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SEARHC hires new telebehavioral health coordinator

Posted: September 18, 2012 - 11:06pm

SITKA — The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Behavioral Health Division is pleased to announce the hiring of Kevin Settles, Psy.D, to its staff as the telebehavioral health coordinator.

Dr. Settles will be based in Sitka where he will oversee telebehavioral health services provided by the Community Family Services program, which uses videoconferencing technology to provide higher-level clinical visits for patients living in our more remote communities.

“We are very excited to welcome Kevin Settles to our Community Family Services team in the capacity of telebehavioral health coordinator,” said Janice Hamrick, LCSW, BHP, SEARHC Community Family Services Program Manager. “It is exciting that he will focus primarily on Angoon and Kake, and he will provide support in other HRSA communities.”

HRSA communities are communities where SEARHC runs Section 330 community health centers as designated by the U.S. Health Resource and Services Administration.

“(Settles) comes to us having spent time in Kotzebue as an itinerant therapist traveling to surrounding villages, so he brings knowledge of life in rural Alaska,” Hamrick added.

Settles earned a doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles; a master’s degree in investigative psychology from the University of Liverpool, England; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Morehouse College in Atlanta.

While at Morehouse, Settles was a Robert E. McNair Scholar, and he later was awarded the Robert E. McNair Leadership Award for exceptional service and dedication.

Settles previously spent two years working with the Maniilaq Association in Kotzebue. He also spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow with NASA at Dryden Flight Research Center in California, and he spent nine-plus years in the U.S. Army, including a combat tour in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division.

Settles said his medical interests include exploring the integration framework of emotion, cognition, environment, culture and intrinsic motivation for the understanding of people — as to gain a working knowledge of the physical, psychological and spiritual components of human behavior. A few of his personal interests include conducting public workshops on self-empowerment (i.e., owning the self) and revering nature.

“It’s quite an honor to have the opportunity to work in this capacity for SEARHC,” Settles said. “I believe my qualifications and experience, particularly my familiarity with SEARHC’s mission, fit well with the job requirements. Overall, I am animated in my joining the behavioral health program, Community Family Services, and the SEARHC community. It is just the sort of opportunity I have been looking for.”

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