JUNEAU – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded SEARHC $300,000 a year for the next three years for the Prince of Wales Health Network (POWHN) under the Rural Health Network Development Program.

Five healthcare stakeholders on Prince of Wales (POW) make up POWHN: SEARHC, PeaceHealth, Craig Public Health Center, Community Connections, and Whale Tail Pharmacy. Through a network of POWHN providers, this project aims at increasing access to prevention activities for youth by developing an evidenced-based, peer-driven leadership program to support and prevent young people in adversity and build community resiliency, in culturally appropriate ways.

SEARHC CEO, Charles Clement said, “We are pleased to receive this grant that will enable the POWHN to work with POW young people in such a positive way. SEARHC looks forward to making a meaningful impact on POW by promoting healthy communities through partnership and collaboration.”

Ms. Patty Cottle, a resident of Klawock and member of the SEARHC Board of Directors, added, “I would personally like to thank SEARHC for being continually dedicated to improving care and services in our communities.

Tribal President of the Organized Village of Kasaan and SEARHC Board member, Frederick Olsen Jr. commented, “I am excited about the HRSA grant and the work of SEARHC in conjunction with the other POWHN stakeholders. A solid foundation is being created for a positive and long-lasting impact on the youth in our communities.”

The specific goals of this project include establishing and integrating youth leadership to lead and cultivate behavioral change relating to suicide, alcohol and substance abuse, and domestic violence; increasing community awareness and support, and build resiliency in youth and families; and developing program sustainability.

“The youth in our communities face numerous health challenges today,” said June Durgan, Craig resident, and SEARHC Board member. “This grant is a wonderful opportunity to provide them with the tools to be able to address behavioral issues and maintain their health.”