Charles Clement has worked for more than 20 years as a senior executive in the healthcare industry in and around Alaska. As the current president and chief executive officer of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) in Juneau, Alaska, Charles Clement oversees all operational aspects of the organization, which was created to serve the health needs of Southeast Alaska Natives.
The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium in Juneau incorporates many traditional Native American values and practices while providing health care to the community. Each of the local tribes have their own representative on the Board of Directors to provide a voice for the tribal input.
SEARHC operates according to a strategic plan that meets established excellence standards promoted by national healthcare organizations, while also respecting the traditions and values of the Alaska Natives. The consortium focuses on determining and studying the leading causes of death for the surrounding region by gathering data from local communities to understand how to best distribute healthcare resources.
Recently, SEARHC promoted the Through with Chew Week, a national effort to raise awareness of the health impact of smokeless tobacco use. In Alaska, the use of smokeless tobacco remains a major issue.
Some people have the perception that smokeless tobacco is a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. The Through with Chew campaign helps people realize the dangers of smokeless tobacco. The campaign is especially important in Alaska, where adult use of smokeless tobacco has remained consistent from 1996 to 2015.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer reports the presence of 28 carcinogenic chemicals in smokeless tobacco. A common form of smokeless tobacco is chew, which can cause changes in the soft tissues of the mouth that are precursors to oral cancer. In addition, chewing tobacco irritates the gums and can lead to gum recession. Further, many products contain sugar, which can cause dental decay.
A business professional with nearly two decades of experience, Charles Clement is the CEO and president of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) in Juneau. Charles Clement manages 1,000 employees and has developed infrastructure in support of 18 communities in Southeast Alaska, in addition to overseeing government contracts and federal grants for the organization.
SEARHC is a nonprofit organization established in 1975 as a result of the Indian Self-Determination Act. It is the work of the consortium’s to provide excellent health care to Alaskan communities.
One of the services offered by SEARHC is its Nurse Advice Line, a phone-in advice hotline that allows individuals to get help during hours when clinics are closed. Available in 12 communities, the service enables patients to speak to a professional such as a medical services representative or a registered triage nurse when faced with unexpected health concerns.
The Nurse Advice Line can help patients determine whether or not their present health concern requires immediate medical attention, advice which can be of great benefit particularly to those residing in rural areas. The nurse can talk the patient through the steps of at-home care in the case of minor concerns or connect the patient directly with emergency services if the situation warrants.
The Nurse Advice Line is also available to those who require answers to general health-related inquiries.