Anchorage – Last week, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services approved certificate of need requests from both the Alaska Regional Hospital and the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center for new treatment facilities for those struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Health and Social Services Committee, supported both certificate of need applications as a way to address Alaska’s worsening opioid epidemic and fill a need for behavioral healthcare in both Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough.
“The need for substance abuse and mental health treatment resources is overwhelming and growing. These new treatment beds are essential to our opioid epidemic response efforts, and I want to thank Commissioner Davidson for acting so quickly to sanction the projects,” said Rep. Spohnholz. “These new resources will help fill a well-documented gap in treatment capacity in the population centers of Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough. These 60 new treatment beds will allow many more behavioral health patients to stay closer to home where they often have support structures in place to assist in their long-term recovery efforts.”
The decision to approve both certificate of need applications will result in 24 new treatment beds at the Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage and 36 new beds at the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center in Palmer. Construction on the new treatment facility in Palmer could begin next year, and the 36 beds will be dedicated to adults suffering with substance abuse and mental health issues. The 24 new treatments beds at Alaska Regional Hospital already exist in a portion of the hospital not currently in use.
“Responding to the ongoing opioid epidemic requires an all hands-on-deck approach, and I am thankful that the Alaska Regional Hospital and the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center have both stepped up to meet the need. The people suffering with drug, alcohol, and mental health issues are our friends, neighbors, and all too often our family. They deserve the hope that there is help available. These new treatment facilities represent hope, and for that I am thankful.”