How ANTHC’s construction of a short-term skilled nursing facility improves our system of care

June 27, 2024

On any given day, the Alaska Native Medical Center is caring for dozens of patients who no longer need hospital-level care. While they are well enough to leave the hospital, they are not quite ready to go home.

The ANTHC Board of Directors approved construction of a short-term skilled nursing facility to address this gap in the continuum of care. Earlier this summer, ANTHC broke ground on the $69 million project, which will soon alleviate capacity pressure at the hospital. The facility will provide patient care at the appropriate level and improve our ability to support acute patient care needs at the hospital.

The Skilled Nursing Facility is currently at around 75 percent design completion. Construction of the 78-bed, 92,000 square-foot, facility will begin in earnest in the coming months and is expected to be complete by summer 2026.  The facility will also house an occupational and physical rehabilitation area, public and private dining areas, chapel, game and activity rooms, and an outdoor courtyard. Finishes and artwork in the facility will incorporate Alaska Native culture and values.

One important feature of the new facility is its location on the corner of Ambassador Drive and Elmore Road on the Alaska Native Health Campus, visible from ANMC and right next to ANTHC’s Education and Development Center. This will ultimately make it easy for patients to transition from the hospital to the short-term skilled nursing facility. In the short-term, the location on the edge of campus also means construction will have a minimal impact on road traffic.

While this project is a historic investment that advances self-determination in the health care Alaska Native and American Indian people in our state receive, it will not resolve the significant statewide long-term care needs we recognize will need to be addressed in the future. The short-term skilled nursing facility is a significant step forward and one of many efforts under way to improve patient experience and optimize capacity within ANMC.

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