YKHC

05Jun02

The hospital for which I work – The Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation – is the biggest game and only healthcare provider for an area the size of Oregon.  It has 27 Beds, satellite clinics exist in smaller villages, and smaller clinics yet exist in smaller villages, yet.  Still, the hospital is the epicenter for all things medical in SW Alaska.

Across the street from the big yellow space-bubble-like hospital is a brand new annex housing the optometry and dentistry divisions.  This is where, along with three staff doctors and 2 other interns including my roomie, I practice daily.

To say that I feel like a minority is an understatement.  The hospital preferentially hires Yup’ik Natives, and even during orientation yesterday we were privy to a propagandized video by the Indian Children’s Health Service.

The ICHS is an organization that takes native children who have been abused or neglected and places them in homes of other Native Americans in hopes of preserving their culture.  In the video, a young Alaskan girl is forced into a white home, where she sulks miserably and sadly as she is forced to eat lasagna.

Do the Yup’ik people never eat lasagna?  Is that such a terrible life?  Hell, the cafeteria served lasagna yesterday, and I’m sure that plenty of Alaskan natives ate it.  The Yup’ik culture is very important, without a doubt, and needs to be guarded.  But lasagna?  Really?

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