The Alaska Primary Care Association recently honored Dr. David Vastola, Community Health Care Services medical director with SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, with its 2011 Sockeye Award.
The Sockeye Award is presented “to a clinician who is a resource and advocate for Alaska’s primary care safety net providers, and who, through demonstration of best practices, improves access to primary care in Alaska. Your commitment and dedication to increasing access to primary health care for all Alaskans strengthens us each and every day,” according to the APCA.
“It is with great pride and humility that I receive the Alaska Primary Care Association’s Sockeye Award,” Vastola said. “I accept this award on behalf of the amazing team at SEARHC, without which my work would be less successful and satisfying. The organization’s commitment to health care quality and access is pervasive from front-line staff to leadership.”
In 1994, Vastola became the medical director for Community Health Care Services, assuming direct responsibility for improving the quality of health services. He supervises the medical staff at SEARHC’s rural clinics and the Air Medical Services program and has been one of the main architects for the Frontier Extended Stay Clinic demonstration project and the WISEWOMAN Women’s Health Program. Vastola was instrumental in developing the community health center program, leading the transition from small “health-aide-only” staffed clinics to sophisticated facilities staffed with on-site physicians and/or mid-level practitioners.
Prior to working with Community Health Care Services, he was a pediatrician at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka beginning in 1988.