Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital
An Alaska-based health care executive, Charles Clement serves as president and CEO of Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) in Juneau. In this role, Charles Clement oversees a Native-run health organization that serves over 20 Alaskan communities.
With much of its work focused on providing patient-centered care for Native populations, SEARHC and its member organizations are committed to promoting healthy traditional activities and diets. As part of this work, Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (MEH) in Sitka recently began offering traditional food options to inpatients.
To add the offerings to the hospital’s menu, the nutrition team at MEH coordinated with the Alaska State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Fish and Game to develop a process for accepting donations of traditional food items. As long as the items are handled and donated properly, MEH welcomes gifts of locally harvested meat and seafood as well as native plants and berries.
Currently, MEH offers a weekly “Chef Special” of venison stew made with fresh vegetables and herbs alongside venison harvested from the Sitka area. The hospital hopes that future menus will incorporate other indigenous foods, including herring eggs, beach asparagus, reindeer, and moose.
WISEWOMAN Women’s Health
A graduate of the University of Alaska, Charles Clement worked for more than a decade as a senior executive with Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage. In 2012, Charles Clement left the organization and joined Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), where he currently serves as president and CEO.
In addition to overseeing medical facilities in over 20 communities, SEARHC offers a number of programs to help prevent disease and injury among the populations it serves. The organization’s work in the area of health promotion includes the WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program, which provides cancer screenings and other services for Alaskan women.
Through the program, SEARHC partners with the Breast Cancer Detection Center to provide mammograms in remote communities using a mobile mammography van. The van makes various stops throughout southeast Alaska each spring and fall.
Other services offered as part of the WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program include free breast exams, pap tests, and cardiovascular screenings. The program also connects women to any follow-up care they may need. More information about WISEWOMAN and SEARHC’s other health promotion programs and activities can be found at www.searhc.org.
SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium
After graduating from high school in his hometown of Metlakatla, Alaska, Charles Clement went on to acquire a bachelor of science from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Alaska. Charles Clement serves as president and CEO of SEARHC, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.
SEARHC recently announced a new program to help people in the community living with Type 2 diabetes. The no-cost Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) aims to help Sitka community members manage the emotional and physical effects of the illness on their own to help improve their health, general wellness, and confidence.
The DSMP, developed at Stanford University, uses evidence-based techniques that have shown positive results for patients who participated in studies. These techniques can help improve sleep, dietary habits, and communication with healthcare providers in order to manage symptoms like fatigue, pain, and blood-sugar fluctuations.
The weekly, interactive DSMP classes are led by facilitators who typically have diabetes themselves. Usually held in a community space such as a church, the participatory learning sessions may help attendees feel more connected to others facing similar issues. The classes are also open to friends and family of those living with diabetes so they can better support their loved ones.
Since 2012, Alaska native Charles Clement has been the president and CEO of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). An alumnus of Metlakatla High School and the University of Alaska, Charles Clement previously held roles with Aetna and Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage. Founded in 1975, SEARHC is one of the longest-operating and largest Native-run health organizations in the nation, with dental health clinics located in five Alaskan cities.
Recently, the nonprofit expanded its dental clinic in Juneau due to the high demand from the local population. The new clinic is well suited for patients of all ages and boasts a new pediatric clinic, with eight beds and upgraded technology. While the organization is Native-led, Alaska Natives are not the only patients SEARHC supports; the clinic accepts all patients regardless of their background.
Dental health care includes the entire mouth and goes well beyond brushing. SEARHC’s dentists focus on all areas of oral health care and are able to scan for signs of mouth cancer and other maladies such as thrush, cold sores, and salivary gland disorders.
SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium
Charles Clement serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), a nonprofit health consortium that serves the communities of Southeast Alaska. Under Charles Clement’s leadership, SEARHC continues to improve its services. Such improvements include remodel and expansion of its pediatric dental clinic.
Located at the corner building of Hospital Drive and Salmon Creek Lane, the Children’s Dental Clinic was specifically designed to appeal to children and features colorful artwork on the walls. Renovations include accessible sinks and state-of-the-art equipment, including advanced cameras and multiple monitors to give dentists easy access to X-rays and photos. The waiting room also offers a LEGO wall to entertain children while they’re waiting to be seen.
An unveiling ceremony for the new clinic occurred in June 2017. The new clinic provides a significant improvement over SEARHC’s previous one, which was outgrowing its space due to demand.
Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation
A healthcare executive in Alaska, Charles Clement formerly held the position of COO of Southcentral Foundation, which works to improve the health and wellness of the native community in Alaska. In 2012, Mr. Clement transitioned to the role of president and CEO of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). Active in his community, Charles Clement actively supports the activities of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), which hosts symposiums on the topic of Alaskan Plants as Food and Medicine.
The ANTHC Health Promotion program will host two “Alaskan Plants as Food and Medicine” symposiums in 2017 to promote ethical harvesting, knowledge of traditional plants, and traditional ways of gathering and growing food. The symposiums are a response to the need to educate the next generation on the use of Alaskan plants.
The new generation is facing a gap in knowledge and skills in this area, which is largely a result of the overreliance on imported foods. In 2017, rather than hosting one central event in Anchorage, the ANTHC will offer two regional conferences: one in Kotzebue from September 6 through 8 and another in Kenai from September 15 through 17. To learn more about the ANTHC and its programming, visit ANTHC.org.
Charles Clement serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), a nonprofit tribal health group based in Juneau, Alaska, that involves 18 native communities. Under Charles Clement’s leadership, SEARHC fosters health awareness through an assortment of health-promotion programs.
These programs support healthier communities through identification and fulfillment of unmet healthcare needs. Additionally, the programs provide assistance with public policy, education, and problem-solving for issues related to community health. Although the programs cover a range of health issues, they operate with a universal goal of preventing disease and injury, supporting sick individuals, and advocating for public health policies.
SEARHC currently administers six health-promotion initiatives that include the WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program. This serves low-income, under-insured, and uninsured Alaskan women by enabling them to access lifestyle programs and chronic disease risk-factor screenings. Additionally, it removes financial barriers that prevent them from affording cancer screenings, and provides referral services for preventing cardiovascular disease. Staff can also assist women in receiving any necessary follow-up care.