Rural Health

a homeless shelter

Ketchikan’s main homeless shelter is shutting its doors for good

First City Homeless Services' board wrote that “continual obstructive behavior” from the Ketchikan City Council led them to the decision.

Supreme Court rejects challenge to FDA’s approval of mifepristone

The court said that the challengers had no right to be in court at all since they could not show they had suffered any actual injury from the FDA rules.
A mostly empty hospital hallway

A new lawsuit over Alaska’s Medicaid backlog asks a judge to order faster processing

As of last month, more than 15,000 Alaskans had Medicaid applications awaiting approval by the Division of Public Assistance.
people sit at a table

Juneau’s hospital hears from the community as budget crisis threatens service cuts

Some residents say there could be damaging consequences for the community if the services are lost.
fishing nets

How much fish do Alaskans eat? Enough to require new water pollution rules, EPA says

The EPA is giving the state six to 12 months to come up with new or revised standards for more than 100 pollutants in state waters.

A Homer needle exchange offers safer supplies for rural Alaskans and a bridge to recovery

Alaska’s geography means many people in rural areas have trouble getting clean syringes.
a sign

Alaska health officials point to wastewater sampling as useful disease-tracking tool

Wastewater testing is helpful in keeping track of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases, and state health officials hope to expand it.
the kenai courthouse

Appeals court approves involuntarily medicating Nikiski man for murder trial

River Aspelund, accused of killing his mother in 2022, had challenged his antipsychotic medication by Alaska Psychiatric Institute staff.
A sign with an arrow pointing right toward Nesbett Courthouse and an arrow pointing left toward Boney Courthouse.

25 Years of Therapeutic Courts | Talk of Alaska

How well have therapeutic courts like mental health and DUI courts performed in the last 25 years and what will the next 25 look like?
the Alaska Supreme Court

Alaska Supreme Court confirms: ‘Hoverboard dentist’ is banned from dentistry in Alaska

In a separate criminal case, former dentist Seth Lookhart was sentenced to 20 years in prison with eight suspended.
A man looks on while a woman touches a big machine.

ANTHC launches first in-state lab for cervical cancer screening

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium started a new program in May to test for human papillomavirus, or HPV, in its own lab.
a fox in a field

Federal bill would add veterinary care to IHS duties to address rabies, other risks in rural Alaska

Veterinarians are scarce in Indigenous communities but the need is great, given the diseases circulating in wildlife that can spread to pets and people.
Alexis Johnson

Anchorage Assembly calls for inquiry into leaked texts between city’s top homeless official and shelter contractors

Anchorage Assembly members say the texts, which Henning Inc. officials say were taken out of context, raise concerns about its shelter management.

Your skin is the window to your body’s health | Line One

On this Line One, Dr. Jillian Woodruff and her guest discuss how to care for your skin and keep the window to your internal health open.

15,000 Alaskans are caught in Medicaid backlog, but care continues, state says

In most cases, Alaskans eligible for Medicaid are still able to access care as long as they’ve submitted an application.

Alaska Legislature establishes psychedelic task force for FDA-approved therapies

The task force will help with legislative, licensing and health insurance policies to make any federally-approved therapies accessible.
an apology

Alaska lawmakers support push to investigate, document forced assimilation in boarding schools 

The widely supported resolution supports a bill championed by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Congress.
a dog

Rabies prompts new CDC rules for bringing dogs to the U.S.

Owners must confirm dogs either have a valid rabies vaccine or haven't been in a country where rabies is endemic in the last six months.
a utility room

A utility room under Mertarvik’s public school is full of raw sewage

Excrement has been backing up into the building for months, but the tribal council that owns it had no idea how bad things were until recently.

Former head prison doctor replaces Anne Zink as Alaska’s chief medical officer

Dr. Robert Lawrence is a family medicine doctor who got his start in rural Alaska.
an emergency room

How do you help patients who show up in the ER 100 times a year?

For decades, nonprofits, health insurers and hospitals have been trying to solve the problem of the people who need the emergency room again and again.
Healthcare workers paint tiles at a carnival as a part of nurses week.

Celebrating Nurses Week | Line One

Join host Dr. Jillian Woodruff on this Line One, as she and her guest discuss the science of skin, and how to care for it.
a courthouse

Alaska tribal health consortiums are legally immune in many cases, state Supreme Court says

The decision on sovereign immunity affects several of the state’s largest-private sector employers and could have broad implications.
Wooden white crosses dot a grassy park.

Last year was Alaska’s deadliest on record for opioid overdoses

Alaska lost 342 people to opioid overdose in 2023 and had the highest increase in deaths per capita in the nation.
a drift net

Feds approve disaster declaration for 2022 Kuskokwim salmon fisheries

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo's disaster declaration covers the Kuskokwim River failure of chinook, chum and coho fisheries in 2022.

Alaska Public Media’s rural health coverage is supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and our members.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Rural Health

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is working to build strong networks of leaders who share a commitment to helping everyone in America live longer, healthier lives.