In 1995, a small group of clinic administrators and clinicians visualized an organization that would see every Alaskan had access to basic health care. Their dream was that despite geographic, financial, and cultural barriers, medical under-service would be a thing of the past. That organization became the Alaska Primary Care Association, and today, Alaska has a network of safety net providers that provide high quality primary care services to more than 90,000 people. Twenty-seven organizations employ over 473 people operate more than 160 clinic sites across Alaska through the Community Health Center system. Those sites serve over 100,000 people each year, providing them with comprehensive, quality primary care. These numbers do not take into account all the other safety net providers who provide service without the stabilizing benefit of federal funding or the anticipated growth to come.
The Alaska Primary Care Association (APCA) is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1995. APCA’s mission is to create healthy communities in Alaska through the support of vibrant and effective Community Health Centers. APCA works with Health Centers and many partners to promote, expand, and optimize access to primary care for all Alaskans. Access to primary care reduces health care costs overall and results in a healthier and more productive population.
Since its founding, APCA has grown to serve the 27 Federally Qualified Health Centers throughout the state, other safety net providers, and stakeholders. An annual operating budget of over $1 million dollars allows APCA to provide a broad range of member services from technical assistance, policy surveillance and dissemination, to health policy analysis and education, to group purchasing benefits.
The work of the APCA cannot be accomplished alone. APCA engages in and fosters strong, mutually supportive partnerships to achieve its goals.
The growth of the uninsured population, increasing health care costs, a growing number of Alaskan workers unable to afford health coverage, and the mounting numbers of Alaskan seniors on Medicare are just a few of the significant challenges for health care providers. APCA provides a variety of services and technical assistance to support members in offering quality, cost-effective care and to operate more efficiently – so they can serve more patients for less. The APCA also assists Alaskan communities in accessing federal grant funds available for Community Health Centers (CHCs) and provides support and technical assistance to them as they establish and grow.
History and Support
APCA is supported by grants from HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care, member dues, and other grants and contracts.
APCA pursues the mission through the following focus areas:
Strengthen relationships with Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) representatives;
Provide and promote effective and meaningful communication among Community Health Centers and the PCA;
Information and policy surveillance and dissemination; and
Board governance as strategy.
We will be collaborative in how we work together;
We will be respectful with regard to others’ time and effort (commit to show up when needed);
Our work adds value;
We will act with integrity and respect. We will be accountable;
A successful PCA equals successful CHCs;
Our work will reflect respect for each other, inclusiveness, support for each other, and equitable participation;
We will be responsive and transparent in action;
We will promote trust based relationships;
We value measurement and evaluation as evidence of our work and successes;
We will promote excellence and efficiency;
We will be a voice for CHCs’ mission and purpose;
We will exhibit kindness and compassion in our work;