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NSHC Resumes Expansion of Quyanna Care Center, Doubling Size and Adding 12 Beds

A rendering of the Quyanna Care Center expansion from Architects Alaska.

Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC) has resumed construction of its Quyanna Care Center (QCC) expansion project. Residents may notice new temporary fencing around the site, the first steps in a major project aimed at enhancing elder care in the region.

When QCC was founded “Quyanna”, the Inupiaq word for “thank you”, was chosen as part of the name of the facility to show appreciation for the elders they served. But that original facility, home to just 18 beds, is at full capacity. As waitlists grew, the facility that first saw patients in 2013 is in dire need of expansion. 

Reba Lean, NSHC’s Public Relations Manager, explained that due to Nome’s unique position as the regional hub of the region QCC has remained a popular option for long term care. 

“It’s very familiar, close to home, and it’s a beautiful facility. So there’s always a waiting list,” Lean said. “We have known that there’s a need to expand it to open up more beds and try to shorten that waiting list.”

According to NSHC the expansion project will add 12 new resident beds to the facility, increasing its total capacity from 18 to 30 beds. The project will also double the center’s space with a 14,452-square-foot addition that maintains the existing building’s height and external appearance.

The new addition will feature larger resident bedrooms, redesigned restrooms, an additional staff lounge, a central nurse station, a kitchen, and long-term dry goods storage. These improvements hope to enhance the quality of care and comfort for residents and staff alike.

The plans also include an outdoor covered deck that faces to the west. The outdoor space will allow residents and their visitors to get fresh air and take in the view in comfortable furniture. Lean believes this new space, along with other enhancements, will make QCC a great place for families to gather.

“Quyanna Care Center is not just a nursing home, it is a home for those people who live there. And that means that their family is welcome to come and visit and have meals with them. It's just like at your own house, if you want to have a birthday party, if you want to have a special event, you're able to do that at QCC.”

To accommodate construction a new dedicated one-way emergency entrance has been established at the easternmost driveway off Greg Kruschek Avenue. Residents are asked to make their way to the north side of the building for all emergency services. 

Construction is already underway as NSHC works to have the building sealed off before the summer season ends. The hospital plans to continue work on the interior throughout the winter in anticipation of opening the expansion to new patients in the fall of 2025.

QCC Expansion Rendering

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