Kongiganak clinic awarded rural healthcare projects grant

An Alaska healthcare partnership has awarded the first grants from a new fund that aims to fill gaps in rural Alaska health care, including one for the Kongiganak health clinic.

The Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation’s clinic in Kongiganak will receive $80,000 for medical equipment.

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska established the time-limited grant program in late 2019, providing $3 million to improve access to care in Alaska communities. The Premera Rural Health Care Fund is being administered by Rasmuson Foundation and is held at The Alaska Community Foundation.

A grants committee approved 10 initial grants totaling more than $500,000 that will address needs from Kotzebue, a hub community in the Northwest Arctic, to Kongiganak, a small village in Southwest Alaska. Other regions receiving support include the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, Bristol Bay, Interior and Southcentral Alaska.

Seldovia Village Tribe will receive $77,000 to upgrade its dental equipment. In Cold Bay, Eastern Aleutian Tribes will receive $51,000 for an X-ray machine. Some communities are receiving funds to support mobile services or buy specialized equipment that otherwise would be unavailable. For example, the Girdwood Health Center will receive $25,000 for a modular behavioral health care unit that will serve the Turnagain Arm communities of Bird Creek, Girdwood, Hope, Indian, Portage and Sunrise.

The next cycle for awards will close May 29.