Murkowski Land Transfer Bill Passes Committee

Transfers Land in Sitka to Improve Healthcare Access

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs passed S. 825, legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to transfer the title to the land and buildings within the Mt. Edgecumbe Sitka campus to the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). SEARHC has been managing operations of Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital since 1986, but must hold an unencumbered title to the land for much needed upgrades and expansion.

“SEARHC is an Alaska Native controlled non-profit tribal organization, administering a comprehensive healthcare delivery system for the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian and other Native peoples of Southeast Alaska, with a service area that stretches over 35,000 square miles. At the property in question, SEARHC operates a very busy hospital named Mt. Edgecumbe. The Hospital itself was built by the War Department in 1967, so you can imagine it is in significant need of modernization and upgrades. In order to expand operations and bring the facility into the 21st century, SEARHC needs to receive this land transfer. I thank my colleagues for supporting and advancing this legislation.”

The bill passed the committee unanimously and now heads to the Senate floor for final consideration.

Charles Clement, President and CEO of SEARHC, said of the legislation: "SEARHC appreciates the opportunity to work with Senator Murkowski to continue improving healthcare access for Southeast Alaska".