While the majority of NSHC’s 500 employees are based in Nome, many staff members regularly travel to villages to treat patients. Fifteen villages, ranging in size from 150 to 750 residents, are scattered along the Bering Sea coast and on islands of the region.
Norton Sound Health Corporation services 15 villages in the region, in which Village Health Services manages clinic operations. The majority of staff in the department are community Health Aide practitioners. These front-line primary health care providers are a critical link between doctors in Nome and patients in villages. Seven villages of our region have a full-time physician assistant or nurse practitioner in the communities of Brevig Mission, Savoonga, Gambell, Shishmaref, Elim, Saint Michael, and Unalakleet.
Community Health Aides/Practitioners are local people who are trained to become often the only healthcare provider in their community. Not only are they seeing patients during normal clinic hours, but must also provide on-call service after hours for urgent and emergent patient care.
Being a Community Health Aide/Practitioner is a demanding position with the health care of the community being their responsibility 24 hours a day. It’s important that they are supported by everyone, including their family, their community members, village leadership, and corporate leadership.
Brevig Mission is located at the mouth of Shelman Creek on Port Clarence, 5 miles northwest of Teller and 65 miles northwest of Nome. Brevig Mission is located in the Cape Nome Recording District. A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community — the Native Village of Brevig Mission. Brevig Mission is predominantly Inupiat Eskimo with a subsistence lifestyle.
The Western Arctic is one of the most remote areas of the United States, yet home to the Inupiat people who have lived on the land for thousands of years. The Western Arctic is known for its wildlife, including thousands of caribou and millions of birds that breed and raise their young in the region’s vast wetland habitats. Landscapes range from coastal plains to high mountain ranges. Here you’ll find few roads, but you’ll have the opportunity to explore wild and scenic rivers, national parks, and wildlife refuges representing one of Alaska’s most diverse regions. The Western Arctic’s communities are accessible from Fairbanks or Anchorage via jet or small aircraft.