Southcentral Foundation Breaks Ground on Valley Native Primary Care Center
Alaska Native people building new full-service primary care center for growing population
(Anchorage, AK, April 21, 2011) – Southcentral Foundation’s groundbreaking ceremony for its future Valley Native Primary Care Center (VNPCC) was held April 19 at the corner lot of Knik-Goose Bay Road and the Palmer-Wasilla Highway in Wasilla.
Several contributors to the project participated in the ceremonial scoop of dirt, including members of the VNPCC Joint Operating Board, Southcentral Foundation (SCF) President/CEO Katherine Gottlieb, the Chickaloon Traditional Village Council’s Traditional Chief Gary Harrison, and Knik Tribal Council President Debra Call.
In addition to the ceremonial scoop, the U.S. Department of Agriculture presented an oversized check to Gottlieb, Harrison and Call. The check represented $40 million in direct loan financing supplied by the USDA to fund the construction of the new facility and an additional $10 million in guaranteed funding from Wells Fargo. SCF was also awarded a Joint Venture Construction Program agreement through the Indian Health Service.
“The plans for the new primary care center were conceptualized in collaboration with the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council and the Knik Tribal Council after a careful review of the data and listening sessions with our customers from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough,” said SCF Vice President of Operations/COO Charles Clement.
At 93,652 square feet, the future primary care center facility will expand primary care, behavioral health, dietary, radiology, and pharmacy services to meet the existing and projected needs of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough area. Additionally, space will be available to accommodate optometry and dental services.
Population growth has dictated the critical need for this new, full-service primary care center. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough is the fastest growing borough in the state. With the economic and social pressures in the villages, coupled with the high cost of housing in Anchorage, people are moving to the area from rural Alaska at unprecedented rates. The Alaska Native and American Indian population in the Borough is expected to nearly double over the next decade – growing at a much faster rate than the general population.
Currently, SCF serves its customer-owners in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough at a 5,457-square-foot leased space in a strip mall in Wasilla. While the clinic provides outpatient primary care services and some behavioral health services, space constraints severely limit the services that can be provided and the number of people that can be served.
“We made a promise to our 7,000 customer-owners in the Mat-Su Valley that we would build a primary care center that would be capable of supporting their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness,” said SCF Vice President of Resource & Development and Chief of Staff Dr. Kevin Gottlieb.
This promise is becoming a reality as the construction team, consisting of NBBJ, DOWL, KPB Architects, and Neeser Construction, get underway with the project. The new facility has a projected completion date of October 2012.
###Established in 1982, SCF’s mission is to work together with the Native Community to achieve wellness through health and related services. The nonprofit health care affiliate of Cook Inlet Region, Inc., SCF has grown in its 27 years, from a single dental clinic to an internationally recognized, award-winning health care organization that employs more than 1,400 people and manages more than 60 health care programs and services.