Should the state privatize Pioneer Homes management?

Unless you have been living in a cave in the Tri-border area of Pakistan, you realize the State of Alaska is facing a serious budget crisis. The Governor chaired a fiscal sustainability conference in Fairbanks earlier this year to address the state’s finanace and cost saving options. One of the many suggestions was to have the Department of Health and Social Services contract for a feasibility study to determine if out-sourcing or privatizing the management of the Pioneer Homes system was cost effective. DHSS is considering issuing a contract to study this proposal.

OPAG certainly supports Governor Walker’s administration efforts to trim any excess spending out of the budget. All department, stakeholders, and residents will almost assuredly feel the pinch of program reductions in the coming years as revenues dwindle.

Alaska Pioneer Homes have a proud history of quality and compassionate care to our senior citizens. We hope the level of care will not be effected by a reduction in funding. Hopefully, a balance can be achieved, and the quality maintained while finding ways to trim expenses.

OPAG and The Senior Voice encourages our readers to contact Vickie Wilson, the Acting Director for the Alaska Pioneer Homes, at with your sugesstions and comments.

Mike Dryden is an Older Persons Action Group board member and treasurer.

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