Governor Sean Parnell today signed legislation addressing the critical need for residential housing at the Alaska Native Medical Center. The center currently has a 110-bed capacity.
Senate Bill 88, sponsored by Senators Kevin Meyer and Pete Kelly, authorizes $35 million in state revenue bonds for construction of a 170-bed residential housing facility with sky bridge access to the Alaska Native Medical Center.
"This legislation helps families stay closer together during times of illness, reduces health costs, and raises the bar for health services," Governor Parnell said. The governor also expressed his thanks to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the regional tribal health organizations for their work to improve health care access in Alaska.
The Alaska Native Medical Center provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient medical care to Alaska Native and American Indian people.
Governor Parnell on Wednesday signed Senate Bill 87. Sponsored by Senator Peter Micciche, the bill requires larger hospitals to test newborns for heart defects using pulse oximetry. Parents will have the option of declining the testing. Early diagnosis and intervention of those born with critical congestive heart disease saves lives and tends to lower the cost of treatment.