With NSEDC Contribution, Regional Wellness Center One Step Closer to Being Funded

The Nome hospital at dusk, viewed from the front, with light streaming through its windows.

Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors donated $2 million towards a regional wellness and training center during the Board’s latest meeting.

On November 27th and 28th, NSEDC’s Board voted to provide millions in funds to an NSHC wellness center, which will provide substance abuse treatment and detox services in Nome.

The NSEDC Board Chair, Dan Harrelson, said via press release the center will “also house the corporation’s Health Aide Training Center… We all know that well-trained health aides in our communities are essential to the wellbeing of our residents.”

Public relations specialist for NSHC Reba Lean says NSEDC’s $2 million donation is a big help:

“The multipurpose building will cost over $14 million to construct. In addition to the $2 million contribution recently awarded, the NSHC Board of Directors have committed another $2.5 million toward the construction, in addition to the $1.8 million needed to fund the design and the piling installation.”

According to Lean, the Wellness and Training Center is expected to be completed by 2020. The Liitfick treatment program through Behavioral Health Services will be offered at the center.

Also during NSEDC’s Board meeting in November, the Board approved three grants to assist community projects through the Large Infrastructure program. According to NSEDC’s press release, the Native Village of Diomede will receive $156,520 to purchase burn boxes and composting toilets. Teller plans on renovating its traditional council building with almost $40,000 in funds, and Savoonga looks to turn its old clinic into a visitor lodge with its award of $80,525.

The three communities have two years to use the full $277,015 in grant money for their individual projects.

Image at top: The Liitfik Wellness and Treatment Center will eventually live in a new, two-story building across the street from the Norton Sound Regional Hospital (pictured), according to NSHC President Angie Gorn. Photo: Laura Kraegel, KNOM.