SITKA – On Tuesday night, the Sitka Assembly made a motion to select SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) to advance to phase three of the Sitka Community Hospital’s (SCH) request for proposal (RFP) process. After hours of public comment, the Assembly voted six to one in favor of working with SEARHC toward creating a long-term, viable healthcare delivery system that broadens the scope and enhances the quality of services for Sitka. The City and Borough of Sitka will move forward with SEARHC by signing a letter of intent, conducting due diligence, and negotiating a final agreement. The final decision comes after a lengthy process whereby the Assembly vetted and scored five proposals, heard presentations from two providers and engaged in multiple public meetings.
“We are pleased the Assembly selected SEARHC’s proposal and look forward to taking the next step on behalf of our community,” said SEARHC President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Clement. “For years, we have contended that the right thing to do is create a thriving delivery system for Sitka, which SEARHC’s proposal thoroughly outlined.”
The RFP issued in March 2018 expressly called for increasing the quality and scope of healthcare provided in Sitka, maintaining/expanding living wage employment opportunities, and mitigating current and future liabilities to the City and Borough of Sitka. SEARHC’s proposal was rated the highest and outlined key benefits, including:
- Assuming complete financial risk and responsibilities for delivering healthcare services to Sitka;
- Mitigating pension liabilities to the City and Borough of Sitka;
- Freeing the City and Borough of Sitka’s funds for other important needs, including schools, public safety, roads, infrastructure, etc.
- Expanding and enhancing healthcare services in Sitka;
- Ensuring better electric rates for the community of Sitka;
- Committing to no layoffs and reductions of SCH staff while creating new employment opportunities;
- Improving recruitment and retention of primary care and specialty providers; and
- Building a new healthcare campus that offers Sitka comprehensive and reliable services for the future.
We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the City and Assembly in creating a sustainable healthcare system for Sitka and are prepared to begin working immediately toward our mutual goals.