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KNBA News - New Native children's dental clinic going up in Anchorage

Joaqlin Estus

Construction is beginning on a Native children’s dental clinic and health services facility in Anchorage. Southcentral Foundation provides statewide dental services to Alaska Native and American Indian beneficiaries of the Indian Health Service. At a ground-breaking ceremony Monday, SCF president and CEO Katherine Gottlieb said the new clinic will add 32 dental chairs to the 15 they have now, and create an environment designed to put children at ease.

“We haven’t had services for children specifically that are separate from adults. And so our dental clinic and our dental people who provide services like Dr. Gottlieb and Dr. Kovalesky said the children need to be separate from the adults when they get services,” said Gottlieb. “They have unique needs. And it’s much better for them and they won’t be as afraid. And it could be a better atmosphere for them.”

Gottlieb says the new building also will bring together other children’s services programs.

“We’ll include in that dental clinic building -- it’ll be five stories -- OB-GYN mental, behavioral health for children and also a few other specialties for children that have developmental needs,” said Gottlieb.

Credit Joaqlin Estus / KNBA
At left, SCF President and CEO Katherine Gottlieb, with dental clinic director Thomas Kovaleski, DDS, and chief of staff Kevin Gottlieb, DDS, at right, with some of the SCF dental staff.

The building is going up in a former parking lot east of the Alaska Native Medical Center hospital on Tudor Road. SCF is funding the project with revenues from Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. Gottlieb says the price tag for the building is still being negotiated. The project is due for completion in 2018.