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  • Families In Crisis

    Sunshine Community Health Center is pleased to announce that in coordination with community organizations, we are able to provide Families in Crisis funding to assist members in the Trapper Creek, Talkeetna, and Willow communities. You do not need to be an SCHC patient to be eligible for financial assistance through Families in Crisis. We can’t predict when a crisis will happen, or the support that is needed to get through it. We can help you get through the crisis and, if needed, connect you to resources that may be able to assist you and your family further. If you are finding yourself in crisis, please click on the link below and provide contact information so one of your behavioral health team members can outreach you directly. Your email goes directly to behavioral health staff who will contact you directly to obtain additional details pertaining to your situation and begin working with you to identify how Families in Crisis funding can help. If you prefer to speak to a staff member directly, please contact our behavioral health department at 1-907-733-9292. Your information is kept confidential and only individuals with a need to know are provided information on your situation. Our goal is to help you through the crisis and help you get back to enjoying the Alaskan dream. We want to thank the Jessica Stevens Foundation, the Bachelor Society, and the Mat-Su Health Foundation for their generous support to Families in Crisis. Sincerely, Sunshine Community Health Center 1-907-376-2273 (CARE)

  • Smoking Tobacco - Are you ready to quit?

    Current and former smokers are at an increased risk for COVID-19 - vaccinations and boosters can help reduce this risk. What is tobacco? When we think of smoking, we generally refer to cigarettes, but tobacco can cause long-lasting damage in any form. Tobacco can include... Cigarettes Dip or Chewing Tobacco Vapes or E-Cigarettes Hookahs Cigarillos or Cigars The chemicals in tobacco products can lead to cancer and other harmful bodily damage. Let's take a few minutes to dive into each tobacco type further to understand how it is affecting your body. Nicotine can change the way your brain works, and not for the better. Cigarettes There aren't any benefits to smoking cigarettes and the negative health effects seem endless. Cigarette smoking can stain your teeth, cause bad breath, and lead to tooth loss through gum disease. It changes the chemistry of your blood and increases your blood pressure. Long-term damage can make your bloodstream vulnerable to blood clots and/or heart attacks. It can lead to cancer anywhere in your body, not just your lungs. Vapes There is a misconception that the vaping industry was created to help people quit smoking. They are often thought of as a healthier alternative to smoking. They are created with a liquid substance that is heated to create an aerosol users inhale. Vapes have not been approved to help with tobacco cessation and they expose you to the same cancer-causing chemicals and brain-altering nicotine. Vaping also exposes your lungs to acrolein, nickel, lead, chromium, tin, and aluminum, which can all cause irreversible lung damage. Dip or Chew Dip also contains harmful substances like lead and formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a substance used to preserve dead bodies and should not be consumed. Many dippers develop red or white patches inside their mouth that have a high risk of becoming cancerous. It is also a contributor to gum disease and tooth decay or loss. “I noticed my mouth was getting raw and it didn’t feel like chewing was adding any value to my life. I watched my dad chew growing up and remembered thinking it was gross. I didn’t want my child to think it was ‘normal’ to chew.” – Robert, former chewer. How does tobacco cause addiction? Using tobacco provides relief to stress and provides a response desirable to the individual. Our bodies begin to learn that tobacco usage in result causes the unconscious desired response. For many individuals that use tobacco, it can become habit-forming, as the unconscious behaviors become routine (operant conditioning). By the time we realize what is happening, our body has become conditioned to the use of tobacco and depends on the use in order to prevent withdrawal and/or unwelcome symptoms. Those who try to quit the use of tobacco at that point are unable to stop without cessation programs or tobacco replacement therapies. Dive into the Data The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) commit their time and energy to scientific standards to ensure the accuracy and reliability of their results. This means you can trust the data they provide. Smoking leads to disability and harms almost every organ of the body. It is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths every year in the United States which is more than HIV, alcohol use, illegal drug use, motor vehicle injuries, and firearm-related injuries COMBINED. In 2021, approximately 28.3 million adults smoked cigarettes and each day about 1,600 youth try their first cigarette. Smoking causes about 90% of all lung cancer deaths and 80% of deaths related to COPD. E-cigarettes are still the most used tobacco product. Tobacco has other health risks outside of cancer, COPD, and death. Tobacco can affect women’s pregnancies, making it harder to only conceive a child, but increase the risk for preterm labor, stillbirths, low birth weights, SIDS, ectopic pregnancy, and orofacial deficits. It can affect fertility in men and increase the risk of birth defects and/or miscarriage. Other health effects can include: an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis, decreased immune function, and can significantly increase risk of type 2 diabetes and cataracts. Dental problems can occur from tobacco usage which can lead to tooth loss or poor gum health. The Tobacco Industry Targets Teens The vaping industry is extremely popular amongst our youth, and it is no accident. They create flavors to entice users to try something until they find what they like. What they can easily get addicted to. The Alaska Quit Line estimated the vaping industry has over 7,500 flavors. They are advertising cigarettes to kids near playgrounds and schools and tactfully place the products next to sweet and colorful products in the store. They know that targeting youth will generate life-long smokers. Addiction is real. More than 1 out of 4 high school and middle school students used tobacco within 30 days of a 2018 survey (CDC). Nicotine changes the way brain synapses are made. A brain synapse is when connections are built between brain cells and a memory is created. Continued use reduces the brain's ability to complete successful synapses and charms parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. Talking to Teens You may think your child would never try tobacco and if they did, they would tell you. We hope this is true and want to empower you to have meaningful conversations with your children about their health and their future. Teens generally try tobacco because their peers are already using it. Start with an open dialog to ask them if they've tried tobacco or if they've wanted to. Stay Calm: It can be heartbreaking or frustrating news to hear that your child has tried such a harmful substance but yelling, judging, criticizing, or pressuring your child will not bring them closer to understanding. Ask questions and listen to your child's experiences. Keep it Short: This is an uncomfortable conversation for both the parent and the teen. They may feel embarrassed or nervous to tell you the truth. Create a comfortable environment to have a quick conversation vs a 'sit down lecture'. The open-ended dialog can help your child ask questions and understand the risks in a way that makes sense to them. Smokers Sharing Stories Sometimes the best information is received through testimony and storytelling. If you know someone who has quit using tobacco or is in the process of quitting, ask them about their journey. Ask them what motivates them to quit using tobacco products. Ask them what they do when they experience a craving. Ask them if they can support you. "I started smoking in high school because it felt like I wasn't cool unless I did. I ended up smoking and chewing tobacco for almost 10 years. It makes me sick to think of how much time I dedicated to this substance." – Sierra Ready to Quit? Quitting is difficult and you shouldn't have to do it alone. We encourage you to use the resources below to make sure you have the tools you need to quit for good. There are various options to quit the use of tobacco. Some of these options include the use of tobacco replacement, tobacco cessation classes, medication, etc. Before taking the step to quit tobacco, it is encouraged to see your medical provider for an assessment to discuss options to reduce the effects of withdrawal and come up with a plan to help you accomplish your goal. Sunshine Community Health Center Sunshine Community Health Center realizes quitting is a difficult journey and we are here to support your journey. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with your provider to talk about tobacco cessation and create a plan that works for you. SCHC utilizes an integrated model where medical and behavioral health professionals are on-site to assist collaboratively about your addiction and assist you in making healthier choices in a safe way. Your provider will utilize a patient-centered approach to help discuss options, risks/benefits, and identify a plan that aligns with where you are at in wanting to quit tobacco. Our contact information is: Talkeetna Clinic 1-907-733-2273 (CARE) 34300 South Talkeetna Spur Road Talkeetna Alaska 99676 Willow Clinic 1-907-495-4100 24091 Long Lake Road Willow Alaska 99688 Alaska Quit Line The Alaska Quit Line offers FREE services to Alaskans who are ready to quit using tobacco. There are several resources depending on the need. To access any of the services below call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), text QUITNOW to 333888, or visit Individual Services: This is a program customized to fit your needs that includes supportive text messages, helpful emails, a quitting guide, and a tree starter kit that includes a two-week supply of free patches, gum, or lozenges. Web Coach: This is a program that provides a private online support group where you can access digital tools, develop your own quit plan and track your progress. You can also receive web coaching, supportive text messages, helpful emails, and a two-week supply of free patches, gum, or lozenges. Interested in both web coaching and individual services? No problem! The Alaska Quit Line offers an all-access package that combines the resources above. “I was a pack-a-day smoker for 15 years. Quitting is all about your mindset. Be done. It can be that simple. I haven’t had a smoke in 6 years!” – Josie, former smoker Download the quitSTART App. The app is available on Google Play and the Apple Store and offers a wide range of support tools to help you quit for good. You can review tips and information on the go, monitor your progress and earn badges for smokefree achievements set by you, manage your cravings and mood changes, distract yourself from those cravings with games, save resources in your very own Quit Kit and share your progress with those that support you. Other Quit Tips Remember that it takes time. Relapse does not mean failure, but instead, it is another opportunity to dive back into the challenge. The winning prize is worth playing for. Prescription Support: sometimes medications help users quit tobacco and that may be the right answer for you. Make sure you ask your doctor about available options and learn what is the best option for your care plan. Environmental Changes: tobacco use is habitual and there are certain triggers that may give you the urge to use again. Change your environment and know it is okay to say no to social gatherings that may be triggering while you are on your journey. Let People Know: tell your friends and family you are quitting tobacco use so they can support you. Stay Occupied: idled minds can lead to thoughts about tobacco use. Find something to distract you when you get an urge. Many people will chew sunflower seeds or cinnamon sticks to keep themselves occupied. Remember that not all our thoughts are true and when it comes to urges, your thoughts are trying to convince you that is okay to use tobacco again. Remember that you don't have to listen. Reflect: when you have an urge, take a few moments to observe your surroundings. Where are you? Who are you with? What were you doing or thinking about leading up to the urges? What can you do differently in this scenario to avoid that temptation? Sunshine Supports You Remember that we are here to serve you. You can call for an appointment to discuss quitting resources, reach out to our behavioral health team for additional support, swing by for some tangible Alaska Quit Line resources, and more. We want you to reach your quit goals and will do what we can to help you. “I felt like I cheated because I used medication to quit smoking. I started taking Welbutrin for my depression and a side effect of it was being absolutely grossed out by the thought of smoking, but it worked!” - Jocie, former smoker. Sincerely, Sunshine Staff Sunshine Community Health Center 1-907-376-2273 (CARE) Resources The Alaska Quit Line: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The Real Cost: Tobacco Free Kids:

  • National Emergency Medical Services Week

    May 21st through the 27th is National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. EMS Week is a national campaign to raise awareness of EMS Week and the important role of EMS practitioners (NAEMT, 2023). Learn how Sunshine Community Health Center collaborates with our local EMS to reduce emergency room visits and keep our community members close to home whenever possible. EMS + SCHC = Quality Care Health problems are not always predictable, and in fact, almost always occur at inconvenient times. We get infections, we fall, we get wounds, we get rashes, and we have injuries that do not fit into future planning and scheduling. Although Sunshine Community Health Center (SCHC) is not an emergency room or hospital, we often provide care to patients with acute health problems. We work these patients into our schedule and most of the time are able to manage their needs. Sometimes we find that people have more significant health concerns than they realized, and we arrange for Matsu Borough EMS to transport our patients to the hospital. Often, due to a variety of reasons, such as lack of transportation, health condition concern, and challenges to healthcare access, patients summon EMS for assistance for what is otherwise considered low acuity problems. Low acuity problems are health concerns that do not require hospitalization or evaluation with testing facilities/equipment that are unavailable outside of the emergency department and hospital. In these situations, with patient approval, patients may be transported to SCHC for evaluation and treatment. There are some limits to this process in that some insurance may require transportation to an emergency department and depending on SCHC staffing and scheduling, there may not be capacity for all patients at all hours. There are great benefits of this collaboration to patients. When EMS transports a patient to Palmer, the patient has to find a way home but by getting the needed care locally, the patient does not have as far to travel. We have limited EMS team members. When an ambulance is transporting a patient to Palmer, it is taken out of our service area for several hours. During that time, others may have delays in response time. By delivering a patient locally to SCHC, the EMS crew and ambulance remain in the region and are available for other people in need. Northern Valley EMS Stations If you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911. If you find yourself calling and utilizing EMS for your health care needs, allow the staff to triage your symptoms. If they recommend it and we are adequately staffed, consider receiving your care at Sunshine Community Health Center. Sunshine Community Health Center 1-907-376-2273 (CARE)

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  • Services | Sunshine CHC

    Medical Services Your care team is made up of several different staff members, each with designated responsibilities to help you lead your journey to whole-person health. Get to know our team better so you can select your primary care provider. Schedule 1-907-376-2273 (CARE). Prenatal care We offer primary prenatal care in collaboration with your preferred delivering provider in Wasilla/Palmer. Health care begins at birth, let us be there for your family. ​ ​ Women's health An exam including health screenings, contraception, family planning, sexual health, and evaluation/treatment of health conditions specific to women. Acute Care Evaluation and treatment of acute medical complaints of all kinds - including labs and imaging. Walk-ins are welcome! If you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911. ​ Procedures Office procedures including skin lesion biopsy and removal, cyst excisions, contraceptive inserts, some GYN and orthopedic procedures are available as well. ​ Palliative Care Palliative care is specialized medical care that focusses on the relief of serious illness symptoms and includes efforts to improve quality of life. Our services help patients find dignity, comfort and quality, especially during the end-of-life care period. additional services Urgent care Laboratory Imaging/X-Ray Basic Ortho Ophthalmology Immunizations Mobile Mammogram well child visits Well Child Checks are a recurring exam according to your child's age that includes developmental screening, immunizations, and anticipatory guidance for parents. We also provide sport and other activity participation physicals. men's health An exam including health screenings, family planning, sexual health, vasectomy consultations, and evaluation/treatment of health conditions specific to men. chronic care Management of chronic medical conditions. Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both (CDC). specialty care ​ When a service is not available in our office, we are ready to refer you to a specialist. We also host some visiting specialty clinics where patients can access a specialist locally in our community. nurse visits Visits for wound care, diabetic foot care, health education, coumadin management, indwelling catheter changes, and prenatal education. In addition, nurses assist patients with ER and hospitalization discharge follow-up, post operative visit follow-up, and medication reconciliation. Behavioral Health Services 1-907-376-2273 (CARE). Schedule Our team is skilled in providing a wide range of interventions for various diagnosis' and we serve all age ranges. We offer integrated services with your medical care team, including psychiatric medication management, substance abuse counseling, and behavioral health care management to receive help obtaining resources and additional support. We are committed to having availability in our schedules for same day visits to meet your needs. Interventions Used Cognitive Behavioral Health Therapy (CBT) Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EDMR) Neuro-Feedback Person-Centered Therapy Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Motivational Interviewing Narrative Therapy Emotionally Focused Therapy Family Therapy Crisis Intervention Groups Restoring Resilience CBT for Chronic Pain Management CBT for Insomnia OBOT - Medicated Assisted Treatment Circles of Security Mindfulness Grief Coping with Illness Addiction Recovery Group Stress Management School Services Our providers currently offer outpatient services at the following locations... Teeland Middle School Wasilla Middle School Redington Jr/Sr High Dena'ina Elementary School Sutton Elementary Su-Valley Jr/Sr High Talkeetna Elementary Sherrod Elementary Willow Elementary Dental Services Schedule 1-907-376-2273 (CARE). Regular dental exams are a critical component of preventive health care. Sunshine Community Health Center provides preventive and restorative treatments for you and your entire family, from toddlers to seniors. Preventive Routine Examinations Emergency Examinations Cleanings Hygiene Education Topical Fluoride Treatment Sealants Diagnostic Imaging Restorative Fillings Simple Extractions Dispensary Sunshine Community Health Center has a limited dispensary that stocks medications for the treatment of some acute conditions. We can provide short-term supplies of medications used for chronic illness management in order to bridge patients until they can get regular supplies from their pharmacy. We can also arrange to have medications delivered to our clinic for local pick up from a pharmacy in Wasilla. However, no controlled substances are delivered to or stored in the clinic. We are unable to fill prescriptions from Providers of other facilities since we are not a pharmacy. Read More Laboratory Sunshine Community Health Center's lab facility has OSHA waved inhouse testing available as well as the ability to do sample collection for more complicated testing done at distant labs. Send-out lab results are typically back within a few days. There are very few laboratory tests that we are unable to order for you through our lab. X-Ray Our providers are able to order basic imagingon site. The images are reviewed by the SCHC provider. However, we also have our images reviewed by a radiologist and typically have final reports available the same day. Patient Satisfaction Survey "This is life saving care. Don't change a thing! I very much appreciate that we have a clinic in our small town and that you provide much needed services for our communities." Click here to complete the Patient Satisfaction Survey. Your feedback is important! Paying for Care We are committed to providing quality care, regardless of your ability to pay. We accept most insurance carriers, offer a Sliding Fee Scale for qualifying patients, and we have a wonderful team of Care Managers and Patient Advocates with resources to help you. Learn More!

  • Sunshine Community Health Center | Quality and Affordable Health Care

    Sunshine Community Health Center OUR MISSION ​ We are committed to accessible, proactive, quality health care, promoting community wellness through outreach and education. Keeping Our Communities Healthy Welcome to Sunshine Community Health Center. Our vision is to become the healthiest rural area in the United States of America! We offer affordable health care to our Northern Valley communities. Our vision Increased, integrated services. Community involvement. Training center for rural health care providers. Adequate funding. Community and school-based services. Progressive, staying on the leading edge of healthcare. Highly functioning organization with excellent systems and processes. our values Compassion Integrity Teamwork Trust Respect Quality Community-Based Fiscal Responsibility Funding Community Health This community health center receives HHS funding and has Federal Public Health Services (PHS) deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals. Services We provide a full spectrum of high-quality, comprehensive, culturally competent, primary medical, behavioral and dental care services. We promote prevention and early intervention, thus keeping under-insured individuals out of emergency services. We care for the whole person and provide services and resources to keep yourself healthy in all areas of your life. MEDICAL CARE Read More BEHAVIORAL HEALTH Read More DENTAL CARE Read More CARE MANAGEMENT Read More PAPERWORK SUPPORT Read More EYE CARE See More Our Team "Alone we can do so little; together, we can do so much." - Hellen Keller Meet Our Team SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG! Email Sign Up Now! Thank you for subscribing! Families In Crisis Sunshine Community Health Center is pleased to announce that in coordination with community organizations, we are able to provide... 1 Post not marked as liked Smoking Tobacco - Are you ready to quit? Current and former smokers are at an increased risk for COVID-19 - vaccinations and boosters can help reduce this risk. What is tobacco?... 2 Post not marked as liked National Emergency Medical Services Week May 21st through the 27th is National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. EMS Week is a national campaign to raise awareness of EMS... 5 Post not marked as liked Stop The Bleed! The Willow Community Emergency Response Team and Willow Community Center presents FREE "Stop the Bleed" Classes in honor of National Stop... 13 Post not marked as liked Sleep Awareness Sleep is such an important function of our everyday lives. Sleep affects our mental and physical well-being in numerous ways. Between... 6 Post not marked as liked National Nurses Week 15 Post not marked as liked Happy Mother's Day What will you be doing to take care of yourself this Mother’s Day and EVERY day? Mother’s Day was started in approximately the early... 3 Post not marked as liked Women's Health Healthier Communities NEED Healthier Women! Women have a distinctive set of healthcare challenges they face across their lifespans and... 5 Post not marked as liked 1 2 3 4 Community Events Calendar View All Articles

  • Families in Crisis | Sunshine CHC

    Families in Transition Sunshine Community Health Center is pleased to announce that in coordination with community organizations, we are able to provide Families in Crisis funding to assist members in the Trapper Creek, Talkeetna, and Willow communities. You do not need to be an established patient to apply for this service. ​ Your submission goes directly to behavioral health staff who will contact you directly to obtain additional details pertaining to your situation and begin working with you to identify how Families in Crisis funding can help. If you prefer to speak to a staff member directly, please contact our behavioral health department at 1-907-733-9292. ​ ​ Fill out the form or click here to learn more. Contact Information First name Last name Email Home Phone Cell Phone Submit Information Thanks for submitting!

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