Providence St. Elias Specialty Hospital earns prestigious medical rehabilitation facility accreditation

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities recognizes commitment to programs and services that are measurable, accountable, highest quality

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International has announced that Providence St. Elias Specialty Hospital has been accredited for a period of three years for its 35-bed inpatient medical rehabilitation facility.

This is the first accreditation that the international accrediting body has given to Providence St. Elias and the only CARF-accredited medical inpatient rehabilitation program in Alaska. The accreditation extends through June 30, 2026. 

Accreditation represents the highest level of recognition that can be given to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a three-year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable and of the highest quality.

“This accreditation is a testimony to the level of excellence and outstanding performance the care team provides for Alaskans,” said Jessica Oswald, administrator of Providence St. Elias Specialty Hospital. “For many Alaskans recovering from severe strokes, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and other complex medical traumas and conditions, the ability to access the right level of specialty care at the right time and in the right setting is crucial to a patient’s ability to regain function and overall recovery.”

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of the persons served. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.

Providence St. Elias Specialty Hospital opened in 2006 with the goal of helping critically ill Alaskans receive world-class specialty recovery care close to home. In 2020, St. Elias opened a new inpatient rehabilitation facility and began working on the foundation needed to support pursuing CARF accreditation. Achieving CARF accreditation in 2023 represents the culmination of years of building a highly specialized and trained team with intensive preparations to demonstrate compliance with nearly 2,000 accreditation requirements. 

“Over the past several years St. Elias has seen nearly a 400% increase in access to care for Alaskans with these newly available intensive therapy and recovery services,” said Oswald. “Our team of nearly a dozen specialty trained physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians and our therapies and nursing teams are unduplicated, with extensive certifications, training and expertise tailored to helping patients get back to living their lives.”

For additional information, visit Providence St. Elias Specialty Hospital also has two video tours available: (hospital overview) and (meet our caregivers).


Providence Alaska is part of Providence, a not-for-profit network of hospitals, care centers, health plans, physicians, clinics, home health services, affiliated services, and educational facilities. For more information about Providence, visit