PUBLISHED: 5:09 PM on Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Steps program installs education kiosk at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital
SITKA - A new health education kiosk has been installed in the Outpatient Department waiting area at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital.

The educational kiosk is a computer station that will give patients free access to the Web so they can visit pre-selected links dealing with that month's chosen health topic. For example, the July topic is physical activity, so patients will be able to use the kiosk to visit selected Web sites about physical activities such as walking, cycling, canoeing and kayaking.

Patients can access links by clicking on the link's logo and they can use the arrows to see more links. Patients also will be able to run searches on Google for more information on the topic of the month, but many of the sites will have restricted access.

The special topic and selected Web sites will change each month, and upcoming topics include:

August - Traditional foods

September - National Fruits and Vegetables Month

October - Healthy Lung Month

November - American Diabetes Month

December - Healthy Holidays

January - Cervical Cancer Screening Month

February - American Heart Month

March - National Nutrition Month

April - Traditional Values ("Have a sense of humor")

May - Asthma Awareness, Clean Air and National Breathe Easy Month

June - National Men's Health Week.

"The educational kiosk gives patients the opportunity to explore Web sites about the current month's health topic that will increase their knowledge about their health and well-being," said Renae Mathson, a Community Project Assistant for the SEARHC Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska Program and the kiosk's coordinator. "We know that knowledge empowers people to make more informed choices or begin discussions with their primary care provider. We hope to encourage people to use the educational kiosk and explore pre-selected Web sites while they wait for hospital services."

SEARHC's Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska Program, which is part of the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-sponsored Steps to a Healthier US Program, provided the educational kiosk. The national Steps program works with state, city and tribal entities in 40 communities to develop and implement disease prevention and health promotion programs targeting three major chronic diseases (obesity, diabetes and asthma) and their underlying risk factors of physical inactivity, poor nutrition and tobacco use.

For more information about the educational kiosk, contact Renae Mathson at 966-8797 or by e-mail at