Influx of Health Aides Celebrated by the Alaska Native Health Board

Alaska Native Health Board pic
Alaska Native Health Board
Image: anhb.org

The CEO and president of Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), Charles Clement oversees employee management, infrastructure development, and execution of government contracts. In addition to his responsibilities with SEARHC, Charles Clement is also a member of the Alaska Native Health Board.

Established in 1968, the Alaska Native Health Board aims to promote holistic well-being within the Native peoples of Alaska, with the primary objectives including policy analysis and advocacy. This advocacy extends to increasing the number of health aides in the state through education. Recently, this goal was reached in part by the certification of 171 behavioral, dental, and community health aides.

These community health aides work in areas such as communicable disease control, maternal health, and environmental health in remote and underserved municipalities. Certification in these areas–received through the affiliated Community Health Aide Program Certification Board–allows many individuals to remain in or near their own communities, where jobs may otherwise be scarce.

This increase of community health aides raises the statewide total to almost 500 certified practitioners.

Family Dinner Helps Children Succeed

Alaska Children’s Trust pic
Alaska Children’s Trust
Image: alaskachildrenstrust.org

Formerly an account executive for Aetna US Healthcare in Anchorage, Charles Clement currently serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium. One of Charles Clement’s favorite charities is the Alaska Children’s Trust, which works to prevent child abuse and encourages children to take steps toward their dreams.

One simple way parents can help their children achieve success is by eating with them. Scientific research shows that eating meals with your children benefits them in multiple ways. For younger children, the communal experience helps increase their vocabularies, which often leads to reading at a younger age. Family meals boost vocabulary even more than reading to a child.

For school-aged children, a consistent family mealtime is a predictor of high achievement in school and has an even greater impact than homework, sports, or art. One study found that teens who ate family dinner at least five days per week were two times as likely to get grades of A as students who had family dinner two times or fewer per week.

Something as simple as family dinner not only brings the family together but increases a child’s chance of success. For more ways to foster success, visit alaskachildrenstrust.org.

Alaska Considers Single-Payer Health Care

Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium pic
Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium
Image: searhc.org

Since 2012, Charles Clement has been the chief executive officer and president of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium. With previous positions at the Southcentral Foundation and Aetna US Healthcare, Charles Clement has spent his professional life in Alaska’s health care industry. For Alaska and Colorado business professionals, drastic change may be on the horizon as the states consider a single-payer health care system.

Traditionally in the United States, our third-party payer system means that we pay premiums to insurance companies like Aetna. In a single-payer system, the government provides health care, with citizens paying higher taxes to make up for it.

While Colorado is putting the decision to a vote, Alaska is considering it out of desperation, as the state has only one commercial insurer for residents under age 65. Since 2015, the state has lost three insurers due to Alaska’s isolation and relatively small population.

In June 2016, the Alaska state government approved a bill to subsidize health care costs for high-risk patients, paid for by levied taxes on insurance. Switching to a single-payer health care system will give Alaskans something in common with their closest neighbor, Canada, which is also on a single-payer system.

Heroin Abuse Becomes One of Alaska’s Largest Public Health Problems

Heroin Abuse
Heroin Abuse

 

The CEO of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), Charles Clement is a longtime healthcare executive currently based in Juneau, Alaska. As part of his professional commitment to a healthy Alaska, Charles Clement closely follows the public health crises most commonly impacting his state.

The state of Alaska has traditionally had some of the nation’s highest rates of domestic violence, child abuse, and chemical dependency. Alcoholism is widespread, and prescription drug addiction is on the rise. Research now suggests that heroin abuse in the state is growing and approaching dangerous levels.

Heroin use has nearly quadrupled in Alaska since 2002. Overdoses are also on the rise, causing a crisis in public health as well as a large financial burden on the medical system. The current rate of heroin-related death in the state is approximately 2.7 deaths per 100,000 people, which is triple the 2008 rate and 42% higher than the national average.

Officials blame some of this crisis on over-reliance on opioid pain relievers. People become addicted to prescription drugs and then fall back on heroin later. The drug has also become relatively inexpensive lately, exacerbating the problem.