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.
Patient Housing Facility
Charles Clement serves as the president and chief executive officer of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). An Alaska native, Charles Clement also supports the nonprofit Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, which operates various programs and the Anchorage-based Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) to provide health services to members of the state’s indigenous population.
In the first half of 2017, the ANMC opened a new Patient Housing facility. This large, standalone edifice was built to accommodate the more than six in 10 patients who seek treatment at the Medical Center from outside of the Anchorage area. Offering guests comfortable accommodations and convenient access to the medical facilities, it is part of the Center’s plan to improve the overall health care experience of its patients.
During the first six months of operations, guests who stayed at Patient Housing completed surveys about their experience. In August, the Medical Center reported the results. Most guests responded positively. Based on 1,202 surveys, Patient Housing earned a 91.1 percent customer satisfaction rate. The facility’s general manager, Phil Degnan, notes that those results surpassed his expectations.
Patient Housing welcomes suggestions on ways to enhance its services. Recent improvements that have been made, based on customer feedback, include new bed frames and improved assistance in helping guests get from the airport to Patient Housing.
Alaska Children’s Trust
An experienced executive in the health care field, Charles Clement has served as the president and chief executive officer of Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) since 2012. Outside of his professional responsibilities, Charles Clement supports various local charitable organizations, among them Alaska Children’s Trust (ACT).
Established in 1988, ACT works to prevent child abuse and neglect through the research-based Strengthening Families strategy, an approach that emphasizes the development of five key Protective Factors. Parents learn to cultivate resilience through stress management and problem solving, as well as learning when to seek professional help. Parenting and child development education provides concrete information to help parents develop realistic expectations for their children’s emotional and social development. In addition to focusing on the creation of strong support networks, the Strengthening Families program can direct participants to resources to help them meet basic needs such as clothing and shelter. Resources are also available for individuals dealing with issues related to substance abuse, mental illness, or domestic violence.
Alaska Afterschool Network
Since 2012, Charles Clement has served as president and chief executive officer of the South East Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). Also active in charitable giving, Charles Clement contributes to the Alaska Children’s Trust, which operates the Alaska Afterschool Network.
The Alaska Afterschool Network consists of nonprofit, private, public, and tribal organizations that advocate for strong afterschool programs for children and families in an effort to improve the overall well-being and academic achievement of students. Research demonstrates that these programs typically increase attendance and academic performance as well as graduation rates. Further, afterschool programs reduce the expulsion rate and build students’ self-esteem, leading to a lower suicide rate and the development of protective factors that help students overcome trauma.
The Alaska Afterschool Network gathers the afterschool community to develop a cohesive system that fosters collaboration. The organization also disseminates best practices and encourages afterschool program staff to participate in continuing education to improve program quality. Finally, the network strives to improve access to afterschool programs and advocates for public policy that supports these programs at all government levels.