SEARHC, Hoonah mourn death of Chuck Luck and his wife

July 28 2011

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) has been closely following the recent crash of a Cessna 182 near Eaglecrest Ski area believing that the pilot is our Hoonah Health Center employee, Charles W. “Chuck” Luck. Mr. Luck and his wife, Liping Tang-Luck, were on board the plane when it crashed. Both were on their way from Hoonah to Juneau and were not heard from after they checked in with the Juneau tower. Chuck started working for SEARHC in Hoonah in June of this year. He was 77 years old and had 11 years experience as a physician assistant in Alaska. “Chuck was not here long, but it was obvious he and the community were a good fit because he was patient and compassionate and got along well with those he provided care for,” said Jeff Chelmo, PA-C, SEARHC Hoonah Health Center. “He loved fishing, but was not so fond of the bears. Chuck had a smile for everyone and he will be missed as both a medical provider and a member of the community. I will miss him as a friend.” His experience began in Sheridan, Ore., but he then moved to Alaska. He spent two years at the Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital in Barrow, went to Adak for two years (where he also was elected mayor), worked five years at the Maniilaq Health Center in Kotzebue, and most recently spent two years working in orthopedics and emergency room/urgent care at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. Chuck was certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Before earning his physician assistant certification from the University of Southern California, he had a previous career as an electrical engineer (his engineering degree also is from USC). He also was a commercial instrument rated pilot. A career switch to medicine came after helping to build a medical-dental clinic and church for Oaxacan Indians in Rancho Piloto, Southern Baja, Mexico.