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November 2019

in this issue

Welcome to the November Edition of Iñuuniaġniq


The Iñupiaq translation for November is Nippivik. It is the month when people go seal hunting and ice fishing. Also, the whales caught in the fall and spring are distributed at the Thanksgiving feasts.

In this issue, we have information on the new Director of Pharmacy, the new Director of Quality, SSMH Sunshine and Daisy Award Nominees, Girls Night Out Recap, and much more. Enjoy!


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ASNA Welcomes New Director of Pharmacy


Michelle Thomas has returned as the Director of Pharmacy on August 30. Michelle holds a doctor of pharmacy from Purdue University College of Pharmacy.

She previously worked for ASNA from 2013-2017. During her short time away, she was the pharmacy manager at a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina.

When not at work, she enjoys snowboarding, traveling and hiking with her two dogs. Michelle is thrilled to once again be part of the ASNA team.


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ASNA Welcomes New Director of Quality


Caitlin Montague, PhD, has been hired as the new Director of Quality. She comes to us from the North Slope Borough School District where she spent the last 7 years doing work on the curriculum alignment project integrating the Alaska State Standards with existing curricular materials, and the Iñupiaq Learning Framework.

When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, trying new recipes in the kitchen, sewing, and traveling. Caitlin is very excited to come on board the ASNA team.


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Sunshine Award Nominee


Marie Adema is this quarters nominee for the Sunshine Award.  The SUNSHINE Award recognizes the care team that supports nursing staff and works closely with them to provide patients with the compassion and care they need.

The Samuel Simmonds Sunshine Award is dedicated to non-nursing caregivers, including patient care technicians and other vital team members. Marie’s patient nomination stated,

“She was very patient in the care she gave me. She welcomed me into the medical office with her warm smile and bright attitude. I look forward to my doctor visits because Marie is there to help.”

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Daisy Foundation Nominee


Stacy Lucas, RN was this quarters nominee for th Daisy Foundation.

The DAISY Award is a nation-wide program that recognizes nursing excellence and the compassionate care given by nurses every day.

Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital is proud to be a DAISY Award hospital to honor the extraordinary work nurses do for patients and their families. Stacey’s nomination from a patient included,

“Her lovely voice was very calming. She was very gentle with me. Because of her, I am not afraid to be admitted anymore.”


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Fall Prevention and Home Safety Tips!  


Everyone is at risk of falling, and as we grow older, the risk increases. A few medical conditions that may occur with aging include arthritis, cataracts, or hip surgery. Here are some fall prevention and home safety tips:


          • Eat foods rich in Calcium and Vitamin D.

          • Be active. Walk often and participate in subsistence activities.

          • Have your vision checked by an eye doctor once a year.

          • Always have a clear path in each room and hallway.

          • Be sure to keep cords or wires tight along the walls.

          • Make sure handrails are on both sides of the stairs.

          • Put a non-skid mat in the bathtub.

          • Use a sturdy step stool.

           • Wear ice grippers or ice cleats on the ice.


Please stay safe and make a checklist for home safety. .

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Thin Ice!


Do Not Travel or Play on lagoons, lakes and rivers as the Ice Is Too Thin. It is important to make clear decisions that are not impaired by alcohol or drugs. Help children understand the dangers of playing near lagoons! We want everyone to be safe this winter.


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Stay Alert!


Always be aware of Polar Bears in our NSB communities. We love to be active and enjoy the outdoors, but we must be alert to the possibilities of wildlife. Please contact the NSB Police Dept. at (907) 852-6111 or the NSB Wildlife Dept. at (907) 852-0350.


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Girl's Night Out: A Success


In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, not only was the lights under the hospital building illuminating a pink glow, but SSMH Medical Imaging and ASNA Screening for Life hosted the 'Girls Night Out' event to engage and involve the community in the fight against breast and cervical cancer. We want to commend Screening For Life for a spectacular event!


There were 31 mammograms and 21 pap smears done the during the event.  An additional 14 mammograms were done before October 31, giving us a total of 45 screening mammograms.  There were 11 flu shots given by Employee Health, and overall, the event brought in more than 100 people.  We partnered with North Slope Borough Prevention to provide education on tobacco cessation and Arctic Chiropractic to provide 15 minute chair massages at no cost. Additional information tables were set up by SSMH Physical Therapy, Specialty Clinic, Radiology, and Employee Health.


Here is a direct quote from an attendee after the event:


"Hi. I just wanted thank you and the other coordinators for the Girls Night Out event.  It was a great set up and the bonus gifts (slippers, etc.) was great a incentive to get patients in to take care of their women's wellness.  I can admit that I've been putting off my exams. I'll think about it, but then not schedule an appointment.  And I bet a lot of women treat women's wellness as an afterthought and put it on the back burner.  But having an event that was well advertised helped bring us all out and get those exams done.  All of the staff that contributed were great, and made it a nice get together.  I'm looking forward to the next one."


To schedule your preventative cancer screening, call ASNA Screening for Life at (907) 852-9120 or (907) 852-9156.


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ASNA Spirit Days


In observance of local and national awarenesses, ASNA shows their support celebrating and identifying those awarenesses as Spirit Days.

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Domestic Violence Awareness Day


On October 24th SSMH Staff demonstrated support to end Domestic Violence by wearing purple.

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National Mammography Day


On October 25th the staff of SSMH displayed their support for surviovrs, and fighters of Breast Cancer by wearing pink.


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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month


The staff of SSMH are encouraged to bring awareness to Lung Cancer and Lung Disease. The Lung Cancer Awareness Ribbon is White or Pearl. SSMH Medical Imaging will set up in the lobby of the hospital to share prevention and screening information on Wednesday, November 13 at 11am until 2pm.

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Medical Travel & Funeral Assistance (MTFA) | Patient Travel Information


ASNA is the Medical Travel & Funeral Assistance (MTFA) Program administrator serving the Arctic Slope communities of Anaktuvuk Pass, Atqasuk, Kaktovik, Nuiqsut, Point Hope, Point Lay, Utqiagvik and Wainwright. Below you will find some important tips for applicants.

For medical travel:

1. MTFA provides aid to eligible Arctic Slope Regional Corporation shareholders and residents of the North Slope Borough with medical or funeral crisis when no alternative funds are available to pay for such services.

2. Applications MUST be turned into the MTFA office five (5) days prior to departure day. There are many waiting periods that MTFA staff cannot control. This includes waiting on the applicant's employer to provide income verification or receiving health information.


The applicant is responsible for providing the referral or medical referral appointment letter to the MTFA staff. MTFA staff are available to provide assistance seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Main line: (907) 852-9114 | On Call: (907) 331-9495 | Fax: (907) 852-9152 | E-mail:


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Social Services Outreach 


The Social Services Department administers programs for residents throughout the North Slope, including job placement, higher education scholarships, adult vocational training, family preservation, Indian Child Welfare assistance, preventative behavioral health services, tribal childcare, medical and burial assistance. If you need assistance with applying for any of these programs, please schedule an appointment with social services.


          • Point Lay: November 7 & 8 Movie Night

          • Anaktuvuk Pass: November 14 and 15 CCDF Outreach/Movie Night

          • Nuiqsut: November 19 CCDF Outreach 


For information or questions, please contact Rebecca Harris, healthy family advocate, at Telephone: 907.852.9180 | Cell Phone: 907.367.6237 | E-mail:


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Baby & Me Program


ASNA Social Services Family Preservation & Development continues to host weekly activities for parents and their toddlers, ages 0-4. The activities are themed play dates centered around child development.

Play dates are scheduled every Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the old hospital large commons (entrance C). Each week, guest speakers will share information as it relates to healthy families and early child development. We look forward to seeing you and your baby at the next "Baby and Me" event.


For information or questions, please contact Dante’ Elkins at Telephone: (907) 852-9196 | E-mail:


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Tribal Care Program


ASNA Social Services is sponsoring the Tribal Child Care program for children ages 13 and under whose parents are employed and/or actively taking classes. The child must be enrolled or eligible to enroll into a federally recognized tribe. Eligibility is also based on family size and income.


For information or questions, please contact Daphne Leavitt, family preservation and development program coordinator, at 907.852.9379 E-mail: 


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ASNA Radio Hour│Fridays @ 11am


In an effort to do more community outreach and education, ASNA hosts a weekly one-hour KBRW radio show. Join us from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday mornings.


Here is the programming schedule for October:


November 1 & 8 – Drive to Thrive 

November 15 – Lung Cancer Awareness 

November 22 – Diabetes Awareness

November 28 & 29 – Thanksgiving Holiday


This schedule is subject to change at any time due to changes with KBRW scheduling or any unforeseen medical emergencies.


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Dates to Remember


Mark Your Calendar

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Dental Village Trips


The Dental Clinic Visits for this upcoming Month of Novemeber:

  • Atqasuk:  November 12-15  Dentist
  • Wainwright:  November 18-22  Dentist

Dates are subject to change. To see the dentist, please call your village health clinic to ensure your name is on the "dental list" with your current phone number(s).


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Specialty Clinics


Specialty Clinic appointments are only for those who receive a referral from a Primary Care Provider.


• Endoscopy Clinic: November 1

• Podiatry Clinic: November 4-5

• Gynecology Clinic: November 5-6

• Nutritional Clinic: November 8

• Surgery Clinic: November 12-14

• Screening For Life: November 18-22

• Sleep Studies Clinic: November 25-27


For more information, please contact the Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital Specialty Clinic directly at Telephone: 907.852.9284 | Toll Free: 888.525.7764


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Eye Clinic Schedule in Utqiagvik


The Eye Clinic is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the following days.

  • November 4-9
  • November 12-14

For more information, please contact the Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital Eye Clinic directly at Telephone: (907) 852-9291 | E-mail:


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SSMH Medicaid/Medicare Outreach


Outreach staff is available on weekday's from 8AM to 5PM at the Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital for those who would like to apply for Medicaid benefits and other public assistance programs such as Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or SNAP, which was formally known as food stamps, Temporary Assistance Program, Adult Public Assistance, and General Relief. The outreach department travels to the villages of Atqasuk, Wainwright, Pt. Lay, Kaktovik, and Nuiqsut, and the staff can be reached at the village clinics. Please stop in and see us or call 852-4611 for more information.


SSMH Outreach and Enrollment staff will be traveling to the following villages to help patients with enrollment in Medicaid and/or Medicare, senior benefits, and other public assistance programs:


Point Lay: November 18-21 with Kathleen Olemaun

Medicaid can also help pay for medical travel including flights, hotels, and food. If you are pregnant, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Patient services paid by Medicaid or Medicare will allow SSMH to invest in new services. If you have questions, please contact SSMH Patient Benefits at Telephone: 907.852.9365 | Toll Free: 888.525.7764



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Medical Provider Village Trips

  • Wainwright: November 4 - 8 (Provider Visit)
  • Wainwright: November 7 – 9 (Podiatry)
  • Kaktovik: November 18 - 22 (Provider Visit)

To schedule your appointment with SSMH Physician Assistant, please call your NSB village health clinic to ensure your name is on the list with your current phone number(s).


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ASNA Job Vacancies



•Nurse Case Manager (2 Positions)

•Nurse Manager-Primary Care

•Patient Care Technician I (PCT) PRN

•Patient Care Technician I (PCT)

•Primary Care Nurse (2 Positions)

•Registered Nurse Case Manager

•Registered Nurse Emergency Room

•Registered Nurse Inpatient

•Registered Nurse – LDRP

•Registered Nurse Primary Care (2 Positions)

•Respiratory Therapist

•Respiratory Therapist (PRN) On-Call



•CT Technologist X-Ray Technologist

•Mammographer X-Ray Technologist


•Pharmacist (Temporary)

•Staff Dentist

•TDY/On-Call General Dentist



•Accounting Specialist I

•Assistant Director of Human Resources

•Assistant Laboratory Manager


•Clinical Training Coordinator

•Dental Assistant

•Elder Care Specialist On-Call

•Emergency Room Technician

•Family Preservation Coordinator

•Family Preservation & Development Program Manager

•Food Service Kitchen Helper (Temporary)

•Healthy Family Advocate (Nuiqsut)

•Healthy Family Advocate (Wainwright)

•Housing Housekeeper

•Housekeeper (Temporary)

•HR Generalist I

•Indian Child Welfare Act Advocate

•Lead Dental Assistant

•Maintenance Laborer

•Maintenance Specialist I

•Maintenance Specialist II

•Medical Technologist

•MTFA Coordinator I

•OJT Dental Assistant (2 Positions)

•Optometric Technician & Receptionist

•Patient Access Rep (On-Call)

•Pre-Maternal Residential Assistant On-Call (Night)

•Quality and Compliance Risk Analyst

•Scanning Specialist (Re-Post)

•Systems Administrator

•Travel Assistant (Temporary)


If you have any questions or would like to apply, please call Human Resources at (907) 852-9204. Download the application here. You can also e-mail your resume to


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Upcoming ASNA Holiday


Inuit Day

November 7, 2019

Veteran's Day

November 11, 2019


November 28 & 29, 2019


In observance of the upcoming holidays, the ASNA and SSMH offices will be closed with exception of the ER/emergency department and all other staff essential for emergency medical care.


The front entryway of SSMH will be closed; please enter through the ER, or southeast end of the building.


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PO Box 1232
Utqiaġvik, Alaska 99723


General SSMH Contact List

Primary Care: (907) 852-9156

Pharmacy: (907) 852-9277

Dental: (907) 852-9221

Eye Clinic: (907) 852-9291

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