Partners come to together to build Elder Self Care Kits for rural Alaska

June 15, 2020

Thanks to the generous support of NANA, Akima and the Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation (HANF), the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Community Health Aide Program secured supplies and equipment to make 1,000 Elder Self Care Kits to distribute to Alaska Native Elders throughout the state.

Each kit contains a small vinyl bag and includes a pulse oximeter to assess oxygen saturation and pulse; a thermometer to assess temperature; a small Vital Signs Card; an Individual Monitoring Log; a mask and a brief instruction sheet.

This project is in response to COVID-19 and aims to provide Alaska Native Elders and other high-risk individuals the tools and instructions to self-monitor critical vital signs to ensure optimal health care during the pandemic. Kit users will be able to track their vital signs and have a handy card so they can share updates during telehealth and Community Health Aide/Practitioner (CHA/P) visits.

“The kits will provide much more than updates on critical vital signs – they will provide Alaska Native Elders the ability to self-monitor their own health, which will bring assurance and comfort during a challenging time,” said Carolyn Craig, Director of ANTHC’s Community Health Aide Program.

The kits will be distributed through the statewide Community Health Aide Program and by Maniilaq Association in the NANA region. ANTHC’s Community Health Aide Program will coordinate with CHA/P Director’s and CHA/P’s to provide VidYo and in-person instruction and demonstration on the use of equipment.

ANTHC’s Tribal Community Health Provider (TCHP) system is a unique healthcare model – established for and by Alaska Native people – to develop a rural workforce to reduce and ultimately eliminate the health inequities Alaska Native people experience today. The program educates TCHPs in three disciplines – Community Health Aide Providers (CHA/Ps); Dental Health Aides/Therapists (DHA/Ts) and Behavioral Health Aides (BHA) – who serve as front line healthcare providers for over 90,000 Alaska Native people across the state including those living in 215 remote villages. These TCHPs not only offer culturally appropriate and sensitive healthcare, but also make holistic care accessible, and work to advance a culture of health and prevention.

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