Wrangell Medical Center
An executive with years of experience in Alaska, Charles Clement is a former vice president and chief operating officer of Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage. Charles Clement leverages his experience to serve as president and CEO of SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), which has announced a new partnership with Wrangell Medical Center (WMC).
In a new affiliation designed to promote quality health care for residents of the City and Borough of Wrangell (CBW), SEARHC will take over operations and legal responsibility of WMC and lease it from CBW. SEARHC also plans to build a new campus next to Alaska Island Community Services Medical Clinic. Scheduled to be completed in four years, the new campus will include a long-term care facility and a critical access hospital.
The new affiliation agreement is the result of a three-day process in April 2018, when representatives from SEARHC, WMC, and CBW met with community stakeholders to discuss the plan to create a combined health care system. SEARHC and WMC are well positioned to work together to ensure a seamless transfer of operations and improve the quality of care for Wrangell residents.
A graduate of the University of Alaska with a master’s degree in public administration, Charles Clement also participated in the Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. Charles Clement leverages his experience to serve as president and CEO of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), which recently hosted high school students for a unique educational program.
From April 23 through April 26, SEARHC welcomed 17 Native American and Indian high school students to participate in the Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations Program (VHOP). The students were selected to visit SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital for nearly a week to learn about the diverse array of health care careers in the community.
In addition to participating in a tour of the campus and a luncheon with SEARHC’s chief operating officer, students visited nursing stations and learned about the behavioral health and dental professions. Further, they enjoyed an overnight stay on Biorka Island, where they undertook communication and leadership training and met with Ethel Lund, the founder of SEARHC and VHOP.
Through the VHOP, SEARHC aims to expose students to the diverse menu of rewarding health care careers to encourage them to consider pursuing a career in which they can contribute to the health of the local community following graduation.
SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium
An accomplished public administrator with nearly two decades of experience, Charles Clement serves as the president and CEO of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). Overseeing around 1,000 employees, Charles Clement works with 15 board members in managing the consortium’s health care operations. SEARHC prides itself as one of the United States’ largest and oldest Native-run health organizations.
Last year, the SEARHC website posted about the Kick Butts Day initiative, in which advocates from all around the US speak out against the risks of tobacco use among youth. In March 2018, Juneau again participated in the annual initiative through various activities such as maintaining an information booth at Juneau Douglas High School and holding a “Kids in Jeopardy” game that centers on tobacco-related trivia.
According to statistics, tobacco use in Alaska claims 600 lives and results in $438 million in health care costs each year. Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
During the Kick Butts Day initiative, health advocates clamor for strategies that can lead to a smoke-free generation. Tax increases and government prevention programs are seen as possible moves that could prove effective in the fight against youth tobacco use.
WISEWOMAN Women’s Health
Charles Clement is the CEO and president of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) in Juneau. In this role, Charles Clement leads the organization in its efforts to support the health of the 27 communities of the region through efforts like SEARHC’s WISEWOMAN program.
WISEWOMAN is one of several programs aimed at communities that may need special help. This program focuses on women between the ages of 30 and 64, especially if they are in a low-income bracket or lack insurance for basic health care.
Cancer screening is a major aspect of this program, and this year, WISEWOMAN partnered with the Breast Cancer Detection Center to offer mobile mammography services to women in Alaska for whom traveling might be a barrier to get a screening. While lung cancer is the most common cause of death by cancer in the region, breast cancer is the second most common. Early detection can greatly help reduce the likelihood of death, and SEARHC aims to remove the financial and geographical barriers that might prevent women from getting screenings in time.
WISEWOMAN also helps Alaskan women access other kinds of screening and health care, including pap tests, screenings for chronic disease, and lifestyle programs for general health and prevention.
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.