Bartlett Regional | House Calls | Spring 2020

Welcome aboard! Bartlett welcomes new member to Board of Directors Iola Young has been appointed to a three- year term on the 11-member Board of Directors of Bartlett Regional Hospital, an enterprise fund of the City and Borough of Juneau. The board oversees management and operations to ensure the hospital is fiscally sound to maintain quality health care services. Iola recently retired after more than two decades as a physician assistant for the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium. “While I’ve retired from providing direct patient care, my interest and passion continues to be medicine and health—policy, economics, access, advances in care,” Iola says. “I believe that my experience as a mid-level provider gives a unique perspective. Our hospital needs to be dynamic in a constantly changing landscape, responding to the challenges of changing demographics, standards of care, technology advancements and competition. “Private hospitals have the luxury of picking and choosing what services to provide and can make decisions based solely on the economics of profitability. A community hospital cannot do that. Local control means continuing to offer a full range of services based on community needs, even though some may not be profit generators. As a long-term Juneau resident with children and grandchildren living here, I want to be part of the discussion regarding allocation of resources to most effectively meet the challenges ahead.” Longtime Juneau resident Bridget Smith recently noticed how fit and healthy her family and friends in the lower 48 looked. These people all had one thing in common: They’d enrolled in an evidence- based program focused on healthier living. Bridget looked for a similar program and discovered the Health Matters program right here at Bartlett Regional Hospital. She signed up and began attending group meetings on healthy food preparation, portion sizes, strength training and aerobic exercise recommendations. “I’m not trying to create anything new, really, for people,” says Health Matters instructor/coach Sarah Lewis. “Yes. We need more fiber; we need more vegetables. It’s reinforcing things that people already know and putting it into a structure where they can start to fit it into their lives in an incremental way.” “I’m looking for recipes that have lots of vegetables, buying big bags of spinach and power grains, and throwing them in stews and soups—even if the recipe doesn’t call for it,” says Bridget. “Anything that I can do to increase the plant-based foods.” The program is targeted toward those with prediabetes, but Bridget is in the program just because she wants to get healthier. “I feel that I’m actively doing something every day that benefits my health. It’s at the forefront of my consciousness,” she says. “It’s about a preventive lifestyle change for our metabolic systems,” adds Sarah, “for brain health, heart health, our overall health.” Participants are encouraged to work toward a weight loss of 5% to 7%. Bridget finds motivation in her Health Matters classmates. “This is the kind of program that could work for anyone who wants to improve their health outcomes. Anyone,” she says. Health Matters is Medicare-eligible and scholarships are available. To learn more, call Cynthia Gordon-Nickerson, diabetes educator, at 907-796-8649 . #PEOPLEOFBRH Preventive health care with Health Matters Sarah Lewis Bridget Smith 13