Groundbreaking Ceremony for a Native Regional Health Center in Alaska-Funded through USDA and the Recovery Act
Dignitaries from the Southcentral Foundation were joined by Alaska local and state officials, and Senator Mark Begich last week for a groundbreaking ceremony marking the start of construction of a new primary health clinic to serve Alaska Natives in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and surrounding areas. When completed, Alaska Natives living along the Parks and Glenn Highways will no longer have to make long drives to Anchorage to receive routine medical care.
The project was made possible through a direct loan and a guaranteed loan from USDA Rural Development and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). Besides providing construction jobs, the facility, when completed, will employ about 200 professionals. Services provided include primary medical care, dental, behavioral health, optometry, health education, wellness and traditional medicine.
In a letter to Katherine Gottlieb, President and CEO of the Southcentral Foundation, Alaska Rural Development State Director Jim Nordlund noted that “Our participation in this project is a demonstration of President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s commitment to American Indians and Alaska Natives, and the important historic, cultural and social values embraced by America’s indigenous populations.”
The Valley Native Primary Care Center is the latest in a series of investments made by USDA in rural Alaska to support clinics, hospitals and the provision of emergency medical services.