KTUU: $16M funneled into Alaska healthcare system via CARES Act

Nearly $16 million in funding will be funneled to Alaska after being appropriated by the Health Center Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The monies, according to a release from Alaska's delegation comprising Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young, will go toward helping community health centers prevent and respond to the current coronavirus pandemic.

Murkowski said in a statement provided by her office that while this is an unprecedented and uncertain time for us all, she is "encouraged to know this funding will bring much-needed relief to Alaska's community health centers who are working hard to ensure the health and safety of Alaskans."

"The importance of supporting our healthcare workers and healthcare response cannot be understated," she said. "Through the CARES Act, we prioritized meeting health and economic needs by providing major relief to families, small businesses and their employees and also providing a surge of support for boosting the healthcare response during this pandemic."

The grants, she said, are a significant step in the fight against coronavirus. 

During a municipal briefing in Anchorage on Wednesday, Sullivan discussed the CARES Act as well, and its potential benefit to Alaskans in various sectors, including in healthcare. He and Young, like Murkowski, said they support these actions that will benefit Alaskans, particularly in the business and healthcare sectors.

“Our community health centers are on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19," Young said, according to a separate email sent by his press secretary, Zack Brown. "I am deeply grateful to health care professionals across our state. From our urban areas to our Native communities, these remarkable Alaskans are risking their own wellbeing to keep our families safe, and they continue to be in my prayers.”

The following grantees will receive funding through the CARES Act: Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, $703,595; Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Inc., $506,660; Seldovia Village Tribe, $574,565; Mat Su Health Services Inc., $567,755; Kodiak Island Health Care Foundation, $582,695; Sunshine Community Health Center Incorporated, $570,410; Dena' Nena' Henash, $600,185; Iliuliuk Family And Health Services, Inc, $601,265; Eastern Aleutian Tribes, Inc., $565,490; Maniilaq Association, $633,050; Girdwood Health Clinic Inc., $521,825; Norton Sound Health Corporation, $700,880; Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center, Inc., $755,705; Native Village Of Eyak, $533,720; Council Of Athabascan Tribal Governments, $524,450; Bethel Family Clinic, $576,455; Kodiak Area Native Association, $602,450; Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, $514,700; Southcentral Foundation, $566,030; Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, $613,250; Borough Of Bristol Bay, $530,675; Skagway, Municipality Of, $538,205; Peninsula Community Health Services Of Alaska, Inc., $606,530; Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, $731,975; Cross Road Health Ministries, Inc., $557,165; Seward, City Of, $540,350; and Interior Community Health Center Inc., $609,020.

The following grantees will also receive funding through the OT18-1803.NU38 Tribal Public Health Capacity Building and Quality Improvement U: Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, $2,204,972; and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Inc., $3,005,628.

In a joint statement released Wednesday, Murkowski, Sullivan and Young said the state is working around the clock to "turn the tide in the fight against the new coronavirus.

"The CARES Act continues to provide critical resources to help Alaska prevent and respond to this pandemic," they said. "The funding announcement is welcome news for Alaska's health care providers and will help keep Alaskans safe and healthy. The threat posed by COVID-19 requires action at all levels of government.

"There is no doubt that this pandemic has thrown us into uncharted territory," they continued, "but we will continue working in Washington, D.C. to ensure that the federal response can meet this crucial moment for our state and nation."

By:  Beth Verge
Source: KTUU