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Receive Expert Care at Home by Sitkans You Can Trust

Home Health line of care services are available in Sitka.

Many Sitkans manage the daily demands of work, home and children, while caring for someone who just came home from the hospital, is chronically ill or aging. Caring for a loved one can be overwhelming and result in physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. And imagine the stress of many Alaskan elders who are fiercely independent and want to stay in their homes despite severe medical challenges and no one around to help. A possible solution to lighten the load for both family caregivers and elders living alone is SEARHC Home Health.

Home Health care can help

The SEARHC Home Health provides skilled in-home healthcare options. SEARHC developed skilled home-based services for the Sitka community because at-home care promotes healing. There is abundant evidence that patients heal more quickly at home when home care is managed by highly-trained clinicians. Our home healthcare providers can be trusted to help you and your loved ones manage a chronic condition, recover from hospitalization or a medical setback or navigate the end-of-life process with improved continuity of care and dignity.

What is Home Health care?

Home healthcare is personalized care. Home Health caregivers tailor the experience to the needs of each individual. Home healthcare services are truly unique, providing meaningful, personal and skilled care that builds strong bonds between our professionals and their clients. Studies show a person who is seen by a clinician in the comfort of home is more likely to trust that their health is the healthcare team’s primary concern.

SEARHC Home Health is staffed with a team of experienced professionals who are skilled in nursing and rehabilitative services. Our staff provides skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, as well as a home health aide.

Is it safe to use Home Health services during COVID-19?

To keep our patients safe, our home health providers are screened for COVID-19 before they go into the field, and it is a requirement that they wear masks, gowns, and gloves during the visit. To keep our home health providers safe, patients are asked to wear a mask as well. Also, Home Health will try to implement appointments by phone and video more often and connect with home health patients virtually if possible.

SEARHC Home Health Caregivers

SEARHC wants our home health patients to understand that a capable and compassionate caregiver is arriving at their door. Our home care is provided by special people who are highly trained and dedicated to their work. Our home caregivers look at their work not as a job or profession but rather as a calling.

Sitkans Helping Sitkans

Becky

Registered nurse and home care advocate, Becky has five children and has lived in Sitka for 17 years. She earned an associate degree in nursing through the University of Alaska Anchorage, and a bachelor’s degree through Western Governor’s University in 2018. She says, many of her classmates also work for SEARHC and she knows many patients as well.  Becky sees her job as Sitkans helping Sitkans, i.e., the most impactful care there is.

“I was tired of caring for patient’s in the inpatient setting and never knowing how that care impacted them in the long run,” Becky says. “Working in Home Health allows me to build strong relationships with my patients. I get to see first-hand how the professional nursing care I provide coupled with therapies and other services they receive impact my patients’ lives.”

Suzanne, a SEARHC Home Health Physical Therapist, agrees.

“I like working in Home Health because treating in the patient’s own environment allows me to form close connections. Connection is an important part of the rehabilitative services I provide. It is gratifying to see a patient reach their goals and get back to doing what they love to do.” Suzanne

Suzanne received a bachelor of science degree in Applied Exercise Science from Springfield College in Springfield, MA and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA. Previously, she worked all over the country, and in numerous settings. She says her job entails a lot of communication and coordination between doctors, caregivers and clinicians, and especially with patients.

“I incorporate their goals into their treatment plan,” Suzanne says about her motivation techniques. “Whether it is seeing their grandchildren or going for walks in the woods, it is very rewarding to see a patient reach their goals and know that you helped them on their journey.”

Laura, a SEARHC Home Health registered nurse born in Sitka, also is rewarded by a patient’s journey, although a journey of a different kind — end of life.

“It is a privilege to be welcomed into someone’s home, and an honor to be entrusted with care during the hardest times in peoples’ lives,” Laura says with quiet reverence. “One of the most important services we provide is end of life support. The moments are too personal to share, but they are the most memorable and meaningful.”

Laura went to Whitworth College and then the Washington State University Intercollegiate College of Nursing. She worked at Sitka Community Hospital for 10 years and is actively involved with Sitka Studio of Dance and Fireweed Dance Theatre.

Also born and raised in Sitka is SEARHC Home Health aide and certified nursing assistant Sheila. Her home care experience is indeed professional, local and personal.

“I am forever grateful to be in Home Health because it gave me the opportunity to be an even better caregiver to one of the best patients ever, my own dad. I was spoiled. I already knew how amazing the team was going to be for my dad and family.”

Sheila earned a bachelor’s degree in music and anthropology from Western Washington University, and completed a Spanish minor at La Universidad de Salamanca. She worked for SEARHC inpatient night shift for years and is glad she made the switch to Home Health.

Sheila

“I can give more time, expertise, care and undivided attention to my patients. You don’t always get an opportunity to do that in the hospital setting when you’re trying to care for multiple patients at the same time.”

Celeste, a home health occupational therapist who is currently a member of the Alaska Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Board, sees serving her neighbors by providing patient centered care in their homes a very special honor and privilege. She appreciates being in a person’s space to understand the real challenges they face as they attempt activities to increase their independence. Celeste

Providing patient-centered home care allows patients to express their desired outcomes individually, as well as the independence to choose the course of their therapy goals and treatment. Those one-on-one relationships are what Celeste finds so rewarding about her work.

Caring for one patient at a time doesn’t mean our Home Health team isn’t multitasking. While being competent, patient and kind, they can also be fierce advocates who aggressively manage their patient’s case with the outside world.  Could you or someone you love benefit from Home Health care services?

At this time, Home Health is only available in Sitka. For a referral, please contact your primary care provider. For more information on Home Health, please contact 907.966.8969 or homehealth@searhc.org.

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To learn more about our Health Promotion programs, call us at 907.966.8936

The SEARHC Crisis Help Line, 1.877.294.0074, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to residents of Southeast Alaska.