Charles Clement hired as President/CEO of SEARHC
December 09, 2011
Clement replaces Roald Helgesen, who is leaving SEARHC to become CEO of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). Mr. Clement will be based at the SEARHC Juneau Campus. SEARHC General Counsel Ken Truitt will serve as Interim President/CEO during the period between Mr. Helgesen’s departure and Mr. Clement’s arrival in early February.
“We are excited to have Charles lead our team here at SEARHC,” said Jolene Edenshaw, chairperson of the SEARHC Board of Directors. “Charles is a proven leader in Alaska’s tribal health care system, and he has shown a strong commitment to quality and customer service. We look forward to working with him as he guides SEARHC into the future.”
An Alaska Native of Tsimshian and Athabascan heritage, Clement currently serves as the vice president of operations /chief operating officer for Southcentral Foundation, the regional tribal health care organization based in Anchorage with over 1,400 employees and an annual budget of $200 million. Southcentral Foundation also jointly owns and manages the Alaska Native Medical Center with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), and Clement serves as treasurer on the ANTHC Board of Directors.
Clement played an instrumental role in Southcentral Foundation becoming the first Alaska health care organization to earn the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award announced by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce last month. He also helped develop Southcentral Foundation’s nationally and internationally recognized “Nuka System of Care.” Over the last decade, this relationship-based system has effected dramatic improvements in customer satisfaction and health outcomes, while reducing emergency room visits by half and hospital days by 35 percent. Serving as VP/COO, Clement has participated in all levels of operation at Southcentral Foundation.
“It is an honor and blessing to be moving back to Southeast,” Clement said. “I am looking forward to working with the board, employees and the customer/owners of SEARHC as we build on the successes of the past and tackle the challenges that are before us.”
A graduate of Metlakatla High School, Clement earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and political science from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and he also completed an executive leadership program with the Indian Health Service.
Clement joined Southcentral Foundation in 1999, when he was hired as a special assistant to the president. In 2001, Clement was promoted to director of information technology/chief information officer. He was promoted to VP of Operations in 2004, where he was accountable for all the day-to-day operations, including corporate compliance, information technology, facilities operations and development, real estate, program planning, research and grants management. Clement became VP/COO in January 2009. Prior to joining Southcentral Foundation, Clement was an account executive for Aetna US Healthcare/NYLCare Health Plans in Anchorage, a legislative intern for former state Sen. Robin Taylor and a commercial fisherman.
In 2008, Clement was honored as one of Alaska’s “Top Forty Under 40” by the Alaska Journal of Commerce and the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. He has been a member of the board of directors for the Alaska Native Professional Association, the ANTHC Board and the Alaska Native Health Board. He also has been an alternate to the Alaska Federation of Natives board.
SEARHC is a non-profit tribal health consortium of 18 tribal communities that provides medical, dental, behavioral health, substance abuse treatment and wellness services to Tlingít, Haida, Tsimshian and other Native people in Southeast Alaska. Established in 1975 under the provisions of the Indian Self-Determination Act, SEARHC is one of the oldest and largest tribally run health organizations in the country. SEARHC is the largest private employer in Southeast Alaska with nearly 1,000 employees and an annual budget of $115 million.
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