Providence Health & Services presented at the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly’s work session last Thursday in a bid to extend its lease with the borough on the Rezanoff Drive medical center – a lease which it established in 1997. Borough assessor Bill Roberts, standing in for the borough manager, introduced the Providence representative.
“As you know, Providence’s lease is coming up here and we’re looking at what we’re gonna do with it. Alaska Native Health Consortium asked if they could give a presentation, which they did about two weeks ago. Providence has asked if they could give a presentation. Mr. Bruce Lamereau, who’s the senior VP and CEO of Providence, is here to give you an informational presentation.”
Lamoureux talked at length about Providence’s patients, employees, and its role in Kodiak.
“Unless the entity that’s operating the Kodiak medical center is creating value for you as a community, then it’s simply vanilla, it’s a commodity, and you can swap out the providers and nothing bad will happen.”
Providence creates significant value according to some members of the public who spoke at the meeting.
“My name is Tom Kouremetis. It’s at the point where I like Providence so well – and that goes all the way back to 1959 when my kids were all born in Fairbanks. If there was a change, and I heard there’s an undertone of KANA getting involved, I seriously would consider moving out of here. At my age and my wife’s age, I would like to continue having care. Good care. And Providence supports that.”
Members of the assembly also expressed approval of Kodiak’s ongoing relationship with Providence. Assemblyman Larry LeDoux is the borough representative to Providence’s advisory committee and, at the work session, said he wanted to make a comment on the committee’s process.
“I’m fascinated and pleased that when I attend those meetings, that the discussions that take place among your leadership team are fully consistent with your vision and mission, that they’re talking service to the community, talking about cost-effectiveness, they’re talking about people and how they can be served. And I just want to mention that. It’s just wonderful to be a part of that.”
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium also presented to the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly at its September 10 work session. Roald Helgesen is the organization’s Chief Executive Officer and spoke before the assembly that night.
“We represent 229 tribes from across the state of Alaska that have all come together to deliver health services. These 229 tribes represent 150,000 Alaska Native people, many of them living here in the Kodiak area as a matter of fact, but across all of our regions, and in many of our locations at we continue to have dialogue this evening, you’ll find that we serve entire communities.”
The assembly is at the beginning of its process to consider the lease renewal. The issue is not on the agenda for its upcoming regular meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday night.