Y-K Health Corp. chief Gene Peltola to retire

An architect of modern Alaska Native and rural Alaska health care, Gene Peltola, is retiring as chief executive of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp., the nonprofit announced Friday.

The largest employer in Bethel, YKHC serves about 50 surrounding villages in Western Alaska. Peltola, 65, has lead the agency since 1990, according to a statement from YKHC.

Peltola told board members of his departure in a Dec. 23 memo. His last day on the job will be April 30, the corporation says.

Peltola grew YKHC from 250 employees to more than 1,300 workers and an $80 million payroll, according to the corporation. He oversaw construction of five primary care clinics in the region and during his tenure YKHC replaced more than 30 inadequate health clinics.

The Alaska Federation of Natives awarded Peltola a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. He was named Indian Health Service's Chief Executive Officer of the Year in 2007.

 Anchroage Daily News / adn.com