For immediate release
March 10, 2020

Contact: Alexandra McKay, vice president of programs, 907-297-2700
ruralhealth@rasmuson.org

Anchorage, AK – An Alaska healthcare partnership has awarded the first grants from a new fund that aims to fill gaps in rural Alaska health care.

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska established the time-limited grant program in late 2019, providing $3 million to improve access to care in Alaska communities. The Premera Rural Health Care Fund is being administered by Rasmuson Foundation and is held at The Alaska Community Foundation.

A grants committee approved 10 initial grants totaling more than $500,000 that will address needs from Kotzebue, a hub community in the Northwest Arctic, to Kongiganak, a small village in Southwest Alaska. Other regions receiving support include the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, Bristol Bay, Interior and Southcentral Alaska.

Seldovia Village Tribe will receive $77,000 to upgrade its dental equipment. In Cold Bay, Eastern Aleutian Tribes will receive $51,000 for an X-ray machine. Some communities are receiving funds to support mobile services or buy specialized equipment that otherwise would be unavailable. For example, the Girdwood Health Center will receive $25,000 for a modular behavioral health care unit that will serve the Turnagain Arm communities of Bird Creek, Girdwood, Hope, Indian, Portage and Sunrise.

The next cycle for awards will close May 29.

A complete list of the grants approved in the first quarter of 2020 follows.

Download the press release here.

About Premera Blue Cross
Premera Blue Cross, a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association based in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to approximately 2 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies.

About Rasmuson Foundation

Through grantmaking and initiatives, Rasmuson Foundation aims to promote a better life for all Alaskans with investments of $25 million to $30 million a year. Main funding areas are the arts, housing, homelessness, education, healthcare and organizational development. The foundation was created in 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband, E.A. Rasmuson.

About The Alaska Community Foundation

Established in 1995, The Alaska Community Foundation (ACF) cultivates, celebrates, and sustains all forms of philanthropy to strengthen Alaska’s communities forever. ACF also manages the Pick.Click.Give. program and the Philanthropy Hub.

Organization NameProject LocationRegionProject NameAward
Breast Cancer Detection Center of AlaskaFairbanksInteriorPurchasing Smart Curve technology and generator for mobile truck $ 50,500
Mat-Su Health ServicesBig Lake and HoustonSouthcentralBig Lake X-ray machine $ 47,670
Maniilaq AssociationKotzebueNorthwest ArcticManiilaq Health Center – ultrasound replacement $ 50,000
Aleutian Pribilof Islands AssociationAtka, St. George, UnalaskaAleutian & Pribilof IslandsClinic Vehicle $ 43,000
The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp.KongiganakSouthwestKongiganak Village Health Clinic medical equipment $ 80,000
Seldovia Village TribeSeldoviaSouthcentralSeldovia Clinic dental upgrades$77,000
Bristol Bay Area Health Corp.DillinghamBristol BayCapital equipment improvement project$50,000
Eastern Aleutian TribesCold BayAleutian & Pribilof IslandsCold Bay X-ray machine$51,000
Kenaitze Indian Tribe (IRA)Kenai and SoldotnaSouthcentralDena’ina Wellness Center X-ray machine replacement$50,000
Girdwood Health CenterGirdwoodSouthcentralModular unit for behavioral health$25,000
   Total$524,170