Alaska Cares


Spring_2019 One Cause One Roof

Construction workers finish work on the Alaska CARES building in Anchorage. Photo courtesy Providence Health & Services Alaska

By Cheyenne Mathews




Alaska CARES, a service of The Children’s Hospital at Providence, will have a new, tailor-made building in April in Anchorage. Alaska CARES, which stands for Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Services, encompasses several entities, including law enforcement, child protection services, forensic nursing, and medical and mental health care for children.

The new multidisciplinary build-ing has been in the works since 2015, when Providence Alaska Foundation surveyed the Anchorage community about what health care causes people were interested in contributing to.

“We found that Alaskans care most about child abuse response and evaluation services,” said Lindsie Mills at the Providence Alaska Foundation. “That certainly piqued our interest because we knew that was a need for our community and a need for a new home for Alaska CARES.”

The Alaska CARES fundraising effort has raised 89 percent of its $12.85 million goal. Some of the largest contributors to the cause include the Southcentral Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation and ConocoPhillips Alaska.

“The hope for this new facility is that it becomes their new and permanent home,” Mills said. “The existing space that they’re in was never meant to house Alaska CARES or its team of co-located partners permanently.”

The new Alaska CARES building is a 28,000-square-foot, single-story building. The five service entities will all be under one roof. Dale Rahn, head of Providence’s real estate and construction department, said location and privacy were also key considerations for the new building’s design and location.

“We wanted to make sure that the adjacency to where this building is placed in town is a proper meeting space,” Rahn said. “We don’t really want to be seen, we don’t really want to be public. Matter of fact, the design of the building is designed with patient privacy in mind.”

Davis Constructors and Engineers Inc. has worked with Rahn on several Providence projects, so when it took on the Alaska CARES project, the company already had a close working relationship.

“When your client is stressing the privacy issues and everything else like that, you really understand what your client is saying and you know that you are going to give them exactly what they want because you have a long-term relationship,” said Dean Cagle, Davis project superintendent.

Luke Blomfield, Davis project manager for Alaska CARES, said the positive mission of this project was one of the things he liked best about working on the building.

“It makes you proud to do something with the community, be a member of the community and recognize that something like this — though unfortunate — it is needed,” Blomfield said. “The best thing about construction is that as you continue through your life you have this long-lasting structure there that will survive you, and it’s really a great career to have that visual representation of what you’ve completed.”

One of the unique aspects of the Alaska CARES building project is that once funding was approved, construction began immediately.

“The way Davis does business and the way we structure things, we like to move and mobilize fast and get to work,” Cagle said.

Rahn said he has worked with Davis on about five other projects and that relationship helped the project start and finish strong.

“We were fortunate to be able to partner up with them where we’ve done many other large projects and the team has already been working together. So the partnership with which we’ve done this project ... we already knew each other ... so we hit the ground running hard,” Rahn said. “I think the success of the project from start to finish is proving that partnership.”

Blomfield said that it is more typical for construction to begin several weeks after funding is approved, but the close relationship with Providence helped the project run smoothly.

“It’s great to have a client that you’re comfortable with that’s honest and fair-dealing,” Blomfield said. “The relationships that have developed over the years just create this environment of honesty and openness with each other and finding the best solution for the project, and it’s just been a really stellar relationship.”

Alaska CARES serves nearly 1,000 children each year, and the one-roof business model is intended to help streamline service for children and families by avoiding duplicate interviews with several entities at multiple facilities.

Cheyenne Mathews is a freelance writer who lives in Anchorage.

New building will house multiple services for Alaska CARES program

Spring_2019 Children's Hospital

The Alaska CARES building, in association with The Children’s Hospital at Providence, is set to start providing services in April. Alaska CARES stands for Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Services,
and the program treats children who are victims of abuse and maltreatment. Photo courtesy Providence Health & Services Alaska


Cheyenne Mathews is a freelance writer who lives in Anchorage.