Peninsula Community Health Services of Alaska, commonly known as PCHS is searching for a new CEO but in the interim Will Rodgers has taken the helm community health care provider dedicated to keeping families well. When former PCHS CEO Monica Adams had to leave Rodgers was given the call, “I had been here four years ago, in fact prior to Monica’s hiring so I was the interim director four years ago so I got called back. I anticipate that my stay will be until around September or later in the fall,” Rodgers said in an interview. A concept in health care that originated with a few locals like Jerry Near and Stan Steadman years ago when they were looking for a way to meet the medical needs for the uninsured and the under insured of the community. Today that vision is PCHS a full service health center helping to keep families well. “We care for people no matter their age, their health issues, or their income level. By bringing together medical, dental, and behavioral health services for all members of the family, from infants to seniors, we can promise coordinated care for all patients. PCHS is affordable and accessible. We accept private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid, we see all comers but the majority of our patients are the uninsured and the underinsured, everybody is welcome. We do have a sliding fee scale that is determined at the time of enrollment,” explained Rodgers.
The growth of PCHS has been a true success story and as Rodgers looks to the future he sees that growth continuing, “Of course we’ll see new leadership coming into the community with a new director and a sustaining effort of meeting the needs of the community. We’re now seeing some 7,000 unduplicated patients across all our services and we anticipate that in the next two to three years that will be in excess of 11,000,” he said. The rapid changes in health care delivery and expansion of Medicaid is effecting PCHS says Rodgers, “Expanded Medicaid has made additional people eligible for the Medicaid program. PCHS faces a lot of opportunities in not only behavioral health but across the spectrum of looking at different models of care. We’re engaged now with the state in a program to look at the model of behavioral health services. Then at the local level we’re engaged with the community in developing an approach once the Medicaid program puts out their request for proposal (RFP) for different models looking for an alternative care organization or coordinated care work organization at the local level I know that a lot of that is being done with the borough’s health care development and there will many opportunities for PCHS,” said Rodgers.
Why not make the Kenai permanent rather than interim? “I dearly love Alaska and was happy to come back, but I have family, kids and grandkids back in Illinois so that’s even a bigger pull than the king salmon and beauty of the Peninsula. But I love it here and the people at PCHS are truly the best.” You can learn more about PCHS on line at www.pchsak.org. or stopping by their location in Soldotna on Marydale Ave.