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Alaska Regional closes down the Mountain View Community Clinic

(KTUU)
Published: Jun. 29, 2017 at 1:12 PM AKDT
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Alaska Regional Hospital has closed the Mountain View Community Clinic, a facility that opened in December of 2016 to help accommodate the demand for patient services on the east side of Anchorage.

The closure happened on Wednesday, according to Kjerstin Lastufka, Director of Public Relations at Alaska Regional, who confirmed the news Thursday afternoon.

Lastufka said that the closure would be "temporary," however there is no plan or timeline in place as to when or if it would be reopening. "At this time there is no plan in place to re-open, and we are still looking at options for how that can be achieved," Lastufka said.

The reasoning behind the closure of the clinic was cited by Alaska Regional as "shortfalls in the planned operational structure and financial losses far exceeding original projections."

This essentially boils down to the expected patients not matching up with the types of patients that the clinic actually saw, and the budget allotted for the clinic was not sufficient, primarily because the treatment for its patients was more significant.

In a statement, Alaska Regional said that during the six months the clinic was open, they saw roughly 500 patients, many of whom had multiple issues like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and mental health disorders. These more complex problems "require a significant amount of attention and long range support,” Julie Taylor, CEO of Alaska Regional Hospital, said in a statement.

“The population we anticipated treating is far different than what we have experienced, and their needs are far more complex than we were prepared for,” Taylor said.

The clinic has only been open for six months, and was opened primarily to reduce the amount of emergency room visits seen at Alaska Regional that were not emergencies.

Years of planning went into the establishment of the Mountain View Community Clinic. In 2016, Taylor said, “We saw it as a very great opportunity to serve the community locally while also reducing the cost of healthcare."