Division of Environmental Health and Engineering

Division of Environmental Health & Engineering
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
1901 S Bragaw St., Suite 200
Anchorage, AK 99508
(907) 729-3600

undefinedMany Alaska villages
continue to need
adequate sources of
water that are safe to
drink and facilities that
can safely dispose of
their wastewater. The 
Division of Environmental
Health and Engineering
(DEHE) is working to 
enrich the lives of all
Alaska Natives with
these needs. As DEHE works in partnership with Native communities and other organizations on the local, state and federal levels, Alaska Natives are leading healthier, safer lives.

The Division plans, designs and constructs sanitation facilities, bringing safe water and wastewater disposal improvements to thousands of Native-owned homes each year. In 2002, 3,660 Native homes were served with improved facilities. This year, DEHE worked to provide sanitation facilities improvements totaling $50.9 million in 92 communities. Season highlights included the completion of a seven-mile-long water pipeline in Kake, an aboveground piped water and wastewater system in Chevak, and a water treatment plant in Kiana. Crews worked directly with local governments, and employed local labor and Consortium tradespeople on all of our construction projects.

undefinedDEHE also works with villages and their tribal health organizations to build and maintain hospitals and clinics serving the more than 220 Alaska Native tribes throughout the state. In 2002, DEHE administered 36 maintenance and improvement projects totaling $7.1 million for health care facilities managed by 11 tribal health organizations.

In addition, through a partnership with the Denali Commission, DEHE manages a program that plans, designs, builds and renovates health clinics. This year, the Division received $14.8 million in project awards for clinic design, construction and renovation. Clinic projects were completed in 12 communities and started in 44 others, with active construction occurring in St. Michael, Elim and Stebbins during the 2002 season.

The Division's Injury Prevention Program seeks to reduce the number of severe injuries affectingundefined Alaska Natives. To achieve this, the program works together with regional health organizations to develop comprehensive, community-based injury prevention projects that include technical assistance, injury prevention training and funding for injury prevention activities.

DEHE also provides technical assistance to tribal health organizations, community healthcare and other institutional managers concerning patient safety, occupational safety and health, environmental and radiological health issues. Ultimately this assistance helps the managers maintain Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) accreditation and comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. These results have a direct impact on the quality of patient care, quality of life, recruitment and funding.

DEHE provides funding to tribal health organizations to train rural Alaskans to operate and maintain water and sewer systems. While building utility systems is important, maintaining them is equally so. Unfortunately, many of Alaska's villages face tremendous challenges, including the lack of easy access, small populations and high turnover rates in utility operators. Meanwhile, federal regulations for utility operations become increasingly complicated.

undefined The Division of
Environmental Health and Engineering recently
developed new programs
to help overcome some 
of these difficult issues
and, ultimately, to help
sustain the facilities rural
Alaskans have worked to
build. For example, the
division operates the
Alaska Utility Supply
Center. The center continues to offer village operators a single source for materials and equipment for utility systems, saving operation downtime. Because the program can buy in bulk, villages also save money when purchasing equipment. There are currently 115 active community accounts.

 

 
© 2005-2014 ALASKA NATIVE TRIBAL HEALTH CONSORTIUM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
4000 Ambassador Drive ¤ Anchorage, AK 99508 ¤ 907-729-1900 Fax: 907-729-1901