President/CEO Gene Peltola announced his retirement to the YKHC Board of Directors last month, indicating his final day will be April 30, 2014.
Gene assumed the reins of YKHC in 1990 after a tumultuous two years in which the organization was riddled with conflict, dissension and politics that almost saw the dismantling of the organization.
He quickly turned the organization around and within 18 months helped position YKHC to assume management and operation of the Indian Health Service’s YK Delta Regional Hospital, a milestone in self-determination for the region’s 58 Federally recognized tribes.
Gene has been a forceful advocate for numerous medical technologies and advances which have benefited the region greatly, including telemedicine, the expansion of T-1 communication lines from a repeat satellite, to the establishment of the microwave tower tele-communication system to fiber-optic broadband services, and most recently the organizations transition to electronic medical record.
Early cancer detection and prevention measures have increased tenfold under the watch of Mr. Peltola and the team of medical professionals who have worked for him for the last two and a half decades.
Mr. Peltola’s career expands beyond health. His advocacy for the region on behalf of the Alaska Native people, as well as his tireless promotion of rural infrastructure needs through his personal and professional connections in the State of Alaska, private foundations, business executives and numerous connections in Washington D.C., have all benefited the YK Delta in many ways.
Gene was the recipient of the Alaska Federation of Native’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006; Indian Health Service’s Chief Executive Officer of the Year in 2007; the Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation Luminary President’s Award in March 2009. He currently serves on the boards for LifeMed; Nuvista, LLC and Wells Fargo.
Upon retirement he is looking forward to spending more time hunting and fishing as well as spending time with his family, children and grandchildren.