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Alaska Telehealth Advisory Council

The Alaska Telehealth Advisory Council (ATAC) was established in 1999 to provide a forum that enhances collaboration and communication between organizations involved in telehealth initiatives. ATAC members provide direction, leadership and coordination of telehealth efforts throughout Alaska. It includes representation from telecommunication companies, hospitals, health care organizations, University of Alaska, State of Alaska, Alaska Native Tribal Health Cooperation, federal agencies and insurance agencies. ATAC is co-chaired by Karleen Jackson, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services and Paul Sherry, Chief Tribal Officer of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.


ATAC’s mission is to efficiently improve access to health care services and training through telehealth initiatives.

Statement of Purpose:

  1. Explore and document the potential for and challenges to telehealth development and delivery in Alaska , using the best professional information available.
  2. Propose a framework for rational development and deployment of statewide capacity for telehealth/telemedicine systems.
  3. Establish core principles to ensure a coordinated, cost-effective, and integrated approach to telemedicine in Alaska.
  4. Consider ways to assess effectiveness, efficiency, and whether or not telemedicine is improving equity of access to health services for all Alaskans.
  5. Recommend a long-term process for addressing issues as they emerge with changing technologies and practice patterns.


  1. Any entity that becomes engaged in statewide Telehealth in Alaska should ensure equal access, when financially realistic, to all Alaskans who would benefit from this technology.
  2. All entities participating in Telehealth must assure that their systems meet interconnectivity and inter-operative standards and participate in the coordination of other Telehealth efforts in the state of Alaska.
  3. All Telehealth applications should be acceptable to both the patient and the provider and be easy to use.
  4. All entities that participate in Telehealth must determine their financial viability for the long term, including the provision of professional capacity development and training as an ongoing component of operating expenses.
  5. All participants in Telehealth in Alaska should engage in a needs assessment and evaluation of services.