New Valley Native Primary Care Clinic Unveiled In Wasilla

The new Valley Native Primary Care Clinic in Wasilla opens it's doors to the public on August 29. Photo by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage

Chickaloon Village drummers and singers warmed up the crowd today for the ribbon cutting on Southcentral Foundation’ s new Valley Native Primary Care Clinic in Wasilla

Cutting the blue ribbon. At center in Athabascan dress is Katherine Gottlieb, Southcentral Foundation president and CEO. Photo by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage

Alaska Native leaders, state and borough officials and a few hundred members of the public gathered inside the spacious atrium of the new clinic to mark the opening later this month of Benteh Nuutah the clinic’s Native name, which means “Among Lakes and Islands.”

The new facility was built to meet the primary health care needs of the 9,000 Alaska Natives living in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.  By next year, the clinic expects to have 8,500 customers.  The project was built in collaboration with the Chickaloon and Knik tribes. Gary Harrison is chief of the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council.

Southcentral Foundation is the non-profit health care arm of Cook Inlet Region, Inc, which manages some 65 health care programs and services.  The new Valley facility is an 84,000 square foot building offering primary, dietary, behavioral health and pharmacy services. Others, such as dental and optometry, will be phased in under an agreement with the Indian Health Service. The facility opens its doors on August 29.

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APTI Reporter-Producer Ellen Lockyer started her radio career in the late 1980s, after a stint at bush Alaska weekly newspapers, the Copper Valley Views and the Cordova Times. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Valdez Public Radio station KCHU needed a reporter, and Ellen picked up the microphone. Since then, she has literally traveled the length of the state, from Attu to Eagle and from Barrow to Juneau, covering Alaska stories on the ground for the AK show, Alaska News Nightly, the Alaska Morning News and for Anchorage public radio station, KSKA elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen