WRANGELL – On Thursday, May 30, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Wrangell Medical Center (WMC) from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. at 232 Wood Street in Wrangell. Located adjacent to the Alaska Island Community Services (AICS) Medical Clinic, the new WMC will include a critical access hospital and long-term care facility. The decision to build a new medical center is in concert with SEARHC’s intent to enhance and expand healthcare services in Wrangell.
“Dating back to the merger with AICS in 2017, and later with the acquisition of Wrangell Medical Center in November 2018, SEARHC has been steadily pushing forward to meet the healthcare needs of the Wrangell community,” said SEARHC President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Clement. “Starting construction of the new WMC facility is a significant milestone in Wrangell’s journey towards a sustainable health system and mirrors SEARHC’s goals of partnering with our communities to provide the best healthcare services possible.”
SEARHC acquired WMC from the City and Borough of Wrangell in November 2018 with a goal to complete construction on a joint campus with SEARHC’s AICS Medical Clinic by early January 2021. Final designs by Wold Architects and Engineers were completed in January of 2019, with floorplans including an 14-bed long-term care wing and four-room acute care wing vetted by WMC and SEARHC staff. Adjoining the new hospital with the AICS Clinic will be cost-effective through the use of shared-space, including more than 3,000 square foot of under-utilized space designated as office space for WMC staff.
“The groundbreaking ceremony is an exciting time for the Wrangell community and the entire SEARHC family,” said SEARHC Vice President and WMC Hospital Administrator Leatha Merculieff. “It’s vital to the future of Wrangell’s healthcare for SEARHC to provide the high level of service that WMC patients are accustomed to while building the capacity to enhance and expand services. Having a state-of- the-art facility in our backyard ensures SEARHC will provide Wrangell with the best health services for decades to come.”
Dawson Construction was awarded the new hospital contract, and the project is currently on schedule, with the 45,000 square foot joint healthcare facility set to begin accepting patients on January 1, 2021.