Mat-Su Health Foundation 03


In 2013, MSHF and community partners conducted a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), complete with data analysis and 24 community convenings across the borough to rank the health and wellness goals for Mat-Su. The results clearly articulated five top goals involving specific behavioral health issues. MSHF commissioned a Behavioral Health Environmental Scan (BHES), to learn what is working in Mat-Su’s behavioral health crisis response system and behavioral health continuum of care and what can be improved. The Mat-Su Health Foundation staff is working with community-based behavioral health providers, the State Division of Behavioral Health, and others to implement the policy, program and system level recommendations that came from the BHES series of reports. The goal of the Healthy Minds focus area is that all residents are able to access a complete behavioral health system of care that works. 


The Mat-Su Health Foundation, working closely with Mat-Su Regional Medical Center and guided by a group of state and local leaders, sponsored a Behavioral Health Environmental Scan (BHES) to examine the system that cares for Mat-Su residents. The Scan has three parts and is being presented in three separate reports:

Report 1: The Crisis Response System

Click here to download the Report 1 Executive Summary

Click here to download Report 1 in its entirety

Click here to download infographics from Report 1 



Report 2: The System of Care

Click here to download the Report 2 Executive Summary

Click here to download Report 2 in its entirety 



Report 3: The Prevention System

(scheduled for publication in early 2017)

The BHES project included researching and analyzing the following:

  • Patient access and flow through the system
  • Barriers and challenges to accessing services
  • Service availability and potential gaps or linkage issues
  • System response and service provision for behavioral health emergencies
  • State and national policy and regulatory effects on the Mat-Su system
  • Policies and practices that have worked in like communities to address challenges
  • Upstream prevention opportunities
Why a Behavioral Health Environmental Scan?

In 2013, the Mat-Su Health Foundation and community partners conducted a Mat-Su Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). As part of the CHNA process, 24 meetings were held across the borough,where more than 500 Mat-Su residents participated and ranked the following as the top two health and wellness goals for the Mat-Su community:

1.All Mat-su children are safe and well cared for
2.All Mat-su residents are drug free (illegal drugs) and sober or drink responsibly

Both of these goals relate to promoting optimal behavioral health for Mat-Su residents. Sometimes this means providing treatment for substance abuse or mental health challenges. It also means creating a supportive environment where children live in families without violence or substance abuse, and with parents who themselves are healthy and happy. In the course of the CHNA, Mat-Su school nurses, principals, doctors and others explained that the local behavioral health treatment system is not working well. To better understand how the treatment system is working and what can be done to fix areas that are not working, the Mat-Su Health Foundation-in cooperation with Mat-Su's behavioral health providers-launched a Behavioral Health Environmental Scan (BHES). The following contractors have been engaged to help complete the BHES: McDowell Group and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).

More data about Mat-Su and Alaska behavioral health is available in these reports published by the Alaska Mental Health Trust:

Alaska Behavioral Health System Assessment, Mat-Su Regional Data Report 2009-2013, Updated 10-29-15

Alaska Behavioral Health Systems Assessment Final Report, Updated 10-22-15


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