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Ernie Turner Center detox will be Southcentral Foundation managed and staffed

SCF will assume responsibility for the medical detox portion from CITC by Jan. 1


ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Southcentral Foundation (SCF) and Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) have jointly announced SCF will assume full responsibility for the medical detox portion of Ernie Turner Center (ETC) programming through an expanded partnership between the two organizations.

During the 15 years of the ETC operation, both a detox and residential treatment center, the detox portion has been managed by CITC with medical support from SCF. CITC will continue to operate the residential substance abuse program at the center. 

“Cook Inlet Tribal Council has had a long standing relationship with Southcentral Foundation,” CITC Director of Recovery Services Rebecca Ling said. “We are excited to continue our partnership to help better serve the community. With this arrangement, we’ll be able to focus on providing a more comprehensive behavioral health continuum in Anchorage, while SCF will be able to support people in the program with the medical challenges associated with detox.”  

ETC offers a clinically and medically managed residential medical and social detoxification program in a 14-bed unit. The location of the facility or the capacity of the detox program will not change. It is critical to note this transition of management does not change the fact that these are the only detox beds in southcentral Alaska or help to address the critical shortage of these services.

“CITC and SCF are partner organizations and will both continue to provide a variety of substance abuse treatment services,” Southcentral Foundation Vice President of Behavioral Services April Kyle said. “Given the medical nature of the program, together we have decided the detox program at Ernie Turner Center will be operated by SCF.”

There are many reasons for the transition, including the increasing scrutiny of medical services of all types and the difficulties around licensing, recruitment, and retention of the medical clinical staff needed for a detox program. After careful discussion, CITC has decided to continue to focus on long-term treatment and the fuller array of family and social issues. SCF has always provided the medical oversight and will expand to take responsibility for the nurse and management responsibilities of the medical detox program. The transition is expected to be completed by Jan. 1.

The ETC detoxification program accepts any individual seeking detox services.

Photo caption (attached): Southcentral Foundation President and CEO Katherine Gottlieb (at left), Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), and Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) President and CEO Gloria O’Neill announce a transfer of detox services at CITC’s Ernie Turner Center in Anchorage during the Alaska Wellness Summit Thursday at Mat-Su College in Wasilla. As a medical provider, SCF will now assume full responsibility for the medical detox portion of ETC programming through an expanded partnership between the two organizations. CITC will continue to operate the residential substance abuse program at the center.

About Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc. (CITC)

CITC is a tribal non-profit organization in Anchorage, Alaska, offering opportunities to Alaska Native and American Indian people residing in the Cook Inlet region. CITC is an innovative leader in the social services arena, helping program participants pursue opportunities to develop their personal potential and self-reliance.

About Southcentral Foundation

Southcentral Foundation is an Alaska Native health care organization established under the tribal authority of Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI) in 1982 to improve the health and social conditions of Alaska Native people. SCF has grown from a single dental clinic to an internationally recognized, award- winning health care organization employing more than 1,800 people and managing more than 80 health care programs and services to serve 65,000 Alaska Native and American Indian people in Anchorage, Mat-Su Borough and 55 rural villages in the Anchorage Service Unit. Additionally, since 1999, SCF has jointly owned and managed the Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. SCF’s Nuka System of Care has earned the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and other national and international recognitions for performance excellence and innovation.


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