SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium is pleased to announce that clinical psychologist Dennis Pilgrim has joined the behavioral health provider staff at the Haa Toowóo Náakw Hít outpatient behavioral health clinic in Sitka.
Pilgrim has more than 30 years experience as a clinical psychologist, including a stint as a behavioral health clinician in 2000-01 at the SEARHC Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock. As part of his duties with SEARHC, Pilgrim will oversee the consortium's telebehavioral health program. Telebehavioral health allows patients in SEARHC's smaller communities to be seen by an advanced provider in Sitka or Juneau using videoconferencing technology. This allows the patients to stay in their home communities and they don't have to travel for basic services.
"I am very excited to have Dennis Pilgrim as a clinical psychologist at SEARHC Behavioral Health," said Dr. Rand West, PsychD, clinic director at Haa Toowóo Náakw Hít. "He is a highly experienced clinician who has already begun giving the clinical team here astute observations and consultations which benefit our clients' care."
"Nine years ago, my wife and I arrived on Prince of Wales Island - our first time in Alaska," Pilgrim said. "I worked for SEARHC as a behavioral health clinician at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock, but family circumstances dictated a premature return south. Nine years later, our attraction to Alaska, and to SEARHC and its people, has brought us back to stay."
Pilgrim attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D., where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, a Master of Arts in psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in clinical psychology. He completed a predoctoral residency in clinical psychology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. During his more than 30 years in private practice, Pilgrim has been affiliated with the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Presbyterian Health Care Systems in Albuquerque, N.M., Charter-Heights Psychiatric Hospital in Albuquerque, and Wichita Falls State Hospital in Wichita Falls, Texas. He is former president of the Bexar County Psychological Association in San Antonio, Texas, and former president of the New Mexico Psychological Association.
Pilgrim's medical interests include community rural health (mental health and substance abuse) and special needs children (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and others). He also enjoys woodcrafting, riding his Harley-Davidson "Bagger" motorcycle, hiking and reading. He wants to locate a carving mentor in Sitka.