Granting Healthcare: More than $18 million infused in Alaska communities to improve medical care.

AuthorDavenport, Sam

In September, US Congressman Don Young announced that $18 million in Health and Human Services grants would be dispersed to Alaska healthcare organizations and services around the state.

"Our state's unique geography can present many roadblocks when it comes to the delivery of essential healthcare services," Young said in a September press release. "Time and time again Alaska's healthcare providers have been able to rise to the occasion to deliver high-quality care in our cities, rural areas, and Native communities."

Some grants will fund specific projects and initiatives while others will continue ongoing programs. Other grants will open doors for more opportunities in urban and rural Alaska, such as new job positions or virtual medical assistance.

$100,000 | United Way

Sandy Stora, director of marketing for United Way of Anchorage, says the funds awarded to her organization will be used to provide free and confidential Marketplace Insurance information and enrollment assistance to Alaskans by trained healthcare navigators. This service can be conducted either inperson or virtually and will be available to the entire state.

United Way of Anchorage Support Navigators was awarded $100,000.

"Understanding your health insurance options and making informed decisions about coverage is vital to the health and financial security of every Alaskan," Stora says. "Healthcare navigators with United Way of Anchorage serve as trusted resources."

Stora says that Alaskans can call 2-1-1 to receive help with healthcare coverage. "Health insurance is complicated. Navigators can help Alaskans get answers and get covered."

$202,000 | Sunshine Community Health Center

North of Anchorage is the Sunshine Community Health Center, which has a clinic in Talkeetna and one in Willow. The center was awarded $167,000 as a supplemental grant for Integrated Behavioral Health Services; a grant of $35,000 was awarded to the health organization for quality improvements.

Melody West is the executive director of the center, which employs doctors, physician assistants, dentists, nurses, behavioral health, and other medical professionals. She says grant funds will be used to support and increase access to integrated behavioral health services. This includes the treatment of mental health conditions, substance use disorders, and chronic disease management.

"We were able to hire an additional full-time behavioral health case manager who will work in coordination with our current...

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