Health Care Need not be Sacrificed in Rural Alaska
Southcentral Foundation’s C’eyiits’ Hwnax Life House Community Health Center in Sutton.
Living in remote locations like rural Alaska can mean that trips for groceries, gas, and even health necessities sometimes need to be planned in advance. Thanks to the C’eyiits’ Hwnax Life House Community Health Center, travel for health care is not a necessity that residents of Sutton, Glacier View, or Chickaloon need to worry about planning ahead for. As a federally designated community health center, Life House CHC provides health and wellness services to Alaska Native, American Indian, and non-Native community members.
Robert Smith, a 68 year-old community member, shares the story of how a sudden illness initially brought him to seek heath care services in Sutton, and how the exceptional service and care he received impacted him so greatly that he now elects to receive all of his wellness services there:
It wasn’t until Smith fell unexpectedly ill that he visited the Life House CHC. Smith didn’t think he was well enough to drive all the way to Anchorage to see his health care provider, so he decided to ride-out his illness at home. Concerned, his daughter called the Life House CHC and told them about her father. Soon after, they called to check on Smith and with his consent, proceeded to pick him up from his house, bring him to the clinic, perform an exam, and provide the necessary care to make him well again. He has been visiting Life House CHC ever since.
Smith says having access to a local doctor and nurse is very important for Elder community members because traveling to Anchorage can lead to an additional day of recovery. He and his wife now visit the clinic weekly to take advantage of the primary care and wellness services offered.