SITKA – The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is extremely pleased with the passage of S. 825, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Land Consortium Land Transfer Act. SEARHC would like to thank the entire Alaska delegation for their strong support for this Act. Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan and Congressman Young worked as a team to guide this bill through Congress and to the President’s desk. The delegation stood by SEARHC at every step, demonstrating how Congress should work.
“The SEARHC Board of Directors and I, along with our Executive Leadership Team and staff throughout Southeast Alaska are grateful to our Alaska representatives in Washington. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young have shown unwavering support, tremendous leadership, and hard work in getting this bill passed,” said SEARHC President & CEO Charles Clement.
This legislation will assist SEARHC in its mission to provide quality care to the people of Southeast Alaska and enable the organization to move forward with plans to improve Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, the oldest Native health facility in Alaska. SEARHC’s goal is to build a state of the art facility suited to a 21st century model of health care dominated by primary and ambulatory care facilities.
SEARHC Board Chair, Kimberly Strong said, “Our 70-year-old hospital building has served us well over the years, but we must look toward the future and the healthcare needs of the communities we serve in Southeast Alaska.” Strong added, “SEARHC is proud to be able to expand critical healthcare services to the entire region.”
Founded in 1975, SEARHC is one of the oldest and largest Native-run health organizations in the United States. In 1986 SEARHC assumed responsibility for Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka from the IHS pursuant to an Indian Self-Determination Act contract. SEARHC service area stretches over 35,000 square miles, with no roads connecting most of the rural communities operating twenty-eight community health clinics and one hospital.