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Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska’s clinic has hired a new executive director after a yearlong search.

James Kaech will assume leadership of Iliuliuk Family and Health Services on Aug. 15, after he moves from Silver Creek, Washington.

Kaech has more than 25 years of experience in health care, according to interim director Michelle Cochran. She said he started his career as a military medic before working in nonprofit and tribal health services.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska’s clinic is still searching for steady leadership after its longtime executive director resigned this summer.

Since August, the board of directors for Iliuliuk Family and Health Services (IFHS) has appointed three interim directors: former board member Michelle Cochran, nurse practitioner James Novotny, and then Cochran once again.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

For the first time in two decades, Unalaska's clinic has a n​ew policy for handling a​fter-hours calls for non-emergency medi​cal help.

But right now, it's not exactly clear what that policy is.

Iliuliuk Family and Health Services (IFHS) is open from 8:30 a.m. until at 6 p.m. At any other time, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) has long been responsible for answering requests for medical attention and then connecting patients with the clinic's on-call staff.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska’s clinic will soon become the first community health center in Alaska to implement an eICU program.  

That's a type of telemedicine technology that will connect health care providers at Iliuliuk Family and Health Services with intensive care providers in Anchorage.

Officially, the local clinic is a community health center, which means it’s only supposed to provide primary care and some urgent care. But the reality in Unalaska is a little different.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Starting next month, Unalaskans with CIGNA health insurance will get better reimbursement rates when they visit the clinic.

Executive Director Eileen Conlon Scott said Iliuliuk Family and Health Services has renegotiated its contract with one the biggest insurers on the island. That means 20 percent of clinic patients will save more money — including all city and school district employees.

"CIGNA agreed last week to pay 90 percent of all charges, which is probably one of the best contracts you can ever get in the medical insurance world," said Scott.

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