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Ketchikan Indian Community (KIC) is a federally recognized Indian Tribe, incorporated in 1940 under Section 16 of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, as amended for Alaska in 1936. KIC serves a membership of over 5,700 Alaska Native and American Indians through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Indian Health Service (IHS) programs. Eight-member Tribal Council, elected by the KIC membership, serves as the governing body and sets policy for programs and administration. KIC currently represents the largest Tribal membership in Southeast Alaska.
In October 1997 KIC negotiated with the Indian Health Service, under a PL 93-638 Title I Compact of Self-governance, to provide health care services in Ketchikan, Alaska excluding residents of the Organized Village of Saxman. The following year KIC negotiated a Title III Compact to include Saxman residents. Currently the Tribal Health Clinic operates the Tribal Health Clinic under a Title V compact. The Tribal Health Clinic has a nine-member advisory health board, which recommends policy, long-term goals, and program expansion to the governing body. This Board has been in operation since October 1997 and meets on a monthly basis. Membership includes both Ketchikan and Saxman IRA Council representatives, three KIC At-Large members, one Saxman At-Large member, and two medical professionals.
Since assuming the health care services the Tribal Health Clinic has seen many positive changes, including growth in number of patient visits, construction of a new health care facility (April 2000), increased funding through grant resources and expanded services, such as diabetes, fetal alcohol diagnostic services, and lab services. The Tribal Health Clinic received a three-year accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) in November 2002 and again in January 2006.
The Clinic employs approximately 70 professional, technical, and clerical staff in support of acute and chronic medical, dental, pharmacy and social services. In addition, we offer essential preventive services such as cancer screening, TB screening, prenatal care, physical therapy, diabetes screening, and health education. KIC Tribal Health Clinic maintains contact and acts in liaison capacity between Alaska Area Native Hospital Service (AANHS), South East Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), and Ketchikan General Hospital (KGH) who provides Contract Health Services to our beneficiaries. As well as the U. S. Coast Guard, private health providers, and other community agencies, such as community mental health facilities, substance abuse services, elder care to facilitate referrals, services and community education.
Total quality management for patient care services is one of our priorities. The management philosophy has encouraged employees to assist in the development of quality outcomes that impact strategic, operational work plans, priorities, and the work environment. KIC strives to find the very best staff, while focusing on those individuals that bring a sense of compassion, service, teamwork, and respect for patients and fellow employees.
Population to be served
KIC Tribal Health Clinic provides multi-level medical, dental and social services to all Alaska Native and American Indians residing in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. KIC has 4,495 IHS eligible beneficiaries who are enrolled members of KIC. There are currently 6,200 active patient charts and 40,915 patient visits for fiscal year 2002.
KIC Tribal Health Clinic is a freestanding ambulatory health care facility located in Ketchikan, Alaska situated in southern Southeast Alaska. The community is located on an island and is accessible only by boat or plane. The island is located along the Panhandle, which is a 550-mile strip of coastal lands and islands with the Pacific Ocean on the west and Canada on the north, south, and east border. The terrain consists mostly of mountains, and water with an estimated annual precipitation of 180 inches. We are the only Indian Health Service facility on the island and provide transitory care to AN/AI beneficiaries traveling to Ketchikan from neighboring villages.
Ketchikan is 679 miles north of Seattle and 235 miles south of Juneau. The 2.2 million acre Misty Fiords National Monument lies 22 air miles east of Ketchikan. It is the first Alaska port of call for northbound cruise ships and State ferries. It lies at approximately 55° 20' N Latitude, 131° 38' W Longitude (Sec. 30, T075S, R091E, Copper River Meridian). The community is located in the Ketchikan Recording District. The area encompasses 3 sq. miles of land and 1 sq. miles of water.
Tongass and Cape Fox Tlingits have used Ketchikan Creek as a fish camp which they called "kitschk-hin", meaning creek of the "thundering wings of an eagle." The abundant fish and timber resources attracted non-Natives to Ketchikan. In 1885, Mike Martin bought 160 acres from Chief Kyan, which later became the township. The first cannery opened in 1886 near the mouth of Ketchikan Creek and four more were built by 1912. The Ketchikan Post Office was established in 1892. In the late 1890s, nearby gold and copper discoveries briefly brought activity to Ketchikan as a mining supply center.
By 1936, seven canneries were in operation, producing 1.5 million cases of salmon. The need for lumber for new construction and packing boxes spawned the Ketchikan Spruce Mills in 1903, which operated for over 70 years. Spruce was in high demand during World War II, and Ketchikan became a supply center for area logging. A $55 million pulp mill was constructed at Ward Cove near Ketchikan in 1954. Its operation fueled the growth of the community. The mill's 50-year contract with the U.S. Forest service for timber was canceled, and the pulp mill closed in March 1997.