Treatment center wins loan from AIDEA

Posted: Friday, June 22, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The state's development agency has approved a $9.4 million loan to help reorganize an Anchorage hospital and treatment center under local ownership.

The loan from the Alaska Industrial and Development Export Authority is part of $11.7 million in lending to companies formed by the chief executive and the medical director of Northstar Behavioral Health System. They plan to buy the two centers next month. Northrim Bank is the other lender.

AIDEA, which tries to spark economic development in Alaska through financing business ventures, approved the loan at its board meeting last week.

The Healthcare Co., based in Tennessee, currently owns North Star Residential Treatment Center, a 30-bed residential center. Maryland-based Magellan Health Services Inc. owns North Star Hospital, a 74-bed acute behavioral health center. They had been run by a third Outside company.

Magellan was planning to sell the hospital building to the Alaska Psychiatric Institute. But API now plans to build a new center near the current site by the University of Alaska Anchorage.

''We've been in a period of transition ever since the building was marketed to API, so this is definitely going to bring stability,'' said chief executive Kathleen Cronen, who applied with medical director Dr. Dov Rapoport for the AIDEA loan.

''As we look toward the future, we can now make our decisions based on what is good for Alaska, as opposed to what is good for the national companies,'' she said.

Most patients treated at North Star's facilities are children and teen-agers. Cronen hopes to eventually expand service to those Alaska children who must be treated outside the state because of lack of space.

''We want to help bring the children home,'' she said.

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