It has been over 7 years since the vision for the Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center (CAIHC) became a reality, and now it’s time for another expansion. The clinic, which opened services to the public in December of 2012, was designed with the expectation that additional services and expansions would be added in the future. It wasn’t long ago that the health care services for the 42 tribes of the Interior centralized care in a leased space on the 3rd and 4th floors of the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, and now the CAIHC is in dire need of expanding its walls.
The expansion of the clinic started in April and is currently in both the design and construction phases. The goal of the 2020 construction season is to fully enclose the building by early January 2021 and continue the work on the interior thereafter. This expansion will be adjacent to the existing CAIHC center in Fairbanks, and will be connected by a corridor near the existing Pharmacy exit. The expansion will add 108,000 gross square feet to the already 95,000 square feet, and will add a few new services for the clinic. The new addition will be 2 stories and have a 3rd unfinished story that will be ready for growth in the future.
Servicing over 15 thousand tribal members and beneficiaries in the interior is a huge task that has since called for more services to aid in the health of those we serve. Tanana Chiefs Conference’s (TCC) vision is for the CAIHC facility to be a complete healthcare campus to serve its people now and for future generations. TCC is currently in the next phase of delivering that promise. This addition of services will add an Ambulatory Surgery Center, an Urgent Care Clinic, Diagnostic Imaging, Hematology/Oncology, Ophthalmology, a larger Laboratory, and additional support spaces with offices, public waiting areas and a receiving area.
The Cultural Committee team works closely with the architect’s design team, and is in charge of creating a space that reflects the heritage, culture and traditions of the People. This design concept will be on display in the interior and exterior of the building and will include inspired design elements similar to the existing building which will be embodied into the landscaping, floors, wall and ceiling features, most of which will include medicinal plant graphics, the story of health aides, and a completely curated art gallery of local crafts, masks, baskets, clothing, beadwork and artwork from various Alaskan Native artists.
After years of hard work, dedication, and the perseverance of the Health Board, Executive Board, Cultural Committee, and all the TCC Health Services staff, the expansion is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022.