Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage is Alaska’s largest hospital. The Sisters of Providence opened their first Anchorage hospital in 1939, a two-story structure at Ninth and L Streets. By mid-century, Anchorage had grown to become Alaska’s largest city. In 1962, the Sisters opened a new facility at Goose Lake, which would later become Providence Alaska Medical Center.
During the mid-20th century when Providence hospital was constructed, asbestos was a common building material. Known for its fire-retardant properties, asbestos was an affordable choice for roofing, flooring, insulation, and a variety of other uses. Pipe fitting insulation, sprayed coatings, and asbestos insulation board are considered to be the most dangerous uses of asbestos, because they are most friable, meaning they crumble easily creating small fibers which can be inhaled.
Like many other buildings constructed prior to 1978 when asbestos use was common, Providence Alaska Medical Center has undergone asbestos abatement. Proper asbestos abatement requires great care, to ensure worker safety. In 1996, Four U.S. Fabrication & Erection, Inc. workers brought a lawsuit against two construction contractors and Providence. The workers alleged that, during structural renovations on the South Tower in 1994, they picked up scraps of material blown into their work area which they later believed to be asbestos. That case was eventually settled.
In addition to asbestos abatement work at Providence Alaska Medical Center’s main campus, Providence has also been involved in abatement work at the nearby Alaska Psychiatric Institute. Originally built in 1959, Providence recently performed asbestos abatement on the building, which has now been converted to a modern psychiatric facility.
Workers at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage may have been exposed to asbestos during construction or abatement, or in the course of their duties as hospital employees. Although some of the ill effects of asbestos were understood as early as the 1930s, employers such as Providence continued to use asbestos as a building material until the late 70s, placing countless workers at risk.
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact Bergman Draper Oslund today. If you suspect you may have been exposed to asbestos at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage and you believe your health has suffered as a result, we want to help you get the justice you deserve. Call today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.