FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Medical Department Activity – Alaska held a ceremonial groundbreaking May 26, 2021 at Kamish Soldier Centered Medical Home as remodeling efforts and an addition to the building begin. The project will provide space to improve access to care and increased collaboration between clinic staff at the Army’s most northern medical readiness facility.
The $40 million project, slated to be complete in the fall of 2024, will add an additional 6,200 square feet to the active-duty clinic, which provides ambulatory care to approximately 6,500 Soldiers at Ft. Wainwright.
“This is the culmination of a lot of incredible work from individuals who care about Soldiers,” said Col. Eli Lozano, MEDDAC-AK commander, as he opened the ceremony. “The completed building will increase our capabilities and capacity to drive medical readiness as we move forward with the new Arctic Strategy to support our warfighters.”
Before inviting Maj. Gen. Peter Andrysiak, U.S. Army Alaska commanding general, to speak, Lozano thanked Andrysiak and other partners for their assistance in seeing the project was funded.
“I am thankful to our garrison partners and USARAK for spearheading Quality of Life initiatives resulting in what you see behind us,” said Lozano. “It is through these USARAK Quality of Life initiatives over my tenure here, and prior, that has driven Army Medicine to put priority on medical readiness platforms in support of our service members and their families.”
Andrysiak began his address to the crowd by thanking all the command teams present at the event. “Your presence here underscores the importance of this facility,” said Andyrsiak. “It is a testament to the continuous efforts of the Army, the Defense Health Agency and MEDCOM. They realize the value of Alaska, more importantly, Ft. Wainwright. We all have a stake in this investment here.”
When completed, the project will provide improvements to layout and increased space in an effort to increase both staffing and patient capacity; especially in the areas of behavioral health, physical therapy and chiropractic care.
The embedded behavioral health clinic will have the addition of two group therapy rooms and expanded telehealth services. Additionally, the space will allow three providers to move to Kamish SCMH from their current space across post, greatly increasing efficiency and collaboration with clinic staff.
Space for an additional physical therapist and an expanded PT area will provide for quicker access to care and increased return to duty rates and an increased footprint in the chiropractic care area will allow space for an internship program and potential second chiropractor.
“These efforts directly impact USARAK Quality of Life,” said Andyrsiak. “Ready and resilient, cohesive teams based on mutual trust. This improves readiness. Stronger support systems build stronger Soldiers by learning the tools they need to overcome adversity, thrive and contribute directly to unit readiness and of course teamwork. ”MEDDAC-Alaska, U.S. Army Alaska, U.S. Army Garrison Alaska and numerous other partners, and one that is completely focused on our number one asset, our soldiers, because we put them first.”
Andrysiak concluded his remarks by thanking MEDDAC-AK staff for their work over the past year during the Covid pandemic response.
“The fight on Covid underscored what it is you do,” said Andrysiak. “While a lot of folks may have gone home and sat around for periods of time before we cycled them back into work, your workload went up, and you all did phenomenally and continue to do so. For you all there was no break, we are appreciative of the work you do all the time for us and we cannot thank you enough. We are grateful for the strong relationships and efforts put forth by the entire team and for continuing to provide the highest level of care for our Soldiers and families.”