Sitka Community Hospital, SEARHC to host Sitka Winter Clean Commute Challenge in February

Sitka Community Hospital and the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), in collaboration with the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition, Walk Sitka, and Sitka Health Summit, will host the Sitka Winter Clean Commute Challenge during the month of February.

This event is a walking and/or bicycling commuting challenge where Sitkans can record and report their mileages while reducing carbon emissions, improving their health, and possibly winning prizes. This event starts on Feb. 1 and ends on Feb. 28. There will be a kick-off meeting from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the Sitka Public Library.

“Leave gas-powered vehicles behind with Sitka’s winter bike and walk challenge in February to help the planet, your health, and your wallet,” SEARHC Health Educator Holly Marban said. “Help us achieve our goal of keeping 500 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere in February. Just send us the number of miles you biked or walked instead of using a gas-powered car, and we’ll calculate how many pounds of carbon dioxide you helped to keep out of the atmosphere.”

“One of the many great things about Sitka is that compact and with the right gear and safety practices people can walk or bike year around,” said Doug Osborne, Sitka Community Hospital Director of Health Promotion. “I’m excited to be part of this effort that really supports the Sitka Health Summit’s new CO2 reducers action group that formed this fall to reduce the main greenhouse gas that’s driving climate change.”

To participate, take at least one trip on foot or by bike in February, then log the miles you walked or biked in place of vehicle use. Every Friday in February, email the miles you logged that week to sitkacleancommute@gmail.com, and you will be entered to win awesome prizes, such as reflective gear, waterproof bags, and ice cleats. The first 20 people to send in miles walked or biked will receive a free reflective wrist band.

Remember to be safe and visible on your commute. Always wear reflective gear in low lighting, a helmet when biking, and ice cleats when walking in slippery conditions. Participants will be able to record their bike rides for International Winter Bike To Work Day on Friday, Feb. 9 (there also is a bike to school division), or the kids can record their walks on Winter Walk Day on Wednesday, Feb. 7  (note, this is an event from Canada, but we get similar weather so why not).

Questions can be directed to sitkacleancommute@gmail.com, hmarban@searhc.org, or dosborne@sitkahospital.org.

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Join Walk Sitka’s team in the APHA’s 1 Billion Steps Challenge

Are you a regular walker, one who uses a pedometer or fitness app to track your daily step count? Then join the Walk Sitka team in the American Public Health Association‘s 1 Billion Steps Challenge, a national event that runs from Jan. 1 through April 8, 2018. The contest ends after National Public Health Week (April 2-8).

This event is free, and the competition helps motivate people to get out and do more walking. Many people set a goal to walk 10,000 steps a day, and that adds up over the contest that lasts 98 days. Last year, Walk Sitka only had one person walking (Charles Bingham), but he recorded more than half-a-million steps while averaging about 8,500 a day (finishing in the top 60 teams).

To sign up, click this link and scroll toward the bottom to find the Walk Sitka logo. Then click the Join Team button and you’re in. The challenge uses a website called StrideKick that links to a variety of fitness apps for automatic registration of steps. But if you’re old school and use a pedometer clipped to your belt, there is a link so you can manually enter your steps.

Also, keep an eye out for a month-long walking and biking challenge in February co-hosted by Sitka Community Hospital and the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). Details will be posted soon, and you can record your steps for both events.

SEARHC, #RunSitka host Stride 365 event for Salvation Army Giving Tree on Saturday, Dec. 16

Please join SEARHC-Mount Edgecumbe Hospital and Run Sitka (#runsitka) at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16, for a Stride 365 event — a five-kilometer run or a two-mile walk — to support the Salvation Army Giving Tree.

Each month SEARHC and Run Sitka host a Stride 365 event, with proceeds going to a different charity in Sitka. There is a $10 suggested donation for registration. All donations this month will go to the Salvation Army Giving Tree.

Registration is at 9 a.m. at the O’Connell Bridge Lightering Facility, and the run race starts at 9:30 a.m. and the walk starts at 9:45 a.m.

Please contact Lesa Way at lesaw@searhc.org or 907-738-3924 for more information.

SEARHC, Run Sitka host run/walk for Sitka Cancer Survivors Society on Oct. 14

Please join SEARHC-Mount Edgecumbe Hospital and Run Sitka (#runsitka) at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, for a five-kilometer run or a two-mile walk to support the Sitka Cancer Survivors Society.

There is a $10 suggested donation for registration. All donations will go to the Sitka Cancer Survivors Society.  The first 50 participants will get a free t-shirt.

Registration is at 9 a.m. at the O’Connell Bridge Lightering Facility, and the run race starts at 9:30 a.m. and the walk starts at 9:45 a.m.

Please contact Lesa Way at lesaw@searhc.org or 907-738-3924 for more information.

SEARHC launches Southeast Wellness in Action fitness program in August

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is launching the Southeast Wellness in Action fitness program, which takes place from Aug. 1-27 in several communities throughout the region.

The goal of the program is for people to get at least 30 minutes of healthy, physical activity each day during August. Participants are encouraged to walk, bike, swim, hike, dance, mow the lawn, play children’s games, garden, gather subsistence food, chop wood, etc., just get moving. There are 1,440 minutes in a day, so make 30 of them active.

Participants can register by going to http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/wellness-in-action or contacting their local SEARHC Health Educator (in Sitka, contact Heleena vanVeen at 966-8914 or heleenav@searhc.org) between July 17-28. The program also is available in Juneau, Kake, Klukwan, Klawock/Craig, and Haines (click this link for local contacts and program information). Participants will submit a weekly activity log to their local contact by noon on Monday to be included in weekly drawings for prizes.

SEARHC Health Promotion to launch walking program on National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Health Promotion Program will host a short one-mile walk at noon on Wednesday, May 3, at the SEARHC Short-term Housing Parking Lot in Sitka to launch its May Walking Group on National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day.

National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day is sponsored by the American Diabetes Association as a way to remind people about the unhealthy implications of sitting too long and the need for healthy physical activity.

For more information, contact SEARHC Health Educator Heleena Van Veen at 966-8914 or heleenav@searhc.org.

SEARHC to host Sitka Walk For Life on Saturday, April 15

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Suicide Prevention and Domestic Violence Prevention Programs will host the Sitka Walk For Life at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 15.

This event starts at the Crescent Harbor Shelter and ends at the Sheet’ká Kwáan Naa Kahídi, where there will be a potluck, drumming and dancing by the Mount Edgecumbe High School Yup’ik Dancers, Sheet’ká Kwáan Dancers and the Haa Toowu Litseen Group.

In addition, there will be guest speakers and raffle drawings. Other groups participating in the event include Youth Advocates for Sitka, Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV), SEARHC Behavioral Health, and SEARHC Health Promotion.

For more information, contact Lanore Hahn at lanoreh@searhc.org