News & Updates

SEARHC Announces Appointment of Dr. Cate Buley as Chief Medical Officer

JUNEAU, Alaska – SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is committed to continually innovating and evolving our operating model to bring the best healthcare for our communities. With our mission in mind, SEARHC is pleased to announce that Dr. Cate Buley has been appointed SEARHC’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), effective immediately.  

Dr. Buley will be succeeding Dr. Elliot Bruhl, the former Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at SEARHC, as he steps away from his role. Dr. Bruhl is returning to Minnesota to practice medicine at the Mayo Clinic and to care for members of his family. SEARHC is deeply grateful for Dr. Bruhl’s incredible contributions during his 21-year tenure, particularly his leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and his role in modernizing facilities, including the current MEMC construction project, Wrangell Medical Center, and the Vintage Park Campus. 

Since joining SEARHC in 2003, Dr. Buley has demonstrated exceptional leadership, earning the respect of the medical staff. When discussing Dr. Buley’s qualifications and appointment, Dr. Bruhl said, “She will be fantastic. She is well respected throughout the State of Alaska as being a physician leader in the medical community and has the trust and respect of our patients, medical staff and our Board. She has my full faith and support to be extremely successful in the role. I feel completely confident in handing her the reigns.” 

SEARHC President/Chief Executive Officer, Charles Clement, echoes the sentiments of Dr. Bruhl, “This is an exciting time at SEARHC. Dr. Buley’s ability to connect with our patients, communities, and fellow medical providers and organizations is a tremendous strength and asset to SEARHC. I couldn’t agree more with Dr. Bruhl’s sentiments and am excited to see Dr. Buley’s CMO leadership and influence in this capacity.” 

Dr. Buley expressed her gratitude, stating, “I am grateful to have this opportunity to lead at SEARHC. Dr. Bruhl has been an excellent mentor and friend, and I will miss collaborating with him. I came to SEARHC as a medical student 28 years ago in 1996 for a learning experience and it changed the trajectory of my life. Serving in this role is my way of saying thank you to SEARHC and Southeast Alaska.” 

These are exciting times for SEARHC. With Dr. Buley’s leadership, we remain eager to continue delivering on our vision of partnering with our communities to promote a healthy balance of mind, body and spirit. 


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Established in 1975, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is one of the largest Native-run healthcare organizations in the United States. Operating as an independent and nonprofit health Consortium, SEARHC provides a comprehensive range of health-related services, including primary, urgent and specialty medical care, dental services, behavioral health support, wellness programs, optometry services and more. We proudly serve 27 communities across the diverse regions of Southeast Alaska, and are dedicated to improving the health, well-being, and quality of life for all people in these communities. For more information about our services and community health initiatives, visit


Media Contacts

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