC Summer Internship Application, a SEARHC job application, provide two letters of recommendation (from teachers, counselors, employers, tribal leaders, etc.), a copy of the student’s current resume and a copy of the student’s current college transcripts. The application deadline is Friday, May 10 (the application must be received or postmarked by this date), and the final selection of interns takes place on May 17. The internship program runs from June through September 2013. Completed applications may be mailed to Jessika Beam (966-8903) at SEARHC, c/o Human Resources Department, 222 Tongass Drive, Sitka, AK 99835. Applications also can be faxed to 966-8527, or scanned and e-mailed to jessika.beam@searhc.org. Because space is limited, interested students should apply early. Application packets are available at Southeast Alaska high school offices, through local tribal organizations or by going to http://searhc.org/students/summer-internships.


2013 Ethel Lund 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 jessika.beam@searhc.org. 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 jessika.beam@searhc.org


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).