Project at a glance: Kenaitze Indian Tribe Dena'ina Wellness Center

The Kenaitze Indian Tribe broke ground on its new 52,000-square-foot Dena’ina Wellness Center in Old Town Kenai in the summer of 2012 and expects to start serving the community when the building opens its doors in early 2014.

The $35.8 million facility, which will be located on Mission Avenue behind the tribe’s Tyotkas Elder Center, will combine the tribe’s existing health clinic, dental clinic and behavioral health and chemical dependency treatment facility under one roof, Kenaitze Public Information Officer Scott Moon wrote in an email. Those three facilities currently operate at different locations.

Additional services will include optometry, traditional healing and expanded dental and wellness services.

The wellness center will serve more than 5,000 tribal members, Alaska Native and American Indians. State of Alaska-sponsored programs, including community mental health services, will be open to the public, Moon said.

The building and expanded services will create 50 new jobs in addition to the about 50 positions currently serving the tribe’s health facility needs.

The center is expected to bring $200 million in federal funds to the area during the next 20 years.

 

— Staff report

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