What’s Next? Episode 14: Navigating Care in Alaska with a Care Coordinator

What’s Next? Episode 14: Navigating Care in Alaska with a Care Coordinator with Heidi Young

Even though it is a fact of life that as we grow older, we will have more healthcare needs, people often don’t plan enough ahead for health emergencies. In today’s episode, host Liz Smith is joined in conversation with Heidi Young, Owner at Island Care Services, LLC, to discuss navigating long-term care services in Alaska. 

According to Heidi, care coordinators help families and individuals navigate through the necessary steps necessary for getting approved for long-term care services such as Medicaid. Their main objective is to ensure that people’s needs are met on a long-term basis. Having the assistance of a care coordinator is crucial, especially because most people don’t have a plan in place prior to experiencing a life changing health event. Heidi walks through the steps needed to apply for Medicaid’s long term care program and explains each piece of the process. 

Tune into this week’s episode of What’s Next to learn more about the role of a care coordinator, the importance of having a plan for your future, and how to choose long-term care resources that are best for you and your loved ones. 


• “I really consider myself a community resource. I want everybody at my agency to feel the same way. When I approach my later years, I want to know every single option that’s out there. So what I try to provide for families here are all the options you have for care and so you can make the most informed decision.” (1:00-1:24)

• “What is your plan to take care of family members if something catastrophic were to happen tomorrow?” (2:41-2:47)

• “Our biggest passion is to keep people in their home communities. I hate the idea of going into a village and having to tell somebody that was born in a village and has lived there their whole life that now they have to move to Anchorage to get the level of care services that they need.” (8:36-8:50)

• “Being a care coordinator is not something you do because you’re going to be a millionaire, you do it because you’re helping people in your community get the services that they need and wouldn’t be able to access if it weren’t for care coordinators.” (18:41-18:52)


Island Care Services: https://islandcareservicesllc.com/

Find your Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) here: https://dhss.alaska.gov/dsds/pages/adrc/default.aspx

Southeast Alaska ADRC is SAIL: https://www.sailinc.org/

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): https://www.cms.gov/

CMS Home & Community Based Services: https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/home-community-based-services/index.html

Medicaid in Alaska: https://dhss.alaska.gov/dpa/Pages/medicaid/default.aspx

For all of Liz Smith’s resources give her a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lizsmithlaw