President’s Update for Nov. 6, 2010

In this edition...

This week’s update has info on our hospital chosen for IPC3 program, SEARHC hosts colon cancer readers theater and ANHB meets in Nome. S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital chosen for Improving Patient Care program: Dr. Marty Grasmeder (S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Medical Director) received word this week that our hospital is one of 65 Indian Health Service facilities picked to participate in the third part of the Improving Patient Care program (IPC3). The hospital joins the Ethel Lund Medical Center, which was one of 38 facilities in the second round of the program (IPC2). The 103 facilities are learning how to institute medical home programs to enhance the quality of and improve access to care for our patients, families and communities. By using medical homes, all patients are assigned primary care providers to help them receive better continuity of care while reducing the use of urgent and emergency care services. To learn more about the IPC program, go to [Back to the top] SEARHC hosts colon cancer readers theater: Those wanting to learn more about colon cancer screening and prevention are invited to a readers theater, “What’s The Big Deal?” that takes place at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 8, at the SEARHC At Kaník Hít Community Health building on the lower part of the SEARHC Sitka campus. The script is read by volunteers and followed by open discussion and a question-and-answer session with a health care provider. The event is open to all ages and is an informal gathering that focuses on the benefits of early detection and prevention of colon cancer. For more information, contact Becky Koslovich at 966-8936. [Back to the top] Norton Sound Health Corporation celebrates 40 years: The Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC) celebrated its 40th anniversary on Thursday evening (Nov. 4). The celebration was held in conjunction with the Alaska Native Health Board meeting in Nome. The event featured the NSHC Board honoring all their staff from the past and present. A highlight of the evening included a special recognition of the original health aides from communities around Norton Sound. We congratulate NSHC on 40 years of service to the Alaska Native people. [Back to the top] Alaska Native Health Board meets: The Alaska Native Health Board (ANHB) met this week in Nome. In addition to the quarterly meeting of our statewide advocacy group, ANHB continued its work to revise the strategic plan. The Alaska Tribal Health Directors also met just prior to the ANHB meeting. Each fall the ANHB also elects officers. The results of the election are:
  • Chair — Lincoln Bean, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
  • Vice Chair — Andy Jimmie, Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • Secretary — Emily Hughes, Norton Sound Health Corporation
  • Treasurer — Loraine Jackson, Copper River Native Association
  • 1st At Large — Bill Kristovich, Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation
  • 2nd At Large — Sue Ann Lindoff, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium
  • 3rd At Large — Rose Tepp, Kenaitze Indian Tribe
  • Alternate At Large — William Smith, Valdez Native Tribe
  • National Indian Health Board Representative — H. Sally Smith, Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation
[Back to the top] SEARHC clinics to be open on Veterans Day: Our clinics will be open on Veterans Day (Thursday, Nov. 11), and our clinics will be hosting several activities to honor our employees who are veterans. Many of our clinics will host an employee potluck for lunch, and will share the experience through our videoconference system. We will have remembrance tables in Juneau and Sitka, and Melody Price-Yonts will serve as master of ceremonies for the employee potlucks. Justin McDonald will provide two honor drum songs for veterans from Juneau, while Valerie Bright of Sitka will set up several remembrance tables at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. In Kake, Dinah Aceveda coordinates the Kake Healing Heart Council, which will host its 12th annual Honoring Our Veterans community potluck. Also, we now have several staff members who can enroll our Southeast Alaska veterans so they can receive Veterans Affairs health care services including access to the new Juneau VA Outreach Clinic. Cecilia Frank (364-4465) coordinates VA enrollment for SEARHC patients in Juneau, Judy Mills (966-8307) coordinates enrollment in Sitka, and Nellie Kookesh (966-8814) coordinates enrollment for patients who live in our other SEARHC communities. [Back to the top] The Joint Commission revisits S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital: A specialized life safety surveyor from The Joint Commission made an unscheduled second survey of the S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital on Thursday, Nov. 4. The surveyor checks on correction of the three minor items from The Joint Commission’s full survey on Sept. 22-23. All of the minor issues had been corrected, so we are clear on the life safety portion of the survey. We still have some reports due on minor clinical issues and we are fully accredited. [Back to the top] SEARHC Tobacco Cessation program workers featured in Anchorage Native News: Three SEARHC tobacco cessation counselors — Rowena Reeves of Juneau, Kristin Schmidt of Sitka and Sandra Demmert of Klawock — were featured in the October/November issue of Anchorage Native News (the newsletter for the Southcentral Foundation). The three tobacco cessation counselors had been in Anchorage for a five-day intensive tobacco treatment specialist training sponsored by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. The article featured brief statements from each of the tobacco cessation counselors about why they entered the field and wanted to help people quit tobacco. [Back to the top] SEARHC programs host diabetes awareness events in November: November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the SEARHC Health Promotion, Diabetes and Lifestyle Balance programs are hosting a variety of events around the region to help people learn more about diabetes. Alaska Natives and American Indians have some of the highest rates of diabetes for any ethnic group in the United States, and the numbers are growing fast. There currently are nearly 24 million Americans with diabetes, and about a third of them do not even realize they have the disease. In many cases, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with simple lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and physical activity. The complete list of activities is too long to list here, but highlights include food demonstrations, health screenings, digital storytelling classes, children’s story hour book reading from the Eagle Book Series about diabetes written for Natives, Lifestyle Balance classes, diabetes specialty clinics, nutrition demonstrations, adult craft nights and more. Watch your local newspaper or listen on the radio station for a complete list, or contact Maybelle Filler at 966-8739 or to request a copy. [Back to the top] Great American Smokeout is Nov. 18: The American Cancer Society’s 35th annual Great American Smokeout is Thursday, Nov. 18, making it the perfect time for smokers who want to quit tobacco to try quitting. The SEARHC Tobacco Program, which has offices in Sitka, Juneau and Klawock, will offer a variety of activities during the Great American Smokeout to help support those tobacco users who want to quit. Our Sitka tobacco staff will partner with the Sitka School District’s “Kick It” tobacco program to host a couple of tables at Sea Mart. Rowena Reeves from our Juneau Tobacco office will host an informational table at the Ethel Lund Medical Center. There will be additional tobacco information available at all of our clinics. To learn more about SEARHC’s Tobacco Quit services available in all SEARHC communities, call our toll-free SEARHC Tobacco Quit Line at 1-888-966-8875, or call 966-8721 in Sitka. [Back to the top] Regards, Roald