Native medical center construction feeds into master site plan

PHOTO/Journal file
health.jpg Operators of the Alaska Native Medical Center are completing a handful of expansion projects at the health care facility in Anchorage.

The construction effort, valued at more than $2.3 million, was funded by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, said hospital engineer Robert Wilson, a commissioned officer with the U.S. Public Health Service.

ANTHC manages the medical center with Southcentral Foundation. The operators worked with an architect in 1999 to develop a master site plan with $80 million worth of improvements spread out over 10 years, he said.

"We’re basically systematically working to implement the master plan," Wilson said.

The first year of work on the decade-long plan began in early June, he said.

Construction includes renovations to the second floor day surgery, the addition of an eighth operating room, expansion of the clinical lab and adding 1,350 square feet to Quyana House, which provides living quarters for out-of-town patients and family.

"We’re looking at a completion date of Nov. 15 for all the projects," he said.

Most of the work is finished, although expansion of the clinical lab may continue through October, he said. Work at Quyana House probably will last through November, Wilson said.

Cornerstone General Contractors of Anchorage led the project, and other area subcontractors were Electric Inc., General Mechanical Inc. and Mechanical Construction & Consulting Inc.

A new fiscal year began in October for the Alaska Native Medical Center, and facility operators are considering funding amounts for next year’s construction projects, perhaps totaling $1.2 million, he said.

"Tentatively, we’re looking at the pediatric ICU (intensive care unit) and expansion of the dining and serving area" as possible projects, Wilson said.

The medical center opened in 1997, replacing an aging facility located in downtown Anchorage.

According to Wilson, even though the Alaska Native Medical Center is relatively new, plans for the facility sat on a shelf for 10 years before construction began in 1993.

During that time, changes in health care services led to alterations of facilities to which ANMC is now adapting, he said. Also, patient numbers have climbed since original facility plans were developed, he said.

10/14/2001 - 8:00pm