Nonprofit leaders meet with Gov. Dunleavy and DHSS staff at Mat-Su Health Foundation convening

On Tuesday, January 7, the Mat-Su Health Foundation hosted a convening of nonprofit leaders with Governor Mike Dunleavy and key DHSS staff, including Commissioner Adam Crum, Deputy Commissioner Al Wall and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink.  More than 50 executives and board members attended to hear Governor Dunleavy give an overview of the thinking behind his FY20 and FY21 budget proposals, the opportunities he sees for Alaska’s economy, and steps that DHSS is taking to improve internal systems, reduce costs and reform healthcare.

I care a lot about the state and the people of Alaska,” said Dunleavy “My whole career has been about helping us become a better place.”

Gov. Dunleavy speaks at Mat-Su Health Foundation convening.


Get the latest state-specific policy intelligence for the health care sector delivered to your inbox.


The Governor emphasized the following:

  • The need for a constitutional amendment to reign in the budget.
  • The obligation of all sectors to give a little in order to reduce the cost of government and minimize impacts to the PFD
  • His focus on reducing costs in HSS and Education, the two largest portions and drivers of the State budget.
  • The need to deliver something of value to all Alaskans in return for taking part of the PFD or implementing any revenue measures.
  • The need to diversify Alaska’s economy through agriculture (especially as Alaska warms due to climate change), resource development and tourism.
  • His goal that services delivered through the nonprofit sector and government be sustainable and deliver outcomes.

We all have to work together to build the Alaska we want for our kids and grand-kids, that is sustainable.” Dunleavy said. “We have to prioritize what is important to Alaska, we can’t be all things to all people.”

Nonprofit leaders meet with with Gov. Dunleavy and key DHSS staff.

Governor Dunleavy emphasized that nonprofits should justify the need and demand for services they provide and advocate for support in the budget as appropriate.  He said Alaskans must decide what programs and services offer value that they want to pay for.  He noted that the meeting at the Mat-Su Health Foundation was just one of many stops he’ll make and groups he’ll meet with over the next few months to hear from Alaskans. To help inform State investments and strategy, he noted his administration is forming working groups on key issues, including the ferry system, substance abuse, homelessness, and domestic violence.

Elizabeth Ripley is the Chief Executive Officer of the Mat-Su Health Foundation.