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.
Unalakleet/U?alaq?iq is a city located at the mouth of the Unalakleet River, 148 miles southeast of Nome. There are about 800 residents living in Unalakleet all year round. Unalakleet is known in the region and around Alaska for its salmon and king crab harvests; the residents rely heavily on caribou, ptarmigan, oogruk (bearded seal), and various salmon species. Unalakleet is also known for its aesthetic value, as it resides right next to the Bering Sea, immediately next to the large, clean Unalakleet River, and has trees, tundra, and hills behind it.
Bering Strait School District Office is located in Unalakleet. Next to their offices is Unalakleet K-High school, the home of our proud "Wolfpack" sports team. When visiting our Village, you will experience a selection of businesses, churches, local artists, restaurants, and unforgettable scenery. Unalakleet is a hub for going to villages in the area. Ravn Air and Bering Air operates out of our village and will bring cargo and customers in and out on a daily basis.