The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services granted $55 million to 15 Tribes and Tribal organizations last week (Jan. 18). The funding is part of the Small Ambulatory Program, which is designed to support small ambulatory health care facilities.
Stebbins, a village in the Norton Sound, was one of two in the state that was awarded funding.
The Norton Sound Health Corporation received over three and a half million dollars ($3,501,134) in federal funding to establish a new healthcare facility in Stebbins, about 120 miles southeast of Nome.
Sarah Richards, a spokesperson for NSHC, said design planning is scheduled to begin this year, with construction expected to start by 2026.
The Small Ambulatory Program awards funding to Tribes and Tribal organizations through the Indian Health Service agency. The program was founded in 2001 and has funded the construction, expansion, or modernization of 79 projects.
In a press release last week, IHS Director Roselyn Tso said working with villages is imperative and called it “a critical part of the Indian healthcare system.”
The other Alaska Tribe to receive funding was Chugachmuit, in the Prince William Sound. The rest of the funding was disbursed to 13 other Tribes across California, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Photo at top: Snow-covered, rural Alaska street on a partly cloudy winter day (KNOM Archives).