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PUBLISHED: 2:49 PM on Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Helping Hand
New name for former SEARHC Foundation
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Foundation is running the same operation but under a new name. The organization that raises funds to help people with medical needs now goes by Helping Hand Foundation, said executive director Lonnie Jackson.

"We were often getting confused with the SEARHC medical consortium, and we are totally different entities," Jackson said. "SEARHC is still our big brother. Our purpose is to bridge medical services they can't cover."

The foundation was founded six years ago, and provides charitable awards for medical equipment, patient escort travel and pharmaceuticals. Jackson said he would like to see the foundation reach out to more people to raise more funds.

"The foundation really has not made that next step in the evolution," Jackson said. "We're building on past successes as we build toward the future."

He said there is currently a waiting list for services and would like to see more money in the infrastructure to shorten the waiting time. The Helping Hand Foundation does not cover 100 percent of medical expenses for clients and does not determine who receives funds from the organization. SEARHC is provided with a stipend and dispenses funds on a first-come-fist-served basis.

To apply for a charitable award, go online to www.searhc.org or call 364-4401.

"People come to us when they have nowhere else to go, but we still can't pay for it all," Jackson said.

"We help them to have ownership of their situation."

Jackson said to date the foundation has helped more than 600 people.

"It's plugging along quite aggressively. Now we're trying to gain backing from the Native organizations," Jackson said.

"It's important when you're asking for funds to have the support of your people."


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