Alaska Public Health Mukluk Telegraph 1958-1959

In the 1950s, the U.S. Public Health Services/Alaska Native Health Services communicated medical news among the eight Alaska hospitals via "Mukluk Telegraph." The hospitals included were Anchorage, Barrow, Bethel, Juneau, Kanakanak, Kotzebue, Mt. Edgecumbe, and Tanana.

Today, "Mukluk Telegraph" is a quarterly newspaper of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, and recently transferred from print communication to an electronic format.

Below, you can find PDFs of the following issues:

Tanana Day School Northern Lights

Anna Bortel, schoolteacher at the Tanana Day School in Tanana, Alaska, encouraged her students to publish a newspaper. The topics included school news, healthcare workers coming to and from the Public Health Services/Alaska Native Services hospital in Tanana, health advice from Dr. Gaede, interviews with people in the village, stories by students, general village news, jokes, news from the three churches in the village, successful hunters, dog sled race winners, and recipes.

Below, you can find PDFs of the following issues. (Dates that were not printed on the newsletter were determined by comparison to other newsletters.)

Alaska Native Health Service: National Hospital Week May 12-18, 1957

This publication comprehensively details the functions of the nine Alaska Native Health Service Hospitals that were in operation in 1957:

  • Anchorage
  • Barrow
  • Bethel
  • Fairbanks
  • Kanakanak
  • Kotzebue
  • Tanana
  • St. George
  • St. Paul

In addition to providing a window into healthcare at that time, it allows for a comparison of the operations. The information includes aspects such as:

  • physical plant (location of the hospital, assessment of the building itself, number of patient beds)
  • availability and modes of transportation and communication
  • roles of employees (Medical Officer in Charge, admitting services, nursing, X-ray technician, dentist, dictation, medical records)
  • preventive healthcare

The Anchorage hospital offered the most services and employment, and understandably so since it was in the population hub of Alaska.