Elmer E. Gaede, M.D., Tanana Public Health Services Hospital, 1958, Tanana, Alaska
From 1957 – 1959, my father was the Medical Officer in Charge (MOC) at the Public Health Services Hospital in Tanana, Alaska. Those were two of my best childhood years. Ever since that time, Tanana has had a special place in my heart — and I return whenever possible. In 2009, the hospital was demolished. This was sad for many people, including me. I felt honored when the Indian Health Services (IHS) asked me to help compile and develop a commemorative booklet. In August 2012, three years of hard labor culminated in the Development, History, Community & Cultural Significance of the Tanana Hospital Complex. This is one of the most meaningful projects I’ve ever worked on. To read these stories, including one by my sister, Mishal Gaede, go to: http://www.prescriptionforadventure.com/docs/TananaBooklet.pdf
Mishal Gaede said:
Sister, you rock! How very fun, always a joy with you leading the way, cyber space or on a “walk about” on the Homestead, or developing stories on paper! You do it all from Zip lines to putting that language arts degree to good use! Bravo! Proud of you as always! Lil sis
Naomi Gaede Penner said:
Lil Sis, it means so much for you to have traveled back to Tanana with me — for that is where YOU were born. You always cheer me on, send information and news that you KNOW I’ll be interested in. Love you!
Kimberly Ingram Ramirez said:
Hi, I just ran across your blog!!! I was born in this hospital October, 1965. My Mother was a Public Health Nurse and my Father was with the FAA. I was just a few months old when we left. My Mom had only been out of nursing school for 2 years when she came to Alaska in 1962. Tanana is where she met my Dad. They were there 1962-1965. I was supposed to be born in Anchorage but, she didn’t think it was right (being a labor and delivery nurse) that they were trying to get the women of the village to have their babies in the hospital, and, she would go somewhere else to deliver her baby. I guess we were thinking along the same lines as I was born 2 weeks early.
She still has a lot of photos and slides from their time there. I also have several pair of beautiful hand made, hand beaded moccasins from Tanana.
But I really love the fact that I was born in an “Alaska Native Hospital’ and my “Alaska Native” birth certificate has no place for race to be listed.
I really wish we could have been there long enough for me to have memories of living there.
Thanks for writing this blog,
Kimberly Ingram Ramirez
Naomi Gaede Penner said:
I love hearing your story! And having my stories invite in other people’s stories! Thanks so much for taking the time to write and send you memories — and your Tanana history!