Victor Joseph’s Letter to the Tribes – December 2017
Dear Tribes and Tribal Members,
I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by friends and family. As the year is quickly coming to an end and the New Year is right around the corner, I wanted to share with you a few highlights and updates from 2017.
We are proud to announce that TCC was able to provide a $1,500 relief payment to our rural employees. On November 20th, the relief payments were distributed to all regular full-time or part-time village based TCC employees. These payments are subject to available funding every year, and TCC was excited to distribute these payments during the holiday season to assist with the high cost of living in our villages.
TCC is also excited to announce that we have officially opened the doors to our new Sobering Center in Fairbanks. As part of the Reclaiming Our People initiative, the Center will provide a temporary and safe shelter for intoxicated individuals. The Center will also offer basic medical screening and monitoring of its clients. Our hope is that this new facility will ensure the safety of those who need temporary shelter, medical care, and reduce the loss of life, especially during the cold winter months.
On November 20-21, TCC hosted a retreat for the Executive Board and several senior managers. During the retreat, the participants reviewed and updated TCC’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan and set goals for TCC’s future. We examined TCC’s mission statement to ensure TCC’s goals remain in alignment with our Tribes. The retreat provided the senior managers the opportunity to hear from our Executive Board, and discuss the concerns of their respective subregions. The Executive Board and senior managers participated in several work sessions and prioritized topics to be integrated into the Strategic Plan. The highest priority issues include out-migration, public safety, drugs and alcohol, fire services and elder services. As always, with the direction of the Executive Board, the staff continue to strive towards our vision of Healthy, Strong, Unified Tribes.
On November 27, I attended the 2nd Annual Tribal Unity gathering held in Anchorage. Tribal Unity is a meeting of 57 tribes and tribal organizations who come together to discuss the importance of uniting the voice of Alaska’s 229 tribes. One of the most important topics discussed during the meeting was the need to improve public safety in rural Alaska. Lt. Governor Byron Mallott supported the call to action, speaking passionately about the risks to our rural communities and promising to carry the message to the Governor and his Commissioners.
Lastly, TCC is excited to announce that Health Services will officially transition to AthenaHealth for our Electronic Health Record System in February 2018. AthenaHealth will assist TCC to improve the quality of care of patients as well as address continuity of care issues. The new EHR system will also be user friendly for our medical providers and allow our patients easier access to health care information.
Finally, I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I am very excited about the New Year as there are many exciting developments and plans for TCC in 2018! Please have a safe and warm holiday season!
President of Tanana Chiefs Conference