Sitka – Effective immediately, Dr. David Vastola, Medical Director of Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center (MEMC), will add MEMC Hospital Administrator to his job title. Dr. Vastola will oversee the day-to-day operations at SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s (SEARHC) hub medical facility and guide staff as SEARHC advances in constructing a new MEMC. In addition, he will continue to manage the delivery of patient care in the Emergency Department, Surgery, and Inpatient settings in his Medical Director role.
“My goals for the hospital are reflected in its Tlingit Name, S’áxt’ Hít,” said Dr. Vastola. “We will strive to make the ‘House of the Devil’s Club plant’ a place of healing. All SEARHC patients deserve state of the art medical care with respect for their cultural values and beliefs.”
Vastola is preceded by Interim Hospital Administrator Heidi Aylsworth, who began her tenure in May 2020 and will continue to support the organization in business development and assist Dr. Vastola in this transition.
“MEMC is in great hands with Dr. Vastola handling operations,” said SEARHC Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elliot Bruhl. “His passion for patient care is infectious, and you cannot put a price tag on his decades of experience. As SEARHC looks to a future featuring a new, flagship hospital in Sitka, Dr. Vastola will lead by example and create a bridge to the new healthcare system.”
Vastola’s SEARHC career dates back to 1988 when he began serving as a Clinical Pediatrician fresh out of his pediatric training program. He eventually assumed the role of Medical Director, Community Health Services, where he oversaw all SEARHC rural clinics, Health Aide Programs, Emergency Medical Services, Air Medical Services (Medevac), Women’s Health, and more. A short-term adventure soon became a permanent move for Vastola and his wife. The couple raised a pair of children in Sitka and can often be found cycling, hiking or fishing in their free time.
“I am thankful for everything SEARHC has done for me and the community I love,” said Vastola. “I dream of completing my career practicing pediatrics in our new clinic and hospital facilities. Medicine and children will always be cornerstones of my professional life.”
SEARHC has begun the process of upgrading MEMC, including the critical access Hospital and other healthcare facilities in Sitka. Upon completion, the state-of-the-art healthcare facility will offer expanded services to meet the demand of local and referred patients from across Southeast. For more information, visit searhc.org/expansions.