SEARHC CEO resigns

The chief executive of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, or SEARHC, is stepping down.

Roald Helgesen is leaving SEARHC to become chief exectuive officer of the statewide Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. He says his last day is in December, to ensure a smooth transition to a new CEO.

In a letter to the SEARHC, Helgesen says he believes he can use his skills even better at the tribal group. Headquartered in Anchorage, ANTHC was formed in 1997 to manage statewide Native health care, including the Alaska Native Medical Center, the state’s largest Native hospital.

Helgesen started at SEARHC answering phones in 1993 and made his way to vice president of administration before leaving in 2004 for work in the Lower 48. He returned in 2007 as president and CEO.

SEARHC operates Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka as well as facilities in Juneau and 16 other communities throughout Southeast Alaska.

Helgesen announced his resignation Tuesday and was unavailable for comment, meeting with the board much of the day on a transition plan. The Southeast health group will conduct a nationwide search to replace him.