December - Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation



December - Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation
No.1112• November
• December15,15,2004
new clinic
Health Aide Supervisor/Instructor Elena Rothchild starts cutting a congratulatory cake with
Mekoryuk Health Aide Sally Whitman as village guests join in the celebration. The new Mekoryuk Clinic was opened for business on Dec. 3.
The new clinic in Mekoryuk was opened and dedicated December 3. The 2,400 sq. ft.facility, like most new clinics in the Delta, incudes exam rooms, a
dental operatory, itinerate sleep-over quarters, a behavioral health office, administrative office and a pharmacy. They are built with energy-efficient
foam panels and local laborers. (Photos by YKHC Public Relations Dept.)
INSIDE: Board Work, p. 3 • Diabetes Spotlight, p 4 • Smokeout, p. 8
YKHC Board of Directors
Unit 1
Unit 5
Joe Mike
P.O. Box 20269
Kotlik, Alaska 99620
Aaron S. Kameroff
P.O. Box 37
Alakanuk, Alaska 99554
Bill Kristovich
P.O. Box 1037
Bethel, Alaska 99559
Henry Hunter, Sr.
P.O. Box 632
Bethel, Alaska 99559
Gloria Simeon
P.O. Box 308
Bethel, Alaska 99559
Joseph C. Bavilla
P.O. Box 6011
Napaskiak, Alaska 99559
Unit 2
Ray Alstrom
P.O. Box 8
Marshall, Alaska 99585
James C. Landlord
P.O. Box 32168
Mt. Village, AK 99632
Unit 3
Billy Morgan
P.O. Box 72
Aniak, Alaska 99557
Angela Morgan
P.O. Box 243
Aniak, Alaska 99557
Unit 6
Chuck Chaliak
P.O. Box 169
Nunapitchuk, Alaska
907- 527-5045
Unit 7
Unit 9
Unit 11
Robert Enoch
P.O. Box 8054
Tuntutuliak, Alaska 99680
Reuben Hill
P.O. Box 210
Hooper Bay, Alaska 99604
H: 907-558-4096 - W: 558-4711
Moses J. Tulim
P.O. Box 130
Chevak, Alaska 99563
Kathy W. Chase
P.O. Box 09
Anvik, Alaska 99558
H: 907-663-6388
Unit 4
Unit 8
Fritz George
P.O. Box 62
Akiachak, Alaska 99551
Moses Peter
P.O. Box 57
Tuluksak, Alaska 99679
907- 695-6420
James R. Charlie, Sr.
P.O. Box 37012
Toksook Bay, Alaska 99637
James Sipary
P.O. Box 37134
Toksook Bay, Alaska 99637
907- 427-7816
Unit 10
Honorary Board Member
Paul John
P.O. Box 37067
Toksook Bay, Alaska 99637
Sam W. Alexie
P.O. Box 57
Eek, Alaska 99578
Numbers to Call
YKHC......................................................................... 543-6000
Public Relations Dept. ................................................ 543-6030
Media Services ............................................................ 543-6038
Office of Environmental Health & Engineering ......... 543-6420
Technology Help Desk ................................................ 543-6070
Human Resources ....................................................... 543-6060
Job Line ................................................................... 543-6443
Learning Center .......................................................... 543-6980
Administration ............................................................ 543-6020
Hospital ....................................................................... 543-6300
Emergency Room........................................................ 543-6395
Hospital Community Relations ................................... 543-6350
Social Services ............................................................ 543-6225
Clinic Appointments ................................................. 543-6442
Dental Appointments ................................................ 543-6229
Optometry Appointments......................................... 543-6336
Audiology Appointments .......................................... 543-6466
Subregional Clinic Appointments
Aniak ....................................................................... 675-4556
Emmonak ................................................................ 949-3500
St. Maryʼs ................................................................ 438-3500
Public Health Nurses....................................................543-2110
Pharmacy..................................................................... 543-6382
Travel Management Center ......................................... 543-6360
WIC Program .............................................................. 543-6459
Health Services .......................................................... 543-6024
Village Operations ...................................................... 543-6160
CHAP ...................................................................... 543-6160
Injury Prevention/EMS ........................................... 543-6080
Community Health & Wellness ............................... 543-6190
Behavioral Health Services ...................................... 543-6100
Phillips Ayagnirvik .................................................. 543-6700
Village Services ....................................................... 543-6740
Home Care Services .................................................... 543-6170
Volume IX No. 12 • December 15, 2004
YKHC Board meets—
Alstrom elected Chair
ay Alstrom of Marshall was elected as the new
Chairman of the YKHC Board of Directors during
the annual meeting held in Bethel Nov. 17–19. Alstrom
follows in the footsteps of Bill Kristovich, Bethel, who
served as Chairman last year.
One new member was elected for Unit 9, representing Hooper Bay, Scammon Bay and Chevak—Moses J.
Tulim of Chevak. The Board made changes in its Governing Body, Executive Board and Committee line-up.
The new officer roster is printed on page 13.
Short summaries of some of the reports presented to
the Board and resolutions passed follows—
Subregional Clinics (SRCs)
The Toksook Bay Subregional Clinic has been under
construction since last year and is now complete. The
grand opening is set for the beginning of the new year.
The next SRC project is Hooper Bay. The community
is presently working with Village Safe Water and other
agencies in developing a water and sewer system already
underway. The next phase of the project is to order pipes
for the system, which will most likely be delivered to the
village next summer. Funds are already being obtained
for Hooper Bay SRC construction.
Village clinics
New clinics in Eek, Marshall, Akiak, Napaskiak,
Chuathbaluk, Tununak, and Chefornak are under construction. Grayling, Scammon Bay, Newtok and Mekoryak have been completed and opened for business.
YKHC Drug Testing
After a long delay, Human Resources is preparing to
begin mandatory drug testing within YKHC. Persons
selected for the testing will be done at random and under
no prejudice of any kind.
Telemedicine and wireless connectivity
YKHC is preparing to move onto broadband wireless
(and terrestrial) Internet for all of its facilities (mainly
clinics) beginning sometime in the next year, and is
working with United Utilities, Inc. toward that purpose.
There are some funding issues yet to be worked out and,
see BOARD MEETING, p. 13
The Messenger is a monthly publication produced by the
Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation as a report to Tribal
Members. For questions, comments, submission of articles,
or subscription information, write to Messenger Editor, Media Services, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, P.O. Box
528, Bethel, Alaska 99559. E-mail: [email protected]
Deadline is the last day of the month preceding publication.
Publication is on the 15th of every month. Anchorage Office:
4700 Business Park Blvd. Suite E25, Anchorage, Alaska 99503.
907-677-2232. Please ask permission to reprint articles or pictures. © 2004, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
Hazel Julius,
azel Julius, the daughter of George and Julia
Nevak, was born in Bethel
and raised in the coastal community of
Physician Assistants
Toksook Bay. She became interested
• are licensed to practice
in medicine after working in Toksook
medicine under
Bay as a full-time Health Aide, where
supervision of a licensed
she devoted four years of service to her
community. It was during those years
• perform physical
as a working mom that she developed
examinations, compile
a yearning to advance in the medical
medical histories, order
“I wanted more education, so I went
and interpret tests and
to college,” Julius says. “My primary
prescribe medications
goal was to attend a PA (Physician
• complete at least
Assistant) program, so I worked on my
pre-requisites to get into the program.”
two years of college
In 1998, after she had spent four
prerequisites in science,
years at the community clinic, Hazel
math and English and
moved to Bethel and enrolled in the
have at least 2 years
Applied Science in Community Health
of full-time health care
program at the Kuskokwim College.
experience prior to
She graduated on schedule, receiving
a Community Health Practitioner Cerapplying for a PA program
• complete a 24-month
Today, Hazel Julius is a staff PhysiPA program including
cian Assistant for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. She recomcoursework and clinical
mends that anyone wishing to enter
the PA medical program should first
• work in hospitals and
develop good writing/reading skills,
good English skills, a support network,
sub-regional clinics
and realize that they will eventually
have to move away from the YK Delta
for training to obtain their goal in the health field.
Hazel Julius began her healthcare career at the village clinic in Toksook
Bay and, through her determination, support from her family, and educational
opportunities, is now a certified Physician Assistant at the Yukon-Kuskokwim
Delta Regional Hospital.
Call The YKHC Learning Center: 907-543-6758
Diabetes Prevention
New Fitness Center opens
he Bethel Teen Center has added new equipment to their former weight room
and converted the facility into a Fitness Center that is open to the public. A
grand opening was held on Wednesday, Nov. 24, when a small crowd gathered
for a simultaneous ceremonial ribbon-cutting by Mayor Hugh Dyment and YKHCʼs
Native Hire Coordinator Wally Richardson.
The new fitness equipment, purchased through a grant from YKHCʼs Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, includes a new treadmill, recumbent bike, recumbent
stair-stepper, and an elliptical trainer. There is also a new calf machine, leg extension
machine, and new curl machine.
“This is a small example—and a very good example—of two organizations workPromoting Health: Kim Jung and Amber
ing together in these trying fiscal times,” said Mayor Dyment. “The more people and
Norgaard check out some of the new equipment.
organizations can work together, the more it improves the quality of life for everyone
in the community. I want to thank YKHC for this—diabetes is a problem, and any more
equipment where people can work on their health the better.”
Wally Richardson also thanked YKHCʼs Diabetes Prevention and Control
Department for making the addition of the new equipment possible.
“Diabetes in the YK Delta is on the rise, and itʼs really important that everyone
stays active every day to prevent this disease,” said Kim Jung, YKHCʼs Diabetes
Outreach Coordinator. “The Surgeon General recommends at least 30 minutes of
physical activity every day to maintain good health, and this equipment provides
another option for people to work on staying healthy.”
“We are excited about the new equipment, especially the cardiovascular equipment,” said Betty Twitchell, Bethel Teen Centerʼs Coordinator. “There are four new
commercial quality machines that we have never had before. You can get a good
workout, itʼs low impact on your joints, and depending on your physical condition,
we have something to suit everyone.”
The Fitness Center is open to everyone 14 years old and older. Youths 14 to 18
must have signed permission from their parents. The charge is $3 per day, which
includes showers. It is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday–
YKHC’s Native Hire Coordinator Wally Richardson and
Friday, and noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday. The center is closed on Sunday.
Bethel Mayor Hugh Dyment cut the ribbon on the new
Fitness Center at Bethel’s Teen Center.
Mini-grants help schools purchase exercise equipment
he Diabetes Prevention and Control Department would like to
announce the winners of the 2004-2005 Physical Activity MiniGrants. These grants were open to YK Delta area schools to apply
for $5000 to purchase physical activity equipment. This year the
winners were Aniak Jr. and Sr. High School, Bethel Regional High
School, Holy Cross School, Kotlik School, and Qugcuun Memorial
School in Oscarville.
Some of these schools are lacking appropriate P.E. equipment
and will be able to use the grant funds to help solve that problem.
In addition, some of these schools donʼt have a gym and have to be
especially creative in their choice of equipment due to limited space.
The Diabetes Department is encouraging schools to purchase fun
and exciting equipment that will invite and encourage kids to stay
active. Activity in children is normal, healthy and should be part of
everyday life for all.
If you are in one of the winning communities, stop by the school
and see what they plan on purchasing with their grant funds.
Thanks to all who applied. Remember to stay movinʼ and healthy!
For more information, contact Diabetes Prevention & Control at 1-877-543-6133 or 543-6133
Volume IX No. 12 • December 15, 2004
Traditional ways help keep
diabetes at bay
by Kim Jung, Diabetes Outreach Coordinator
n the past, Type 2 diabetes was considered a disease that affected
people 40 years of age or older, but in recent years the disease
has been found in children as young as 12. Type 2 Diabetes is definitely on the rise in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and is beginning to
impact the younger generation.
Obesity, diet, physical inactivity, and genetic background are all
risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes. Alaska Natives, American Indians,
Pacific Islanders, and Americans of Asian, African, and Hispanic
descent have a higher risk for this disease. In fact, Alaska Natives
and American Indians are 2.6 times more likely to have Type 2
Diabetes as nonHispanic whites that
are a similar age.
Type 2 Diabetes can
cause many serious problems such
as blindness, limb
amputations, cardiovascular disease and
kidney damage.
The exact cause
Traditional foods like salmon strips contribute
of diabetes is
to a healthier diet.
unknown, but a scientist in 1962 came up with the “Thrifty Gene” theory. He thought
that natives who lived through periods of feast and famine in the
past had a “thrifty gene.” He believed this gene allowed natives to
store fat during feasting times to help them survive through times
when food was not plentiful. The scientist thought when western
culture (kassʼaq) food began to be more available and lean times
became less frequent, it upset the feast/famine cycle that worked so
well in the past. He believed this happened to all cultures that have
gone through many lifestyle changes over a short amount of time.
For example, the Pima Indians of the Gila River in Arizona have
gone from a farming culture to a westernized culture since the
turn of the century. During this change the Pima began to eat more
westernized food, less traditional food, and became less physically
active. The effects of this lifestyle change can be seen as early as
1950 when diabetes began to be seen more frequently in Pima Indians. Today the Pima Indians of Arizona have the highest occurrence
of Type 2 Diabetes and obesity in the world. Another group of Pima
Indians living across the border in Mexico still live a subsistence
lifestyle. They continue to grow their own food and work hard to
survive in their mountainous environment. Type 2 Diabetes is very
rare in this group.
Type 2 Diabetes was not seen very often in Natives of the
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta 50 years ago, but it is quickly becoming
a common disease. The rapid change of lifestyle over the last 100
years is a major reason for this. Since the early 1900s, lifestyles
have changed a lot in the YK Delta. Alaska Natives who used to
stay active daily gathering, hunting, and fishing for survival now
Healthy Holiday Recipes
Gathered by Sarah Pearson of Diabetes Prevention and Control
Try some of these low-fat or sugar-free holiday recipes at your next
party or family dinner. They are a great way to eat healthy during the
holiday season. Remember to stay active. For more recipies, see
our website at
Healthy Eggnog from Equal
2 cups skim milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3-1/2 teaspoons Equal for Recipes
or 12 packets Equal sweetener
or 1/2 cup Equal Spoonful
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups skim milk, chilled
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Note: Equal sweetener can be substituted with other sweetener
products. Nutrition contents might be different from those listed
Mix 2 cups milk, cornstarch, and Equal in small saucepan; heat to
boiling; boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Beat eggs in medium
bowl. Mix about half the milk mixture into eggs; then add this egg
mixture to remaining milk in saucepan. Cook over low heat until
slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from
heat and stir in vanilla and cinnamon.
Cool to room temperature; refrigerate until chilled, or until serving
Stir 2 cups milk into custard mixture; serve in small glasses or punch
cups. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.
Yield: Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: Calories: 79 Protein: 6g Total
Carbohydrates: 10g
Total Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 55g Sodium: 79mg Exchanges: 1 Milk
Healthy Old Fashion Corn Bread
1-3/4 cups self-rising white cornmeal mix
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
2 teaspoons corn oil
1-1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
Vegetable cooking spray
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl.
Generously spray 8x8-inch baking pan with cooking spray; add
batter and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until corn bread is golden
Recipe makes nine servings.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories: 142 Fat: 2.4g Cholesterol: 25mg Sodium: 412mg Protein: 4.7g Carbohydrate: 24.7g
Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 Bread, 1/2 Fat
FASD presents videoconference training
n important part of YKHCʼs Behavioral
Health Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
(FASD) program is providing training and support for community partners who also provide
services for children with FASD.
To this end, Scott Sidell, FASD Services Coordinator, was scheduled to fly on November 2 to Mountain Village for a full dayʼs training the next day for teachers of the Lower Yukon School District
But a raging and blinding snowstorm on Election Day put an end
to that idea.
Sidell says he had been working with John Hargis, Special Education Director for LYSD, and Christine Hunnicutt, YKHCʼs Village
Clinician, to arrange this training.
Since Hargis was planning on video-conferencing the training
anyway to the school sites in his district by Internet, Sidell wondered if they could possibly do the training by videoconference
from Bethel.
They decided to try it at a later date.
Sidell then worked with Allen Alirkar and Nick Perry of YKHCʼs
Technology department, who arranged the virtual meeting with
LYSDʼs staff on November 12.
Equipment from Polycom, Inc., the leading provider of Unified
Collaborative Communications—or converged voice, video, web,
and data solutions for emerging broadband networks—was used for
the videoconference.
The equipment projected Sidell on a screen as well as his audience simultaneously, and allowed content sharing—in this case,
a PowerPoint presentation from his laptop—all operated with a
remote control.
There were some glitches at the beginning of the session, but
things got rolling after while.
“I found the equipment very easy to use,” Sidell said. “I was
able to switch from the audience seeing me, then to my PowerPoint
slides, and then back to me using the remote. Itʼs very impressive.”
But it took some getting used to, talking to a lens rather than to
people, Sidell said. Observers on the other end saw Sidell looking at
The audience consisted of staff from eight of 12 LYSD school
sites in the Lower Yukon region, which stretches from Hooper Bay,
then up the coast to Kotlik, and up the Yukon River to Russian Mission.
Hargis said the reception was great. “We had a full view of Scott
standing behind a podium and delivering the training,” he said.
Sidell presented a “basic training” on FASD that included information on how alcohol causes brain damage during pregnancy, the
behavioral and cognitive effects of prenatal alcohol exposure, and
“ideas and strategies for making the school experience more successful for students with this disability.”
Teachers from all over the Lower Yukon got the information,
Sidell said. The only “travel” involved was his walking down the
See Me See You. Scott Sidell
projects himself and his training course via videoconference
during a Lower Yukon School
District training session on Fetal
Alcohol Spectral Disorders.
Right: It all shows up on a screen
in the classroom.
hall from his office to the CHSB Board Room, where the videoconferencing equipment was set up.
YKHC and United Utilities, Inc., a local telecom, are developing this new system of communications, said Aaron Mute, YKHCʼs
LAN/WAN Administrator. “At this point, video conferencing is not
available in every community. However, all Subregional Clinics
should be on-line within the next year or so.”
It will eliminate the older dial-up system and make workload go
faster, Mute said. “Features will include voice-over IP (Internet Protocol), telemedicine, and video conferencing.”
But for LYSD, the method of video conferencing has been in place
at least two years, said Hargis. “We have video conferencing every
day, for such things as staff in-service and daily online classes for
The FASD program, entitled Ikayuqluci (ee-guy-yooq-thloo-chi,
meaning “help each other”), formerly run by Bethel Community Services, was integrated into YKHC on April 1.
The term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders describes a range of
birth defects caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. The program is
located at the BNC Office Complex and on the first and third floors
of the CHSB in the Behavioral Health suites.
The FASD staff consists of Clinician Valerie Warren, Services
Coordinator Scott Sidell, and Diagnostic Team Coordinator Mary
Whitaker. Three other positions are vacant at this time: FASD Case
Manager, FASD Senior Psychiatric Technician, and Youth Behavior
YKHC FASD Program: 907-543-6105
Fax: 907-543-6008
Volume IX No. 12 • December 15, 2004
Elder grounds
inhalant program
in Native culture
hanks to the support of Yupʼik elder
Francis Charlie, the youth who take
part in the Inhalant Program at YKHCʼs
McCann Treatment Center have a powerful cultural ally in their battle against
inhalant addiction.
Francis Charlie is the resident Elder
Counselor for the McCann Treatment
Center, where he has worked since he
completed his “tour of duty” on the
YKHC Board of Directors.
He has been a tremendous asset and
addition to the residential treatment proFrancis Charlie, McCann
gram at the McCann Center, attending all
Center Elder Counselor.
clinical groups, directing a Drumming
Group, which is also joined by the Girls Group Home. Francis, or “Atsaq”
as he is better known, also sits in on the classroom activities, spends time
with youth in the treatment units and works actively with the Subsistence
Education Program to ensure that it has a solid foundation in the Yuʼpik
Atsaq is from Scammon Bay, but is well known throughout the YK
Delta. The McCann Center staff are very appreciative of Francisʼ work at
the Center. He was voted in as the November “Employee of the Month.”
Health Ed staff gets wellness training
by Wayne Morgan, CHR Aniak
n mid-September, Stella Lake (Chevak) and I went back to class to
begin the first of three Community Wellness Advocate courses offered
by University of Sitka.
This training will provide us with knowledge and skills to enhance our
performance and better serve our communities as Community Health
Representatives (CHRs).
This course is the first of three courses developed to teach us to create
and carry out health promotion activities. We are learning the basics
of public health and health promotion. The course includes one week
of lectures on campus in Sitka, weekly audio-conference discussions,
weekly assignments, completion of an asset inventory map, a profile of
the studentʼs community, and a final exam.
There are 15 students from across the state taking the course. At the
end of our first course we will, among other things, be able to:
• Gather health measurements for an area/community.
• Identify health concerns for Alaskans based on health measurements.
• Do an Asset Inventory/Community Profile for a community.
• List health issues and problems facing Alaskan Natives, adolescents,
pregnant women, children, and elders.
This is in addition to the on-the-job training from our Health Education Department in Bethel: Lisa Aguda, Debi Olick, and Alma Kanrilak.
Various other CHR duties round out the day.
Tips for maintaining a
healthy body during the
holiday season
1. Choosing foods that you have to shell or peel like peanuts
and shrimp—whether youʼre hosting the party or attending
the party—will help you eat less. If you have to work to
get to your food youʼll eat less, and we know in terms of
controlling weight there is nothing better than controlling
2. Eat only the bottom half of the bread if youʼre having
a sandwich, taking the top slice off. Eating food topless is a great way to reduce calorie consumption all year
around. Bread is a high glycemic carbohydrate and in most
instances can cause blood sugars to rise rapidly. This leads
to an aggressive insulin response and causes your body to
store excess amounts of glucose as fat.
3. Adult beverages, punches or eggnogs are very high in calories. Try to drink a glass of water in between drinks. If you
can, dilute them by adding sparkling water. Learn to drink
coffee with one lump of sugar. All of these are things that
add up over time and will make an impact in your ability to
control weight this holiday season.
4. Make sure that you eat before you go to the party. That way
you wonʼt binge on what usually turns out to be high fat,
high calorie foods without a lot of nutritional value.
5. You donʼt have to eat every bite of that pie or cake. Leave
off the frosting and just eat the inside.
6. Remember, gravy is not a beverage; itʼs a garnish.
From all of us at YKHC Pharmacy,
Happy Holidays!
Smokeout encourages ‘Quit for a Day’
By Caroline Nevak, Tobacco Education Specialist
n November 18, 2004, Yukon Kuskokwin
Health Corporationʼs Nicotine Control
and Research Program encouraged the Delta to
make an effort to quit using tobacco for a day,
in observation of the Great American Smokeout/Chewout.
Historically, this event has helped millions of Americans quit by
proving they can stop using tobacco for a day.
“This one-day event is to let tobacco users know they can take
an active role in protecting their health by quitting tobacco for
one day,” said Carrie Enoch, Nicotine Dependence Counselor at
YKHC. “One day can turn into one year. People just need to make
that first step.”
YKHC celebrated the day by hosting a “Quit Cold Turkey”
Raffle at the AC Store, raffling two turkeys. The turkeys were
donated by the AC Store. Nicotine Control had a display with educational materials in the AC Store, where many people stopped by
for information.
To enter the raffle, a tobacco user had to sign a written pledge to
quit for the day. Approximately 60 people pledged to quit and at
least one tobacco user has entered the program to quit for life. Two
lucky winners
received turkeys
for their Thanksgiving meal.
The celebration continued
with a one hour
Samuel Berlin, Senior Counselor behind the
“Tobacco 101”
display table at A.C. Store, celebrating the Great
American Smokeout.
radio show on
KYUK. Carrie
Enoch and Caroline Nevak, YKHC Nicotine Control and Research
staff, along with Kennythia Steel, Public Affairs Producer with
KYUK, and Lon Putnum, PA-C and Delta Tobacco Control Alliance
(DTCA) Alliance member, participated. The radio programʼs purpose was to outline the history and origins of the Great American
Smokeout Day, as well as provide information to the community
about the dangers of tobacco use and how you can quit through the
YKHC Tobacco Cessation Program.
For more information, call Nicotine Control and
Research Program at 1-800-478-3321.
hand-outs to post in
your community—
Volume IX No. 12 • December 15, 2004
Aeromed International becomes K-300 Sponsor
he Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) and
the Kuskokwim 300 (K-300) Race Committee is pleased to
announce that Aeromed International, a critical care air ambulance
service, will become a major race sponsor of the 2005 K-300.
Aeromed will sponsor the K-300ʼs veterinary program. The K-300
race vets are responsible for the health and well being of sled dogs
before, during, and after the 300 mile race. Aeromedʼs support of the
K-300 veterinarian crew will insure that an excellent program will
Aeromed International, a division of YKHC, is the largest fixedwing air ambulance provider in Alaska. In operation since 1997,
Aeromed performs over 1,500 medevacs each year and provides
Areomed’s critical care air ambulances are always ready to go—any
time, any where.
unrivaled response time, state-of-the-art technology, and highly
trained and experienced medical flight teams.
efore the arrival of planes, snow machines and telephones, the
only method of communication for residents in the Kuskokwim
Delta was via dog team mail carriers. These mail runs were days
long and often treacherous.
Historians can find mention of the first mail runs within a few
months after the arrival of Moravian missionaries to what is now
Bethel in the 1880s
The first regular monthly mail route between Bethel and Holy
Cross began in 1906, when Oscar Samuelson acquired the mail
route contract. Each month, Samuelson would go to Akiachak then
turn north across the tundra to Holy Cross.
The K-300 commemorates the sled-dog mail runs of the early
1900s, when dog teams were the only means of long-distance transportation available. Over the last 25 years, the K-300 has become
the highest regarded mid-distance sled dog race in the world, annually attracting the sportʼs top mushers.
Aeromed is no stranger to dog mushing, having been a major
sponsor of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, held in March.
Aeromed will once again be the official Critical Care Ambulance
service for the “Last Great Race” when Iditarod times comes around
this year.
State adopts one-stop medicaid travel model
ffective January 1, 2005, the State of Alaska will be making
some significant changes for Medicaid recipients in the way
their non-emergency patient travel is to be arranged.
Just as it has been in the past, your health care provider will
obtain approval for Medicaid-funded travel. When travel is
approved, the travel arrangements—plane reservations and ticketing—must be made through the State Travel Office by calling 1800-514-7123.
Your YKHC health care provider may assist you with contacting
the State Travel Office or you may contact them directly. After January 1, 2005, only the State Travel Office can arrange your Medicaid-approved travel. Other travel agencies and services, such
as YKHCʼs Travel Management Center, will not be able to make
reservation and ticketing arrangements for your non-emergency
Medicaid travel.
Another important change is that airlines will not accept the
Medicaid forms for travel payment. All contact with the airline in
regards to the reservations and ticketing will be handled through the
State Travel Office.
When applicable and authorized, patients will continue to receive
Employment Opportunities • Latest News
Upcoming Events • Messenger Back Issues
Medicaid forms from their health care provider to assist with payment for lodging, meals and ground transportation.
On December 1, 2004, the State starting sending out notification letters about these changes to Medicaid recipients. If you have
received a letter and still have questions, you may contact the State
Recipient Helpline at 1-800-780-9972.
also watch television, play video games, surf the Internet, sit at desk
jobs, drive motorized vehicles, eat bigger portions, eat “junk” foods,
and eat more often than they used to. Eating big portions and not
being active can cause obesity. Obesity and not being active are two
risk factors of Type 2 Diabetes.
It is important to be active every day for at least 30 minutes
to prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Studies have shown that even small
amounts of physical activity throughout the day can make a difference in your health. It is also important to eat healthy foods. Many
traditional foods such as moose, fish, seal, sourdock (quagcig), and
berries are full of nutrients and vitamins. Eating subsistence food,
fruits and vegetables, smaller portions, and take-out food only once
in awhile, can all make a difference. It is impossible to go back to
the way life was a hundred years ago, but it is possible to balance
our lifestyles by staying active and eating nutritious foods whenever possible. This can help us stay healthy and prevent diabetes. It
is time for us all to take control of our health by making an effort
to eat nutritious food, stay active, and bring balance back into our
New clinic shines in Mekoryuk
YKHC Public Relations
ealth aide Sally Whitman joyously showed her new office to
co-worker Harriet Shavings, a floating health aide, who just
returned that day from a stint in Kotlik.
“Itʼs really cool,” said Whitman. “We have so much privacy.
You couldnʼt even hear people talking on the phone next door,
and we donʼt have to whisper. The doors even close!”
The two hugged and admired the brightly lit and expansive
new facility, the crowd laughing along with them when the health
aides giggled.
These and another health aide, Debbie David, and more than
30 Mekoryuk residents gathered in their new clinic on Friday,
December 3, and participated in a humble grand opening ceremony with a blessing, cake and juice.
“Heavenly Father, thank you for our new clinic,” said Larson
King, bowing his head in prayer. “Thank you for your healing
work that always goes on.”
Mekoryuk villagers, many of whom were young people, toured
the facility and appreciated the roomy exam rooms and specialty
areas, like the dental operatory.
“Is this where Iʼm gonna get sick?” asked one young lady,
joking with the health aides. “No, this is the general office area
and file room,” was the response, given with a hearty laugh.
Some villagers noted the little signs hanging next to the rooms.
“These are in Yupʼik—we are Cupʼigs,” said Ray Amos, a resident. A piece of paper with translations was handed to the Bethel
staff with instructions to see if the signs could be in Cupʼig
Elena Rothchild, a Supervising Instructor based in Bethel, and
Tillie Epchook, who supervises floating health aides, were in the
village to assist in the grand opening.
“The moving took two days,” said Rothchild,
who had been in Mekoryuk since Tuesday.
“Boy, itʼs so much better than that old clinic.
Weʼre just happy; but Iʼm tired.”
Also attending the grand opening was Ed
DeMoss, Director of Field Supervision, who
opened the ceremony with a short speech. “I
welcome you to your new clinic. Thanks for
allowing us to build you a clinic, as it helps us
work toward our mission of working together to
achieve excellent health.”
Included in the new facility is an Urgent Care
room, which doubles as a telemedicine office.
Telemedicine is becoming the norm for the
Mekoryuk health aides to work with doctors in
Bethel on patients, showing them ailments and
getting advice on the spot.
“There was no telemedicine in Kotlik yet,”
said Shavings, who spent a couple of weeks in
that village. “I sure wanted to show the doctors
what I was talking about on some patients.”
The opening celebration of the Mekoryuk
clinic followed the grand opening of the new clinic in Newtok the week
before, on November 26, which no one from YKHC was able to attend
because of weather.
“Me and Anna Simon (CHAT Supervisor) tried to make it but the
plane to Newtok was canceled,” said Rothchild. “I had to talk to our
health aides by phone. I told them to take a nice, deep breath when they
moved into their new clinic.”
In October, Scammon Bay also opened their new clinic but they
didnʼt have a “celebration” with YKHC staff either, again due to
stormy weather.
Three more clinics are scheduled to open in the near future, those
being Tununak, Chefornak, and Toksook Bay.
In Toksook, the facility will be a Subregional Clinic that will provide
more advanced health care services to the surrounding villages.
Sally Whitman and Harriet Shavings show folks around the clinic.
Health Aide Debbie David shows the dental operatory room to visiting youngsters.
Volume IX No. 12 • December 15, 2004
“Working Together to Achieve Excellent Health”
Board approves new
mission statement
World AIDS Day gathering
YKHC Public Relations
n Thursday, November 18, the YKHC Full Board of Directors
approved the redesign of the YKHC mission statement, as well
as the vision statement, and other related items.
“Our previous mission statement has worked well for us for
many years,” said Gene Peltola, President and CEO. “Let me make
it clear—we are not changing our mission, but we are tuning the
wording to better reflect our current and future goals in a more concise way.”
The previous mission statement read, “To achieve the greatest possible improvement in the health status of the people of the
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region of Alaska. We are committed to
the development of culturally relevant programs for primary care,
prevention, and health promotion in a setting that fosters Native
self-determination in the control and management of health delivery.”
Mike Williams of Akiak, a former board member, said it took
about three years to write the mission statement and involved many
meetings in the early or mid-80s.
“YKHCʼs growth and transition to one that began to take over
and provided our own services, such as the Bethel hospital later
on, under the Self-determination Act required us to develop such a
statement,” said Williams.
Williams said he was glad to have played a small part in YKHCʼs
growth, but remembers Joe Lomack, Noel Polty, Joe Mike, Billy
Morgan, Issac Hawk, Tim Kaganak, Paul Manumk, Peter Sakar,
Jimmy Anaver and others were also involved in creating the earlier
mission statement.
The new mission is “Working Together To Achieve Excellent
The vision statement will read, “Through Native self-determination and culturally relevant health systems, we shall be the healthiest people.”
“These changes reflect YKHCʼs present activity and work at
achieving the highest standards of operations and health care service weʼve set for ourselves,” Peltola said.
The Board also approved a list of corporate values and goals. “By
better defining our values and goals, it helps us to share with all of
our employees the ways we go about achieving excellent health for
the people we serve,” Peltola said.
YKHC Mission Statement
Working Together to Achieve Excellent Health.
YKHC Vision Statement
Through Native self-determination and culturally relevant health
systems, we shall be the healthiest people.
Corporate Values
Pursuit of Excellence
Personal Growth
Value of Family
crowd gathered at Watsonʼs Corner (above) on December 1
to recognize World AIDS Day. Participants held globes filled
with lights to represent the number of people who have died from
AIDS, and a large ʻribbonʼ in lights represented the number of
people infected with HIV.
Following the demonstration, the group met at the Yupiit
Piciryarait Cultural Center to view a film about AIDS and HIV in
rural Alaska and listen to a speaker who emphasized the need for
people to get tested for HIV.
“The sooner people get tested, the better the chances are that
they can live healthier lives with proper treatment,” said a person
called Tim. Tim, who tested positive for HIV in 1989, is healthy
and active, working to spread the word about prevention to rural
“I have had friends who have waited until they were very sick
to get tested. The longer a person waits, the harder it is to maintain your health if you have the disease.”
Tim spoke of the need for people to protect themselves from the
virus by using condoms and not sharing needles.
“It is your responsibility to protect your body,” he said. “The
healthier we are as a people, the better our healthcare system will
The gathering was organized by Bethel Aids Task Force
(BATF), and joined a worldwide effort for AIDS and HIV awareness. For more information about getting involved with future
events, call Dianne McEachern at 543-4597.
To get an HIV test, you can contact YKHC,
Public Health Nursing, or the Bethel Family
Clinic. You can also contact Circle of Care at
DeltaNet promises high-speed communications in region
uring the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in October,
organizations desiring the continuation of a broadband Internet
project in the Y-K Delta, which began construction this summer,
gathered at the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) offices in
Anchorage and requested support for supplemental funding for the
The presentation was before Ms. Kate Giard, program administrator for the Rural Alaska Broadband Internet Access Grant Program.
Last year, United Utilities, Inc. (UUI), a Bethel-based telecom,
was awarded a $2.5 million broadband Internet access grant to begin
infrastructure development for a land-based wireless communications network in 11 Y-K Delta communities. The 11-community
effort is the first phase in building a region-wide wireless network
referred to as “DeltaNet.”
But a report by UUI, which was presented during the testimony,
stated that problems began arising during construction which were
unforeseen when the grant application was first submitted. These
included the discovery that permafrost was warmer due to global
warming—by as much as four degrees since the early 1970s, especially in the Kuskokwim River sites. Other factors included the escalation of world steel prices, a fuel surcharge increase due to higher
energy costs, and regulatory reasons.
Permafrost loses rigidity as it warms. To remedy such problems,
state-of-the-art technology for placing structures on “warm” permafrost (30.5 – 32 degrees) is being used to ensure the structural integrity of the DeltaNet towers, according to Steve Hamlen, President
of UUI. “This is the same technology that has been used during the
construction of the transAlaska pipeline,” Hamlen said.
The new tower design, increases in steel prices, and increases
in transportation costs have more than doubled costs. UUI has
requested $4.7 million in supplemental funding while contributing
$5 million of its own funds to the project.
Hamlen said that Phase I construction will link the 11 communities to Bethel and offer Broadband Internet and other services. The
communities are Upper and Lower Kalskag, Tuntutuliak, Eek, Kwigillingok, Kipnuk, Kongiganak, Chefornak, Nightmute, Tununak
and Newtok. UUI is also planning on adding Quinhagak, Mekoryuk,
Toksook Bay, and Aniak.
DeltaNet will support telemedicine, distance learning, emergency
services, KYUK radio broadcasts, and other telecommunication services.
“The quality of terrestrial networking provides significant
improvements in performance and reliability over satellite services,
which suffers from latency (delay) and sun-outage problems,” said
UUI is planning on completing Phase I of the DeltaNet project by
December, 2006. “Our relationship with RCA is positive up to this
point,” Hamlen said. “We are hopeful that the RCA will recognize
the value of the entire DeltaNet project and approve UUIʼs supplemental funding request.”
Hamlen added that UUI is especially thankful to the stakeholders
who traveled to Anchorage to give “awesome” presentations to the
RCA in support of DeltaNet and UUIʼs funding request.
Val Davidson, YKHCʼs Executive Vice President, was one rep-
resentative of Y-K Delta agencies testifying before the RCA, who
spoke on YKHCʼs need for improved communication capabilities.
“We support this project because we need better communications
services to improve and maintain quality health services in the YK
Delta,” she said.
“We also have distance-delivery training needs and this project
would support economic development in the YK Delta,” added
Davidson. “We have many young people in our region, so it would
create I.T. (Internet Technology) jobs for them as well as enable our
people to sell arts and crafts on the Internet.”
Greg Moore, a professional engineer representing the Statewide
Telecommunications User Group, said all nine Native health organizations in Alaska are experiencing some problems in communications. “This project would be a model for the rest of Alaska and help
telecommunications get off satellite,” he said. “DeltaNet will reach
very remote areas of Alaska. Schools, clinics, colleges, agencies
and governments will achieve services similar to those in the Lower
Carlton Kuhns, Director of Yuut Elitnarviat, said that one of the
highest unemployment rates in the country, at 30.2 percent as of
June 2004, is found in the YK Delta. “We also have a 37 percent
poverty rate, but the irony is that we have 350 job openings at the
Bethel (state) job office but the skill level of applicants for those
jobs is not adequate,” he said.
Kuhns explained what the YE partners are doing to address
the issues of joblessness and the lack of skills by building the YE
Center. “We still wonʼt be able to bring in every person to Bethel
because itʼs just isnʼt possible due to housing and travel costs. Weʼll
need 2-way (video) teleconferencing to fill in that gap.”
Myron Naneng, President of the Association of Village Council
Presidents, said DeltaNet is needed for tribal government work.
“Municipalities do not always have resources to deal with community issues and usually rely on tribal governments for support,” he
UUI is planning on completing the build-out of DeltaNet over the
next five years. Once completed, every community throughout the
YK Delta will have direct wireless connectivity to each other and
Bethel within a communications pipeline that will support every
imaginable voice, video, and data communication for years to come.
Terrestrial wireless sites that already exist near Bethel include
Kasigluk, Nunapitchuk, Atmautluak, Napakiak, Napaskiak, Oscarville, Akiachak, Kwethluk, Akiak and Tuluksak.
Other wireless systems include Mt. Village, St. Maryʼs, and
Pitkaʼs Point. When DeltaNet is complete, these sites will convert to
the terrestrial system.
After listening to the testimony, Giard said although the project
is exactly what the grant program would be funding, she found that
the supplement request was unusual. “Therefore, RCA would have
to follow a public comment process so that any additional award,
whatever the amount, toward the project is made fair for everyone
concerned,” she said.
Giard believed that the public process should take no more than
30 days before a determination is made on the request. She also
added that $10 million is still available in the grant program.
Volume IX No. 12 • December 15, 2004
BOARD MEETING, from p. 3
once cleared, progress will continue toward utilization of a YK
Delta-wide wireless communications system. YKHC is working to
get out of long distance costs (phones and faxes) that total about
$70,000 a month. When the corporation reverts to wireless, that
cost will nearly disappear. High volume clinics will be hooked up
first. (see related story, p. 12)
Cancer prevention and detection
YKHC and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
(ANTHC) are working on providing training for six PA and nurse
practitioners in colonoscopy. Colorectal cancer is a leading killer
in the YK Delta. It is hoped that YKHC staff will be able to attend
training that teaches them how to detect cancers. This will help in
early detection and treatment, which have been found to increase
survival rates of cancer victims in the rest of the U.S., where death
rates from cancer are dropping.
Injuries were once the leading cause of death in the YK region.
Since injuries are decreasing due to prevention efforts, cancer has
now become a leading cause of death. Much of the cancer is related
to tobacco use, so YKHC is working on behavioral changes in the
Deltaʼs population with its Tobacco Cessation programs.
Seventy-nine duplex units for staff quarters are being built at
clinic sites around the Delta. Units in Bethel at Kasayulie Subdivision are framed in, roofed and sided. Construction is halted for the
Malone Home is being replaced with a five-bedroom assisted
living facility next to the Community Health Services Building.
Hospital renovations – The new lab is completed. OB Unit is
being remodeled.
SRC quarters – Two fourplexes in Emmonak, one fourplex each
in St. Maryʼs, Toksook Bay and Aniak are completed.
Bethel Prematernal Home
The transition of Bethel Prematernal Home to YKHC management was completed on October 30, 2004. All former BPH staff
are now YKHC employees. Average daily census is 12.33 clients,
while average monthly census is 37.8 clients.
1. #04-11-01 – Confirms an intent to fund clinics in Atmautluak,
Crooked Creek, Kongiganak, Kotlik, Napakiak, Oscarville, Stony
River and Tuluksak with Denali Commission Rural Primary Health
Care Facilities Program funds.
2. #04-11-02 – Authorizes YKHC to participate in Community
Development Block Grant Program for clinics in Kotlik and Napakiak in cooperation with their municipalities.
3. #04-11-03 – Authorizes YKHC to participate in Community
Development Block Grant Program for clinics in Kasigluk,
Kipnuk, Kwethluk and Tuntutuliak in cooperation with their tribal
4. #04-11-04 – Amends YKHCʼs By-laws indemnifying directors
and providing insurance against expenses incurred by legal actions
and/or liabilities, except those caused by negligence or misconduct
in the performance of corporate duties.
Executive Board and Committees
Executive Board
Ray Alstrom, Chair
Fritz George, 1st Vice Chair
Robert Enoch, 2nd Vice Chair
Joe Bavilla, Secretary
Billy Morgan, Treasurer
Henry Hunter, Sgt.-At-Arms
Reuben Hill, 1st Additional
Bill Kristovich, 2nd Additional
Paul John, Honorary Board
Gene Peltola, Ex-Officio
Governing Body
Gloria Simeon, Chair
James Charlie, Sr., Vice Chair
Sam Alexie, Sgt-At-Arms
Moses Tulim, Treasurer
Kathy Chase, Secretary
Robert Enoch, Executive Board
Angela Morgan
Joe Mike
Moses Peter
Gene Peltola, Ex-Officio
By-Law Committee
Joseph Bavilla
Reuben Hill
Billy Morgan
Moses Tulim
Moses Peter
Aaron S. Kameroff
Henry Hunter
Policy Committee
James Charlie, Sr.
Gloria Simeon
Chuck Chaliak
James Landlord
Robert Enoch
Joint AVCP/YKHC/Calista
Robert Enoch
Ray Alstrom
Gene Peltola
James Landlord
Finance Committee
Fritz George, Chair
Angela Morgan
Billy Morgan
Gloria Simeon
James Charlie, Sr.
Robert Enoch
Joe Mike
Ray Alstrom, Ex-Officio
Gene Peltola, Ex-Officio
Board Appointments
Behavioral Health Advisory
Board–Billy Morgan
Health Aide Advisory Board–
Sam Alexie
PA School Committee–Kathy
Alaska Native Health Board–
Ray Alstrom; Fritz George,
Home Care Liaison–James
Sipary, Sr.
Alaska Native Tribal Health
Consortium–Ray Alstrom;
Fritz George and Gene Peltola,
Human Studies–Henry Hunter,
Gloria Simeon, Fritz George,
Moses Peter, Ray Alstrom Ex-Officio
Inuit Development Diversified,
LLC–Ray Alstrom, Gene Peltola
Housing Committee:
Bill Kristovich
James Sipary, Sr.
Gene Peltola
Corporate Compliance/
Quality Assurance
Fritz George, Chair
Bill Kristovich
Robert Enoch
James Sipary, Sr.
Moses Peter
Chuck Chaliak
Gene Peltola, Ex-Officio
Compensation Committee
Fritz George, Chair
Robert Enoch
Joe Bavilla
Ray Alstrom
Gloria Simeon
YKHC General Counsel Dan Winkelman presents during the Full Board
Emergency Medical Services
Neighbor Helping Neighbor
by John Dickens
Body Mechanics
In EMS, one of the best ways to protect yourself from
injury is the proper use of body mechanics…
Lifting people and equipment can be very demanding and you can hurt your back
for life. Once injured, your back may never be the same.
Body mechanics is the proper use of your body to prevent injury and to facilitate lifting and moving. Remember, if you drop the patient you can seriously
injure or even kill them.
You need to think about the following concepts before lifting and moving any
• The Top half of a patient is almost always heavier than the bottom half.
• The size and weight of the patient: How big and how heavy? Do not be afraid
to ask for more help.
• Your limitations: Are you hurt? Do you have anything affecting your abilities
to lift? You need to match responders of equal height and strength if at all possible.
• Communication: Make a plan. Then talk about it with the people who are helping you. Make sure everyone understands and is ready. Keep talking throughout
the lifting and moving. Usually the person at the patientʼs head is the leader, but
everyone needs to talk.
• Use your legs when lifting, not your back. Use what is called the power or
squat lift position—body weight on or just behind the balls of the feet, back
locked in. The upper body is raised before the hips.
• Use the power grip: Your hands should be palm up with as great an area of your
fingers and palms as possible in contact with the object. All your fingers should
be bent at the same angle. When possible, keep your hands at least 10 inches
• Keep your elbows bent and arms close to your sides.
• Position your feet properly. They need to be on a firm, level surface and be
shoulder width apart.
• Never turn or twist.
• Keep your back straight and locked. It helps to look up. Do not lean to one side.
• Keep the weight as close to your body as possible. The farther the weight is
from you the greater the chance you will get hurt. Try not to reach more than 15
to 20 inches in front of your body.
• Push rather than pull whenever possible.
• Use a stair chair or a sturdy kitchen chair when carrying a patient on stairs.
Remember to carry the patient head first up the stairs and feet first down the
stairs. Flex your knees and lean forward from the hips, not the waist. If your are
walking backward down the stairs, ask a helper to steady your back.
• There are all kinds of stretchers and backboards. When possible, it is almost
always safer and easier to move the patients over distances with a wheeled
device like a wagon or even a sled. I have used office chairs or even flatbed
hand trucks or pick-up trucks to move patients.
Carrying human beings is a tough but rewarding job. Your patients life is literally
“in your hands.” Be careful, do not drop them, and watch your back!
Video teaches adults
about vaccines
ost of us think that vaccines are for infants and
young children. YKHC and the Alaska Native
Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) have produced
a video with Talking Circle Media to tell adults about
vaccines they may need.
Years ago, epidemics of measles, smallpox,
hepatitis A and influenza caused serious illness and
death in many villages and towns across Alaska. Now
vaccines have eliminated many of these infections.
For instance, we no longer see smallpox or polio.
There have been no hepatitis A outbreaks since
vaccinating children. Measles has become very rare.
However, certain vaccines are still very important to
prevent infections in adults:
• Td or Tetanus-diphtheria shot is needed by everyone every 10 years.
• The tetanus germ lives in the soil and can get into
the body through a puncture or scratch. Tetanus
causes “lockjaw”—severe muscle spasms that can
stop breathing.
• The diphtheria germ leads to a severe sore throat.
Mucous can block breathing and cause death.
• Pneumococcus (or pneumo) vaccine is recommended for persons 55 years and older and
younger persons with diabetes, heart failure, lung
disease, or immune problems like AIDS, or alcoholism.
• The pneumo germ causes most cases of meningitis and blood infections in adults. It causes much
pneumonia.. Pneumo kills 40,000 people in the
U.S. each year.
• Influenza (the Flu) vaccine is recommended every
year, especially for elders and people with chronic
medical problems. The Flu is a very contagious
disease. It starts with fever, sore throat, cough and
body aches. It can lead to pneumonia, and even
death, especially in elders and people with medical
For more information, contact your
YKHC Immunization Program 543-6437
Volume IX No. 12 • December 15, 2004
Disadvantages of
Infant Formula
ost parents know that breast milk is the very best
food for their baby. Many moms in the YK Delta
breastfeed their babies. But what parents might not
know is that giving infant formula exposes their baby
to certain health risks. Oftentimes, parents choose to
give their babies both breast milk and formula. They
might be worried that their baby is not getting enough
breast milk, or maybe dad wants to have a chance to
feed baby too.
Sometimes formula is necessary for medical reasons. Sometimes a mom really canʼt produce enough
milk. But these cases are rare. Moms who breastfeed
often, right from birth, almost always have more than
enough milk for their baby. Newborns love to be held
and cuddled and will often want to stay at the breast
even when they arenʼt hungry. Sometimes parents
think this means that their baby is still hungry, when
he really just wants to be cuddled. The best way to tell
if a breastfed baby is getting enough to eat is by the
number of wet diapers he has a day and by how much
weight he is gaining. Well fed breastfed babies usually
have 5-6 wet diapers a day and gain between 4 and 7
ounces a week.
Parents who are thinking about giving their baby
infant formula should know about the risks of formula:
• Infant formula is easily contaminated by unsafe
drinking water or unclean bottles
• Infant formula is made from inexpensive ingredients,
and errors in manufacturing it are common
• Formula is made from two ingredients that babies are
likely to be allergic to: cowʼs milk or soy protein
• Babies who receive formula have less protection
against illness than babies who are completely
breastfed. Breast milk has ingredients in it that protect a baby against illness. Formula doesnʼt.
• Babies who are fed infant formula are more likely to
develop eczema or allergies
• Formula feeding as a baby increases the risk of a
child getting diabetes or lymphoma
• Babies who are fed infant formula are more likely to
get urinary tract infections
• Formula feeding increases the likelihood of getting
celiac disease, a severe allergy to wheat
• Formula feeding is linked to lower IQ scores in children
• Formula feeding has been linked to increases in
sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS
Breast milk is a babyʼs normal food. It promotes
normal brain development and is always clean and
fresh. Breast milk has everything a baby needs!
YKHC’s Women’s Health Grant staff often go the extra mile to help women get cancer
screenings. They recently devoted a Saturday to the effort. From left: Sandra Cook,
RN; Jackie Owen, LPH; Heidi O’Leary, LPN; and Dawn Davies, Data Manager.
Women screened at weekend clinic
n Saturday, November 6th, the Womenʼs Health Grant staff and Diagnostic
Imaging staff partnered to provide clinical breast exam and mammogram
services for women who needed Saturday appointments.
As a result of the efforts of Claire Lewis, Brenda Walker, Audrey Van Wagner,
Ronnie Fitzpatrick, Heidi OʼLeary, Dawn Davies, Jackie Owen, and Sandi
Cook, 15 women received clinical breast exams, breast health education, and
mammograms. Many employees donated their time, or gave up a week-end day
to better meet the needs of our patients.
The Breast Health Screening Day was so successful that both departments
would like to sponsor another day in late winter. The date will be posted within
the next few months. Great job everyone!
Volume IX No. 12 • December 15, 2004
Happy Holidays!
From the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation
Board of Directors
“Working Together to Achieve Excellent Health”
Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation
P.O. Box 528
Bethel, Alaska 99559
Non -Profit Org.
US Postage
Anchorage, AK
Permit # 537