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Unalaska’s Clinic Won’t Use $500,000 Emergency Subsidy From City

Laura Kraegel

Unalaska's clinic won't draw on emergency funds provided by the city, signaling a reversal of the nonprofit's dismal financial situation.

Iliuliuk Family and Health Services was granted a $500,000 subsidy in November, as clinic officials anticipated another fiscal year with a steep budget shortfall.

But on Tuesday, City Manager Thomas E. Thomas said the organization won't need the money after all.

"They made some financial adjustments," he said. "But it wasn't until last week that they were able to finally tell me they won't need to draw down any of those funds."

Clinic Director James Kaech is scheduled to provide a detailed update on operations at a City Council meeting in July.

Since he assumed the top job last year, Kaech has cashed in at least $200,000 worth of clinic investments in an effort to move the longtime financial loser out of the red.

He's also revamped the fee schedule and billing system to encourage more Unalaskans to visit the local clinic as opposed to practices in Anchorage and Seattle.

Kaech has said his long-term goal is to turn the clinic into a solvent organization by increasing patient volume — and thereby increasing revenue.

Laura Kraegel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2020. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2019. We are proud to have her back in the spring of 2023 filling in as an interim reporter for KUCB.
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