Board of Directors buy out Gene Peltola’s contract, Appoint Dan Winkelman as new CEO

Story by – YKHC Board of Directors

January 17, 2014 - 5 minutes read
Dan Winkelman
Dan Winkelman, CEO/President

After nearly 24 years of service to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, Gene Peltola and the Board of Directors announced his early retirement as President & CEO and YKHC bought out the remainder of his contract.  Gene’s early retirement is effective immediately. Gene started at YKHC in 1990 when the Board of Directors’ vision was to take over management of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Hospital. YKHC accomplished that by entering into a contract with the Indian Health Service to manage the Hospital and numerous other health care programs. Under the Board’s leadership, Gene helped grow the company significantly since 1990. Through the years, Gene led the development of many new health care programs and services that our patients have benefited from immensely.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish to thank Gene for his years of service and wish him nothing but the best,” said Board Chair Ray Alstrom of Marshall.
“During this transition period, the YKHC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Dan Winkelman has accepted the position of President & CEO of YKHC beginning January 17, 2014.  Dan has worked at YKHC for 13 years and served most recently as Vice President for Administration & General Counsel. Dan is Deg Hit’an Athabascan and is an enrolled member of one of YKHC’s 58 member tribes, the Shageluk Native Village.”

For several years Dan has supervised various operations of YKHC, all governmental relations and been chief legal counsel. Dan is recognized nationally and statewide for his leadership to improve health care for Alaska Natives. He represents Alaska’s 229 tribes and their health organizations as the Alaska representative on the U.S. Indian Health Service’s Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee. He is a former U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretarial appointee to the Department’s Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans. Dan also is a former tribal co-lead negotiator of the Alaska Tribal Health Compact which is responsible for providing Alaskan’s with over $800 million of annual health care services. He earned his Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Oregon and his Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico’s School of Law. Dan has dedicated his career to improving the lives of Alaskans.

“I am humbled and honored for this privilege to lead our organization. I look forward to working with our Chairman, Ray Alstrom, and our Board of Directors to focus on our patients, employees and tribal communities. We will build upon the accomplishments of our Board of Directors, Gene Peltola and our hardworking employees to ensure that our patients receive the highest quality health care available. I would like to recognize Gene Peltola for his 24 years of dedication and commitment to YKHC and the people of the Delta. Gene’s done a phenomenal job in helping build the organization to what it is today. I have appreciated Gene’s leadership and friendship and look forward to his continued advocacy for the people of the Delta,” said Dan Winkelman.

“It is going to be a difficult time but we need to ask and encourage our employees and our community members to come together to support Dan in this transition,” said Gene Peltola.

“Please join me in thanking Gene Peltola for his years of service, as well as, welcoming Dan Winkelman as our new President & CEO,” said Ray Alstrom.

YKHC’s administration is planning  arrangements to host a community gathering and potluck to allow employees, the public and numerous colleagues across the state and nation an opportunity to acknowledge Gene’s lifetime contributions.  A public notice will be sent once a time and location is determined.