Closed Alaska Native Health Clinic Anticipating $600,000 Grant To Reopen, Expand Services to Non-Alaska Natives
Members of the Chickaloon Tribal Council in Sutton, Alaska, have applied for a $600,000 HHS rural community health clinic grant in an attempt to reopen its clinic and expand its services to non-Alaska Natives, the Anchorage Daily News reports. The clinic was originally funded through American Indian and Alaska Native programs provided through HHS' Indian Health Services, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, the Southcentral Foundation and others. However, the funding was provided under the condition that services only go to Alaska Natives and American Indians. Low turnout from those groups prompted the clinic's closure in 2005, according to Kim Sollien, assistant director of health and social services for the Chickaloon tribe. However, the HHS grant would enable the tribe to provide services to both non-Alaska Native and Alaska Native residents living in rural communities, Sollien said. The funds would go toward hiring a physician assistant and nurse practitioner to provide primary care and a full-time mental-health professional or social worker. The funding also would cover basic eye and dental care, Sollien said, adding that the tribal council also would expand medical outreach, transportation services, and behavioral health and community services. The tribal council expects to know the status of its application in May, and if approved, the clinic will reopen the same month (Stoppa, Anchorage Daily News, 3/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.