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The Nuka System of Care: improving health through ownership and relationships

TitleThe Nuka System of Care: improving health through ownership and relationships
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsGottlieb, K
JournalInt J Circumpolar HealthInt J Circumpolar Health
Volume72
ISBN Number2242-3982 (Electronic)<br/>1239-9736 (Linking)
Accession Number23984269
KeywordsAlaska, Health Services, Indigenous/ organization & administration, Humans, Indians, North American, Organizational Culture, Ownership, Quality Improvement/ organization & administration
AbstractSouthcentral Foundation's Nuka System of Care, based in Anchorage, Alaska, is a result of a customer-driven overhaul of what was previously a bureaucratic system centrally controlled by the Indian Health Service. Alaska Native people are in control as the "customer-owners" of this health care system. The vision and mission focus on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness and working together as a Native Community. Coupled with operational principles based on relationships, core concepts and key points, this framework has fostered an environment for creativity, innovation and continuous quality improvement. Alaska Native people have received national and international recognition for their work and have set high standards for performance excellence, community engagement, and overall impact on population health. In this article, the health care transformation led by Alaska Native people is described and the benefits and results of customer ownership and the relationship-based Nuka System of Care are discussed.
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