President’s Update for Sept. 28, 2012

In this edition...

In this edition …

SEARHC offers Community Transformation Grant sub-awards: The SEARHC Community Transformation Grant program is offering a second round of sub-award grants to community groups in Southeast Alaska interested in improving the health of their communities. The national Community Transformation Grant program, which includes SEARHC, is funded by the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. The program is expected to run for five years and reach more than one in three U.S. citizens — about 120 million Americans. According to the funding objectives, projects should be policy-driven and have a well-planned strategy to address at least one of the three focus issues — tobacco-free living; active living and healthy eating; and high-impact quality clinical and other preventive services to prevent and control high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Grant amounts will vary depending on the project and the number of people served. Organizations can choose to apply for grants of $5,000 to $24,750, and five to eight awards will be issued for 2012-13. Proposals for Fall 2012 are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19. Only one proposal per group will be considered. For more information and to get a copy of the Request For Proposal, contact Martha Pearson at 966-8783 or martha.pearson@searhc.org, or go to the SEARHC website.

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SEARHC honors Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October with variety of events: The SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program is honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October by joining with Sitka Community Hospital (SCH) and other partner groups in Sitka to host a variety of breast cancer awareness events. The month kicks off with SEARHC and SCH hosting Wear Pink Day (to work, school or play) on Friday, Oct. 5, with a 6 p.m. sky lantern remembrance event at Moller Field (lanterns are $10 at the field). SEARHC and Brenner’s Fine Clothing and Gifts host a free three-mile Breast Cancer Awareness Walk at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, starting behind Brenner’s (8:30 a.m. registration, free gifts for those who donate to the Sitka Cancer Survivors Society, call Susan Suarez at 966-8459). Also on Saturday, Oct. 6, are the Sitka Health Summit’s Sitka Community Health Fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sweetland Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus, and a Gold for the Girls event from 6-8 p.m. at Goldsmith Gallery. SCH hosts its annual Hope Floats Cruise and Chocolate Extravaganza Auction at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 (call 747-1727 for $40 tickets, meet at Crescent Harbor). The Sitka Cancer Survivors Society hosts a slave auction at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Pioneer Bar (proceeds benefit the society). The SCH Mammography Department hosts a silent auction from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26. Finally, first-time users of the Hames Athletic and Wellness Center during October who show up wearing pink to “Wear Pink and Be Fit” will receive a free one-day pass to try out the center. For more info about breast cancer awareness events in October, contact Susan Suarez with the WISEWOMAN program at 966-8459.

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Sixth annual Sitka Health Summit takes place Oct. 6, 8, 10 and 12: Sitka residents are invited to join their neighbors in honoring our local wellness champions, planning our health priorities for the next year and attending a community health fair during the sixth annual Sitka Health Summit on Oct. 6, 8, 10 and 12 at various locations in Sitka. There are four main community events during this year’s Sitka Health Summit:

  • Sitka Community Health Fair and Neighborhood Block Party — Saturday, Oct. 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Sweetland Hall on the Sitka Fine Arts Camp/Sheldon Jackson Campus (with Alaska Health Fair Inc. providing low-cost blood tests and health screenings, and information booths from a variety of local health-related organizations and businesses); the Neighborhood Block Party features a variety of community groups on or near the Sheldon Jackson Campus hosting companion events at the same time as the health fair.
  • “Exercise Is Medicine” Lunch-and-Learn with Don Lehmann, MD — Monday, Oct. 8, from noon to 1 p.m., at Kettleson Memorial Library (bring your lunch and listen to a presentation from the 2011 Sitka Health Summit keynote speaker).
  • Sitka Health Summit Community Wellness Champions Awards Celebration — Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Sheet’ká Kwáan Naa Kahídi (desserts and awards for community members whose healthy habits inspire us all).
  • Sitka Health Summit “Planning Day: Selecting Community Wellness Goals” — Friday, Oct. 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Sweetland Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus (Sitka residents pick our projects for next year).

More details about this year’s Sitka Health Summit can be found online. The Sitka Health Summit started in 2007 when SEARHC and Sitka Community Hospital invited other health providers and interested organizations in Sitka to join together to create a community event centered on health and wellness.

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S’áxt' Hit Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital offers flu shots in October: Flu season is coming, so get your annual flu shot to protect your health. As part of our commitment to preventive care, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital will offer four special flu shot clinics in October. Flu shots will be available for children and adults from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2, Friday, Oct. 5, Monday, Oct. 8, and Friday, Oct. 12. The shots are free for SEARHC’s Native patients (non-Native patients may have to pay a fee depending on insurance). Please call ahead for an appointment. To schedule an appointment for a flu shot, please call the S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Outpatient Department at 966-8318.

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State, ANTHC team up to assess health needs in Alaska: The State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium have partnered to conduct a survey of all Alaskans on their wants, needs and vision for the future of health and health care in Alaska. The project, known as Healthy Alaskans 2020, is designed to provide a framework to improve health for all Alaskans and their communities. Healthy Alaskans 2020 is part of the national Healthy People 2020 project to provide science-based, 10-year national objectives for ambitious yet achievable goals for improving the health of all Americans. The process will consist of a series of surveys to identify a short list of leading health priorities, setting targets for improvement between now and 2020, and listing some evidence-based strategies to help reach those targets. All Alaskans are welcome and encouraged to participate in the process by accessing the Healthy Alaskans 2020 website before Oct. 22 to take the initial brief 10–15 minute survey. This survey asks participants to rank the importance to them and their communities of different health related topics, such as drug and alcohol abuse, violence, immunizations or suicide prevention. Alaskans are also encouraged to register for the program’s GovDelivery email distribution o receive updates and notice of other opportunities to stay involved throughout the process.

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Just a reminder …

Fall 2012 mobile mammogram van schedule continues with visit to POW: 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 askwh@searhc.org. For more information about services available through the SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program.

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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.

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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.

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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

Charles Clement

Just a reminder...