Pyper Powell, LPC, joins Juneau Behavioral Health Clinic staff: Pyper Powell, LPC, has joined the SEARHC Juneau Behavioral Health Clinic staff as a behavioral health clinician. Pyper holds a Master of Science degree in mental health counseling from the University of Phoenix. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in kinesiology from the University of Northern Colorado, and she took undergraduate courses in communications and theater from Lake Forest College in Illinois. Pyper holds a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential from the State of Alaska. Before joining SEARHC, Pyper worked as a behavioral health clinician for the Juneau Alliance for Mental Health Inc. (JAMHI). She also served as interim director and behavioral health clinician for the Metlakatla Indian Community. Before moving to Alaska, Pyper worked for Okanogan Behavioral Health Care in Omak, Wash., where she earned emergency service provider credentials as designated mental health professional and Native American Specialist from the State of Washington.
National Mental Illness Awareness Week is Oct. 7-13: National Mental Illness Awareness Week is Oct. 7-13, and there will be several events in Juneau sponsored by the Juneau chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-Juneau). SEARHC will serve as one of the checkpoints in the “Run, Walk and Roll Poker Run” event on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Twin Lakes hosted by the Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL) Inc. and NAMI-Juneau. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the fun run begins at 9 a.m. During this event, runners will complete a five-kilometer course where they stop to pick up playing cards at five checkpoints. The best poker hands win prizes, in addition to the fastest times. Other events for National Mental Illness Awareness Week include a presentation titled \"Understanding Suicide: Building Intervention Skills,\" on at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church; a free wellness symposium starting at 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 8, at Centennial Hall; and a free showing of the documentary film about NAMI’s origins, \"When Medicine Got it Wrong,\" at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Silverbow Inn and Bakery. The annual NAMI-Juneau meeting takes place after the one-hour film finishes and guests are welcome.
Kake hosts its first Adult Culture Camp/Fish Camp: The Organized Village of Kake hosted its first Adult Culture Camp/Fish Camp on Sept. 14, 15 and 17. After 20 years of hosting culture camps for kids, OVK was encouraged to offer an adult culture camp. Helping out with the camp were Georgie Davis-Gastelum of the SEARHC WISEFAMILIES Through Customary and Traditional Knowledge, Community Transformation Grant and Diabetes programs; Scott Jackson of SEARHC Behavioral Health Prevention; Kim Moler of SEARHC Dental; Marcia Aceveda of the Kake Health Center and SEARHC Boardmember Lincoln Bean. There were 43 people attending at least one of nine smoked fish demonstrations on the first day of the camp, and 83 participants total during the three days. The second day included sampling and socializing over fish stew, deer stew and other traditional foods, and the final day featured pressure canning of fish strips. The SEARHC Community Transformation Grant provided a pressure canner, which was given as a door prize.
Healthy Wrangell Project ends its three-year run: Our three-year Healthy Wrangell Project grant from the Indian Health Service came to an end on Sept. 30 when the federal fiscal year ended. This project involved partnerships with the Healthy Wrangell Coalition, the SEARHC WISEFAMILIES Through Customary and Traditional Knowledge Program (aka, SEARHC Traditional Foods Program), Wrangell Medical Center, the Wrangell School District, and Wrangell Parks and Recreation. These groups worked together to show an increase in healthy choices such as eating more fruits and vegetables, and improved attitudes about body image and weight among youth. In addition, adult surveys showed a reduction in alcohol use and increased fruit intake. Over the three years, the Healthy Wrangell Project helped build a Wrangell Community Garden, helped the community win a fruit orchard in the national “Communities Take Root” contest, sponsored a canoe in the canoe journey to Celebration 2012, helped purchase “Nessie” a large inflatable sea monster used at the Wrangell Swim Pool to encourage young children to get out and swim, provided educational information about the dangers of tobacco and worked with local businesses to promote clean indoor air, hosted hike and harvest events to teach people about edible plants in Wrangell, and participated in a variety of regional and national conferences.
Alaska Economic Trends predicts continued growth for health care industry in Alaska: The October 2012 edition of Alaska Economic Trends, a publication of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, featured a 10-year forecast for various employment sectors. According to the report, Alaska is expected to add 38,749 total jobs between 2010 and 2020, an increase of 12 percent. Health care and social assistance, which will benefit from the needs of an aging population, is projected to grow by about 31 percent — by far the highest of any industry. The second-highest growth will be in mining (minus oil and gas) at 19 percent. According to the report, Alaska expects to see an 89-percent increase in its senior population (age 65 and older) by 2020, which will fuel the need for more services. The state expects an increase of 5,860 jobs (37 percent) in ambulatory health care services, with another 2,400 jobs (up 25 percent) in social assistance programs.
SEARHC honors National Bullying Prevention Month in October: October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and this site is linked to the National Bullying Prevention Center with lots of resources for parents and teachers, Health Teacher also has a lot of anti-bullying resources, including a link to a smartphone game app called Awesome Upstander that teaches kids why bullying is lame. Bullying is a major issue that can lead to a variety of health issues, including suicide. Let’s work together to prevent bullying in our schools, in our homes and on our playgrounds.
Webinar offers help for those working with youth considering suicide: Well-Aware will host a webinar called \"The Insight: Knowing What to Say and What to Do to Help a Suicidal Youth\" from 1-2:30 p.m. Alaska time on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Here is a link to where you can learn more and register for the webinar, which is intended for anybody who works with youth. If you live in Southeast Alaska and you or a friend is having a crisis, call the free 24/7 SEARHC Help Line at 1-877-294-0074. The SEARHC Help Line also has a Facebook page you can visit.
Fall 2012 mobile mammogram van schedule wraps up POW visit, heads to final stop in Metlakatla: The SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program and Bartlett Regional Hospital have announced the Fall 2012 schedule for the mobile mammogram program. The mobile mammography van will be in Klawock on Sept. 19-28 and Oct. 3-9, Craig on Oct. 1-2, and Metlakatla on Oct. 11-19 (no weekend or holiday appointments). The van already visited Hoonah, Haines and Skagway on this season’s schedule. Women are encouraged to contact their local clinics prior to the scheduled visit because they will need to receive a clinical breast exam before they can get their mammograms. The mobile mammography program is run through a partnership between Bartlett Regional Hospital and the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program. It makes regular mammography screening services available to women who live in communities where they aren’t available year round. The SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program provides free clinical breast exams, mammograms, Pap tests and cardiovascular screenings for all women ages 40 and older who meet income and insurance guidelines. For more information, contact your local clinic, call the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program in Sitka at 966-8782 (or 1-888-388-8782, toll-free in Alaska), or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about services available through the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program.
SEARHC now has a 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).
Charles Clement SEARHC President/CEO