Tanana Chiefs Conference is preparing to build a new clinic in Tok, with plans to begin construction in the coming months.
“It’s not under construction right now,” TCC Chief and Chairman Victor Joseph said. “We’re at 65% in our design, but we will be getting to construction this summer.”
TCC, an Alaska Native nonprofit that provides health and social services, does have some services available in Tok. In 2011-12, Joseph said, TCC opened a subregional clinic in the Upper Tanana area at the request of the Upper Tanana board. Then, in 2014, they took over behavioral health services in the same area.
“Right now we’re operating out of three locations,” Joseph said.
The existing locations include two clinics and a behavioral health services facility. Together they can provide behavioral health and dental services, emergency care and primary care.
However, serving larger numbers of people can be difficult with the current clinic locations.
Joseph said the new clinic will allow TCC to meet the needs of people in the area when there is a “multi-person encounter.” For example, if there is a multi-vehicle accident, it’s harder for the existing clinics to meet the needs of various people with injuries.
“In our present locations ... when we have that happen, we’re having to use space that wasn’t designed for it,” he said.
The new clinic, according to Joseph, will offer the full array of services out of a single facility.
“So we’ll have trauma care rooms, family practice rooms and we’ll also have behavioral health and dental services,” he said.
There are also plans for the clinic to have a pharmacy.
With construction planned to begin this summer, Joseph hopes the clinic will be able to open by spring 2020.
“It’s something that we feel the Upper Tanana is in need of,” he said, “to make sure that their medical care is met.”
Contact staff writer Kyrie Long at 459-7572.