Office of the Commissioner

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Alaska DHSS Reorganization information and resources

The mission of the Department of Health is "Promoting the health, well-being, and self-sufficiency of Alaskans."

The Department of Health (DOH) will have oversight of health care services, payment, eligibility determinations and payments of public assistance program benefits, and public health. The Divisions of Behavioral Health, Health Care Services, and Senior and Disabilities Services provide regulatory oversight, claims processing, facility licensing, and enforcement of Medicaid and state regulations. DOH will also actively engage with stakeholders to find opportunities for innovation within Medicaid and to improve health outcomes for all Alaskans.

Heidi Hedberg has been with the department since 2009 and has served as the Director for the Division of Public Health since 2019. She moved to Alaska in 1995 to attend Alaska Pacific University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. Heidi has been involved in population health and policy for over a decade. She has a diverse background which includes topics ranging from public health emergency management to access to health care and system efficiency efforts.

Requests for scheduling appointments or invitations for Commissioner, Heidi Hedberg can made by sending an e-mail to:

Mailing & Physical address:

3601 C Street, Suite 902
Anchorage, Alaska 99503-5923
Phone: 907-269-7800
Fax: 907-269-0060

Crisis Stabilization in Alaska: Understanding HB 172 Frequently Asked QuestionsCrisis Stabilization in Alaska: Understanding HB 172

HB 172 allows people who are experiencing a mental health crisis to be admitted to a licensed crisis stabilization center for just under 24 hours or to a licensed crisis residential center for up to seven days. These crisis stabilization centers can triage, treat or refer patients who are experiencing a mental health crisis to appropriate care, instead of always referring them to emergency departments. HB 172 is critical for implementation of Alaska’s behavioral health crisis care continuum, and was the result of collaborative and intentional efforts by the Department of Health and Social Services (which will continue with both the new Department of Health and Department of Family and Community Services), the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, public safety, community providers, and patient advocates. The goal of the bill is to transform Alaska’s behavioral health system to better serve the most vulnerable Alaskans and their families.

StrengStengthening the System: Alaska's Comprehensive Integrated Mental Health Program Plan thening the System: Alaska’s Comprehensive Integrated Mental Health Program Plan
The 2020-24 plan for achieving the vision of Alaskans receiving comprehensive prevention, treatment and support services at the appropriate level of care across the lifespan, leading to meaningful lives in their home communities.

About the logo

State of Alaska, Department of Health logo

Former Commissioner Adam Crum wanted a logo that recognizes Alaska’s history and the hard work of staff that continuously serve the DOH mission of promoting the health, well-being, and self-sufficiency of Alaskans.

He came up with the idea of a dog sled team because it hearkens back to Alaska’s internationally known story of the Nome serum run – where people and communities came together to serve and protect others regardless of the weather or geographic difficulty. It also is a reminder of the start of Public Health Nursing with the first professional nurse arriving in Bethel in 1893, and traveling around the state on foot, boat or dogsled. And finally, the dogsled team is in honor of all the staff, past and present at DHSS and now DOH that live to serve. 

Sled dogs are famous for their willingness and wanting to just run and race to goals together, and that really personifies the people that work at DOH – they work to manage programs, payments and processes that take care of their fellow Alaskans. They do it not for glory or recognition, but for service of the other.