Denali Commission Health Facilities Program
In 1999, the U.S. Congress gave the Denali Commission authority to address rural health care issues in Alaska . The Commission works on planning, constructing and equipping hospitals, health care clinics, and mental health facilities including drug and alcohol treatment centers. In 2000, the Commission identified rural primary care facility needs in more than 288 rural communities, and estimated the cost of needed rural primary care facilities to be $253 million.
Individuals in the DHSS Health Planning and Systems Development office help staff the Denali Commission’s Health Steering Committee and serve on the Technical Assistance Subcommittee (TASC) and the Behavioral Health Subcommittee to the Health Steering Committee. The TASC helps communities and health organizations with improvements to their health facilities and answers questions about project development and health service delivery plans. A typical health facility project will follow three phases: conceptual planning, design, and then construction. The TASC focuses its attention on those projects in the conceptual planning phase. This phase is critical to the timely development of a sustainable clinic project, and sets the foundation for a functioning and sustainable health service delivery program.
Through its health care program, and in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services and Alaska health providers, DHSS and the Commission are working to address the infrastructure needs of communities statewide to ensure all Alaskans receive safe and reliable health care.
Pat Carr, Health Program Manager
Mark Millard, Health Program Manager
Noel Rea, Health Program Manager