Story last updated at 8/12/2009 - 1:17 pm
SITKA - SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Vice President of Community Health Services Mark Gorman has announced he is departing SEARHC after 22 years with the tribal health organization.
"It has been a rich 22 years filled with challenges, professional growth and the incredible opportunity to work and befriend an amazing group of people who, together, have achieved remarkable improvement in access to health services," Gorman said. "I feel the time is right to move to the next stage of my life in order to pursue some other long-term goals."
"We would like to thank Mark for his 22 years of service to the mission of SEARHC," said SEARHC President/CEO Roald Helgesen. "Mark worked to expand primary and preventive care to our communities in Southeast Alaska. Most notably, Mark expanded care through (federal) Health Resource Service Administration (HRSA) grants for health access points across our region."
Gorman has been Vice President of Community Health Services since 1989, and before that he was Deputy Director of Community Health Services from 1987-89. He also served as Interim President/CEO for five months in 2007 following the death of then-President/CEO Ken Brewer.
"We appreciate Mark's 22 years of contributions to the health services for our tribal members, especially during the transition after Ken's death," said Victoria Demmert, SEARHC Board Chair.
The SEARHC Community Health Services division Gorman leads provides services to rural villages in Southeast Alaska. These services include training and supervising community health aides and community wellness advocates; providing medical, dental and behavioral health services; residential substance abuse treatment; emergency medical services and training; community family service workers; environmental health; injury prevention and health promotion.
"As a leader, Mark's accomplishments include the expansion of the rural programs through HRSA funding and development of the FESC (Frontier Extended Stay Clinic) model," said Dr. David Vastola, longtime Medical Director for SEARHC Community Health Services. "Mark is widely known and respected at the state and national levels."
"Mark saw the need to get services out to the communities where our tribal members live," said Frank Sutton, SEARHC Vice President of Hospital Services. "He worked tirelessly to find ways to fund services and programs at the village level. His leadership truly will be missed at SEARHC."
Gorman expects to stay with SEARHC through the end of September, and Helgesen said a transition plan is being developed. Gorman said his immediate plan is to stay in Sitka and to take a break and reflect on his 22 years with SEARHC.
"I really do leave with a tremendous gratitude for the people I've worked with. That's been the high point of my service at SEARHC" Gorman said. "SEARHC Community Health Services is very strong and I'm grateful to have had this opportunity. My confidence is there will be a very strong transition, and I'll be there to help how I can."