Celebrating 10 Years of Transformative Care in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough
The population of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough has exploded in the past 10 years – growing over 20 percent in the last decade. With that growth came the need for health care improvements, modifications, and additional avenues of care for Alaska Native and American Indian people in the region.
Prior to 2005, many customer-owners in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough remember driving the 45 miles to receive services at the Anchorage Native Primary Care Center. From 2005-2012, limited primary care services were available in a small strip mall in Wasilla. Today, Alaska Native and American Indian people living in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough can receive their primary care needs at Benteh Nuutah Valley Native Primary Care Center.
Benteh Nuutah, which translates to “among the lakes, among the islands,” honors the partnership between Knik Tribal Council, Chickaloon Village Traditional Council, and Southcentral Foundation, by using the Dena’ina and Ahtna languages.
VNPCC was conceptualized more than 10 years ago in partnership with Knik and Chickaloon. The 90,000-square-foot building was designed to address the population growth, customer-owner needs, and projected health care needs of the Alaska Native Community.
“Tribal leaders were dedicated to bringing health care services directly to customer-owners in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and were thoughtful in their approach,” SCF Senior Director of Operations Melissa Caswell said. “Their advocacy and voice at the VNPCC joint operating board has shaped a customer-owner-driven health care system.”
In the past 10 years, customer-owners receiving services at VNPCC increased from 5,000 to more than 13,000. To prioritize the needs in the community, programs and services expanded, business hours changed, clinical space expanded, and new departments have been introduced.
Who has driven these changes and improvements? The answer is you – the customer-owner. Being a customer-owner means owning health care decisions both individually and systematically. The voice of customer-owners is heard through various methods including surveys, direct feedback given to employees, feedback hotlines, and feedback from Tribal leaders.
Customer-owners are encouraged to take ownership of their health care decisions and provide feedback to help drive change at VNPCC and all SCF facilities.
If you are Alaska Native or American Indian, live in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and have not been empaneled to receive services at the VNPCC, call (907) 631-7800.
By Southcentral Foundation Public Relations