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Nome Celebrates Opening of New State-of-the-Art Hospital

Norton Sound Regional Hospital

Norton Sound Regional Hospital

Photo: Courtesy of MSI Communications

Nome, Alaska – The Norton Sound Health Corp. opened the doors to its new, state-of-the-art hospital Wednesday. The Norton Sound Regional Hospital, a 150,000-square-foot facility, is triple the size of the old hospital. It brings primary care, ambulatory surgery services, a pharmacy, diagnostic imaging, an emergency room as well as public health nursing, dental and laboratory services under one roof.

“This is a huge benefit for the nearly 10,000 residents who live in the Bering Straits region,” said Angie Gorn, Interim President and CEO of the Norton Sound Health Corp., the tribal-owned nonprofit that owns and operates the hospital. “This is a state-of-the-art facility that people of the region will make their health care provider of choice. It also helps them avoid the high cost of having to fly to Anchorage.”

Most of the new hospital’s 18 beds are in private rooms, including two designated for labor and delivery. The facility’s nursing home wing for the elderly has 18 additional private rooms with ceiling lifts, a salon and spa.

The new, expanded health care facility adds new jobs to the already 450 hospital positions. It replaces a 50-year old hospital that will become a substance abuse wellness center for the region.

“We’ve been talking about the need for a new hospital for decades,” said Emily Hughes, Norton Sound Health Corporation Chairwoman. “It’s just an amazing feeling to finally see the doors open today.”

The four-year, $168 million project was funded primarily by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and was one of the earliest beneficiaries of the national economic stimulus plan. The project created about 200 construction jobs. The contract was awarded to Inuit-NCI, a joint venture of Inuit Services Inc., a subsidiary of the Bering Straits Native Corp., and Neeser Construction Inc., of Anchorage.

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