Murkowski Committee Work Brings Alaska Natives Health Benefits

Indian Health Service Funding Resources, Health Care Jobs to Alaska

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Less than two weeks after a personal visit with Indian Health Service (I.H.S.) Director Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, Senator Murkowski has been notified that $6 million in unobligated national I.H.S. funds will be directed to staff new hires at several Alaska Tribal Health organizations.  The Interior Appropriations Subcommittee – where Senator Murkowski serves as the ranking Republican member – has jurisdiction over I.H.S. operations and priorities.

“Alaska’s Tribal Health organizations have agreed to participate in Joint Venture partnerships with the Indian Health Service and they have poured energy and resources into their facilities, to the point where they are ahead of schedule and ready to address Alaska Natives’ health needs,” said Murkowski.  “In exchange for the organizations constructing several health facilities across the state, I.H.S. agreed to fund their staffing needs.  I made it clear to Director Roubideaux that our nation has a responsibility to the wellness needs of our first people.  This will also boost job creation in Alaska, as roughly 500 positions now can be filled.”

The announcement from the Indian Health Service will deliver $2 million apiece to the Norton Sound Health Corporation, Southcentral Foundation and the Tanana Chiefs Conference.

In addition to serving as the ranking Republican on Interior Appropriations, Senator Murkowski also is a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.