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Health Services Counselor Furthers Credentials

New Technology and Services Offered

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe is proud to note the achievements of Rachel Jacobs, Community Health Representative at Indian Health Service (IHS).  For the better portion of the last eight months, she has been working with Margo Gold and Heidi Dishman from the North Country Healthy Heart Network, Inc. to better her counseling skills for smoking cessation.

The previous program utilized with IHS was not computerized or digital so most cases were immediately referred to the North Country Healthy Heart Network.  In turn, Tobacco Treatment Specialist Counselors were contracted by IHS to speak with community clients, or at minimum, refer to the NY Quits Hotline.  With specified training, Rachel is now capable and certified to provide tobacco cessation counseling services to clients at Indian Health Services while using the North Country Healthy Heart Network as a resource for our program upon request.

As technology with IHS grew, so did the capability to monitor and track success rates from the smoking cessation program.  Along with Erica Oakes, IT Specialist, the program was able to grow in terms of using software programs and templates to assist in gauging program outcomes, positive or negative.  The program has now incorporated a Carbon Monoxide (CO) monitor to test client levels of CO in their lungs and blood; this is entered as a lab value.

Rachel notes, “I’ve worked very closely with the primary care team at the Saint Regis Mohawk Health Service to devise a plan to work directly with clients in order to track the progress of their success.”

Upon completion of training from the North Country Healthy Heart Network, Rachel was awarded with an educational plaque, “Death of a Lung” to add to her counseling services.  It was given to the program specifically because the success rate for patient(s) quitting smoking was registered at 50%.  Coupled with the fact the program also met requirements for GPRA for the first time in years, the plaque was graciously welcomed and well earned.

Most recently, Rachel was selected out of 40 applicants to attend the Women’s Health Leadership Institute (WHLI) workshop on creating a Community Action Project (CAP) through the IHS Region II Office, located at the Federal Plaza in Manhattan, N.Y.  The trip was slated from July 16 to 18, 2013. With this workshop now complete, Rachel is working on a presentation for a Community Action Plan (CAP) for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in conjunction with the Healthy People 2020 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

She adds, “It is an exciting venture as I will be working closely with the WHLI.  The CAP has to be completed in one year, so I plan on submitting my mission statement to WHLI on August 31, 2013. “The purpose of the CAP is to obtain future funding for our region, as completed projects will be submitted to the Federal Government by the Women’s Health Wellness Institute.

In closing, Rachel states, “I am very passionate at what I do, and will be going to training in September at the University of Massachusetts Medical School so I may become a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist.  I have already completed the first course called Basic Skills for Working with Smokers as well as a course through the Seton Health Center for Smoking Cessation to facilitate group meetings, which I will be incorporating in with my new project.”  Rachel is also a member of the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD).

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For more information contact the Public Information Office at 518-358-2272.

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Posted: August 27, 2013

NT3