SEARHC suspending health aide training

SITKA — The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium will hold no more Community Health Aide Training classes in this fiscal year, the organization announced Tuesday.

SEARHC said it is focusing on “maintaining healthcare operations for our beneficiaries” and suspended the classes due to loss of federal funding caused by the across-the-board spending cuts known as “sequestration.” Those cuts took effect at the beginning of March due to congressional inaction.

“There are a lot of rumors out there that the Community Health Aide (CHA) program is going away,” said Charles Clement, SEARHC president and chief executive officer, in a statement, “but all we are doing is stopping the training program until the beginning of our new fiscal. The CHAs and the CHAT are two entirely different programs. The CHAs in the villages we serve are still very much a part of our service model and will continue to be.”

CHAs act as emergency responders in many Southeast Alaska villages. They can provide basic medical care and try to stabilize patients while they await transport to an urban center for hospitalization.

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