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Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to Receive $3 million in Appropriations from Federal Government

Anchorage, AK - The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) will receive $3 million in appropriations from the Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2010. Two million dollars is allotted for ANTHC's Dental Health Aide Therapy (DHAT) training program and an additional one million is for ANTHC facilities and equipment.

"This funding will help ANTHC continue to improve access to care in rural communities and provide the highest quality health care services to our customer-owners," said Don Kashevaroff, Chief Executive Officer of ANTHC.

"The funding for the Alaska Dental Health Aide Therapist program is money well-spent for the government. You can already see that this program is producing really high-quality providers and improving dental care in rural Alaska," said Dr. Mary Williard, Clinical Site Director for the DHAT program.

The DHAT program had been previously funded by grants scheduled to run out at the end of 2011, and they did not cover all costs. The new funds will help build a sustainable program and set up the necessary infrastructure for the program to continue to grow, develop and meet the dental needs of rural Alaska.

"This funding illustrates the thoughtful consideration given by each member of our Congressional Delegation to the permanent effects of substandard and lacking dental care in the lives of Alaska's Native People. With this support, we have good cause to smile," remarked Andy Teuber, the Chair and President of the Consortium.

"I have long supported the efforts and leadership of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium for spearheading the establishment of the DHAT program. This funding will allow ANTHC to keep the program running. DHATs provide critically needed care that will keep smiles bright for generations. It is a program that is training young Alaska Native professionals and providing meaningful jobs in rural communities," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

"I was pleased to work closely with other senators to explain Alaska's diverse needs and glad they supported the millions of dollars worth of essential Alaska projects and initiatives contained in this bill,"  Sen.. Mark Begich said in a press release about the appropriations.

"I am so pleased that my colleagues in Congress were able to recognize the importance of supporting dental health care in Alaska, "said Congressman Don Young.  "I have long been a supporter of the DHAT program because I know it's the most effective way to get dental care to rural Alaskans. I look forward to working with ANTHC in the future to ensure continued success of the program."

About the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium is a non-profit health organization owned and managed by Alaska Native tribal governments and their regional health organizations.  We provide statewide services in specialty medical care; construction of water, sanitation and health facilities; community health and research; information technology; and professional recruiting.   For more information, please visit www.anthc.org.

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