Southcentral Foundation Enhances Services in Upper Kuskokwim Valley with Opening of State-of-the-Art Health Center in McGrath
(McGrath, Alaska, Dec. 17, 2010) – For more than 40 years, Rose Winkelman served the community of McGrath, Alaska, as a community health aide. At age 90 she’s retired, but her service will long be remembered with the opening of Southcentral Foundation’s McGrath Regional Health Center in the brand new Rose Winkelman Building.
The new building triples the health center space available in McGrath, and is seven years in the making. In 2002, the Denali Commission awarded a grant to the community to begin planning for a clinic replacement. SCF assumed responsibility for the health center and its related grants in 2004.
The total cost of the project has been supported by the Denali Commission, SCF, a Recovery Act grant administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration, and charitable contributions from the community, including a five-acre tract of land donated by MTNT, Limited.
SCF places a strong emphasis on a population-based, relationship-centered system of primary care that strives to get beyond illness management and to wellness creation. Consistent with this model, the new clinic will offer family medicine co-located with behavioral health, laboratory and various telemedicine services to McGrath and surrounding communities.
“The new space will accommodate an increase in customers served with its larger size and efficient design. Additionally, patient confidentiality is improved with a better layout and soundproofing; our emergency area has increased and we’ve added more secure storage for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies; and additional dental space will allow the dentists traveling in from Anchorage to see more than one patient at a time,” said Dustin Parker, clinic manager.
The new facility’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Dec. 15 with representatives from area tribal leadership in attendance, as well as various partner organizations, including the City of McGrath, MTNT, Denali Commission and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
Established in 1982, Southcentral Foundation’s (SCF) 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 administers a budget of $200 million annually to manage more than 60 health care programs and services.