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SEARHC Hires Patient Advocate for Prince of Wales Island

KLAWOCK, Jan. 17, 2011 — The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) hired Cynthia “Cyndi” Reeves to serve as the consortium’s new patient advocate for its clinics and programs on Prince of Wales Island.

Cyndi will work as a customer service liaison for patients receiving care from the Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock, the Hydaburg Health Center, the Kasaan Health Center and the Thorne Bay Health Center, helping them navigate their way through the health system at SEARHC. She also will work with patients receiving behavioral health services from SEARHC’s Community Family Services program office in Craig. Her office will be at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center, and she can be reached through the clinic at 755-4800 (toll-free 1-877-755-4800) or by e-mail at cynthia.reeves@searhc.org.

“I am very pleased about the new POW patient advocate position and what it means for the residents of POW,” said Donna Miller, RN, MPA, Clinic Administrator at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center. “Cyndi will serve as an important customer service liaison between our health system, patients and providers. She is very excited about working for SEARHC and for the residents of POW.”

Cyndi joins two other patient advocates SEARHC recently hired in Sitka (Bryan Whitson) and Juneau (Ashley Hunt). The new patient advocates will help ensure SEARHC patients are able to receive the highest quality of care possible and improve their satisfaction with that care. The patient advocates receive feedback from patients about their care, summarize it and then forward it along to the appropriate managers for response. They document the follow-up to the feedback, and check back with patients to ensure all customer concerns have been met.

Originally from the Yukon River village of Alakanuk, Cyndi graduated from Kotlik High School and later earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education degree and an Associate of Arts degree in social science from Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka. She previously worked as a substitute teacher with the Craig and Klawock school districts. She also was a mental health associate with Community Connections in Craig and she was lead teacher for Tlingít and Haida Head Start in Craig. Before moving to Prince of Wales Island, she spent several years as an elementary school teacher with the Lower Yukon School District in Alakanuk and Mountain Village.

In addition to her work experience, Cyndi was chosen to represent Alaska Yup’ik Eskimo dancers at a powwow in Phoenix, Ariz., and she wrote a song “Alaska, My Home and My Land” that is used as a theme song across the state by Wings Ministry International. Cyndi says children have her heart, and she loves working with anything computer-related. She writes songs, poetry and children’s literature. She also is an extreme harvester, harvesting greens, berries, meat, fish and medicinal plants throughout the year.

“I look forward to the life-long friends, teammates and family that I get from my job position … in this case, the SEARHC community,” Cyndi said.

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