WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, announced that the House of Representatives has passed S.825, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Land Transfer Act of 2017 today. The bill will now go to the President to be signed into law.
Directs the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to convey 19.07 acres of land located in Sitka, Alaska, to the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC).
Enables the SEARHC to renovate Sitka’s Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, Alaska’s oldest hospital. Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital provides acute care, critical care, obstetrics, surgery, and perioperative care to residents of Sitka and other areas of Southeast Alaska.
Provides a pathway for the SEARHC to construct new health care facilities in order to deliver improved health care services to communities in southeast Alaska.
“This legislation provides SEARHC with the conveyance of land to make much needed improvements to existing health care facilities and to construct new ones,” Senator Hoeven said. “These facilities will provide critical access to health care services for communities in and around southeast Alaska, including the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples. I thank my colleagues, Senator Murkowski and Senator Sullivan of Alaska, for their leadership and hard work in getting this bill passed.”
“I’m encouraged to know that this legislation will allow SEARHC to renovate one of the oldest and largest Native run hospitals in our country and to ensure access to more advanced healthcare opportunities,” said Senator Murkowski. “I thank my colleagues for supporting this bill to allow SEARHC to plan for the future and to continue to provide quality care for Southeast Alaska.”
“SEARCH provides vital medical services to our remote and rural communities Southeast Alaska,” Senator Sullivan said. “This legislation will allow them to renovate and improve Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, and expand critical healthcare critical services to the people of the region. I thank Chairman Hoeven and Senator Murkowski for their persistent work on this legislation.”
S. 825 was introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on April 4, 2017. The Committee held a listening session to receive testimony on this bill on May 10, 2017. On June 13, 2017, the Committee held a business meeting and passed S. 825. S. 825 passed the Senate on November 29, 2017 and was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration by the Committees on Natural Resources and on Energy and Commerce. The bill was placed on the Union Calendar on April 5, 2018. It. will now head to President Trump for his signature.