Behavioral Health Grant Received for POW

7/1/2014

​PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center is pleased to announce it has been selected by the State of Alaska for an initiative entitled, “Comprehensive Behavioral Health Prevention and Early Intervention”.

In collaboration with the Prince of Wales Health Network, this program has the potential for up to four years of funding to help bring more comprehensive behavioral health care to the island.

Executive Director of the Prince of Wales Network and Program Manager Gretchen Klein states, “This project will build upon previous work of the POW Health Network, address issues raised in our Community Health Needs Assessment, and work toward meeting the initiative of improving behavioral health services in southern Southeast Alaska.”  

A unique piece of this program will be utilizing local community liaisons in Thorne Bay, Klawock, Craig, and elsewhere to work with community leaders like teachers, law enforcement, and religious leaders to help industry experts assess their communities and determine ‘next steps’ to improving care on the Island. Depending on the assessment findings, a work plan for activities will be developed by the coalition, and if approved, continued funding of $225k could be awarded annually for up to an additional three years.

This highly granular approach will allow for customized interventions following the assessment period. Program Director Matt Eisenhower states, “We understand that behavioral health is a complicated and multi-disciplinary issue involving more than healthcare providers. This program assumes different sectors of the community will rally toward one goal to provide better behavioral health care for the entire island. Bringing personal and community healing is part our mission and we are excited and honored to be part of this process in Southeast Alaska.”

Through the efforts of the POW Health Network, an island-wide Behavioral Health coalition formed five years ago and has been working to address critical Behavioral Health needs. This grant will assist the Network in reaching their top goal for the next year; to continue improving awareness of services and enhancing the connectivity of Behavioral Health in rural areas of POW. 

“Having lived on the island for more than 20 years, I know first-hand how far we have come in the area of local health care in recent years and believe the Prince of Wales Health Network has been instrumental in that effort. I am so encouraged to have PeaceHealth and the Network working with residents and organizations around the island to look at the state of behavioral health at this point in time,” said business owner and member of the PeaceHealth Governing Board, Ken Owen. “One thing we have always done as an island community is come together when we see others that need help. This grant should help us do that even better in the future; allowing us to help people avoid the pitfalls that lead to poor behavioral health.”

Map of Prince of Wales Island