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SEARHC Board Passes Resolution to Assume Responsibility for WMC

JUNEAU – On Friday, October 26, 2018, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s (SEARHC) Board of Directors (Board) passed a resolution in favor of transferring responsibility for Wrangell Medical Center (WMC) to SEARHC. SEARHC will operate WMC while building a new healthcare campus, which will be adjacent to the Alaska Island Community Services Medical Clinic and include a critical access hospital and long-term care facility. The transition of WMC’s operations is expected to be completed by November 1, 2018.

“The SEARHC Board is unwavering in its commitment to provide the best healthcare possible for our communities,” stated Board Chair Kimberley Strong. “By assuming responsibility for WMC and building a new healthcare campus, we are serving all of Wrangell and ensuring access to quality, long-lasting services.”

Since the beginning of 2018, SEARHC, the City and Borough of Wrangell (CBW) and WMC have worked in partnership with the Wrangell community to identify a healthcare solution that addresses industry challenges and provides sustainable healthcare services for Wrangell. On October 2, 2018, Wrangell residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of transferring responsibility of WMC to SEARHC.

“Our collaboration with the CBW and WMC is an excellent reflection of SEARHC’s strategic intent,” said SEARHC President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Clement. “With the vote of the SEARHC Board, it‘s full steam ahead to realize the goals of CBW, WMC and SEARHC in support of enhanced and expanded healthcare services for Wrangell.”

Teams, including both SEARHC and WMC staff, have been working closely together to ensure a smooth transition. The teams are guided by shared principles to ensure the affiliation enhances the infrastructure and services in Wrangell and increases the efficiencies and effectiveness of access to care.

Completion of the new healthcare campus is anticipated within four years.