Bethel Family Clinic Saves Lives, support the new facility

Bethel Family Clinic Saves Lives

Photo by Jehona Kadriu
From left are Susie Trantham, Joel Bowles, Grace Haas, Don Black, Dean Swope, Latesia Guinn, Gerry Graves and Kyle McGrath at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new facility. Photo by Jehona Kadriu

by Executive Director LaTesia Guinn

The Bethel Family Clinic (BFC) together with their board of directors, volunteers, and staff would like to thank everyone who supports BFC and the new facility fundraising. Special thanks to Bethel Lions Club and VFW Auxiliary 10041, Saturday market events to date and other personal donations.

The fundraising events have just begun, and the UPS “Heart” labels at AC and Swanson, and on Feb. 14 a special Valentine’s Dinner at the Lions Club, with many more fundraising events planned for the future.

BFC located at 631 4th and Main Street, was incorporated in 1981 and became a federally qualified health center in 2001. BFC has waxed and waned throughout many of the beginning years, and is currently operating with two-Mid-Level providers, a physician, two-behavioral health clinicians and a full-time dentist.

In 2015 BFC recorded 4,593 encounters provided to 3,110 individual patients. This is a consistent increase of 10% per year for more than 10 years. BFC expects this trend to continue into the future.

BFC’s current facility has limitations on serving the population. The current clinical building is outdated, too small, is not optimally configured, and presents barriers to providing a fully functional Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care. The need for a new facility has been discussed by the Board of Directors and listed on the strategic plans for more than 10+ years. As users of the facility they see the needs for a new functional building to better address the needs of the public served. The limitation has always been funding to build a new facility.

In May 2016, BFC was awarded the Health Infrastructure Improvement Project (HIIP) Grant and together with reserves and other foundation funding, and fundraising, is planning to build a new 4,576 sq. ft. facility with a 1,065 sq. ft. mezzanine on a lot owned by BFC which is located across the street from the existing facility at 640 4th and Main Street.

The new facility will include 9 large exam rooms and a full-size x-ray room, generous sized waiting room, bigger offices, and more working space for the providers and nursing staff. The mezzanine holds the mechanical rooms with the HVAC, Electrical, Water, IT systems and additional storage.

The resulting facility will be larger and better organized; incorporate Green/sustainable design practices, all of which are workable for Alaskan conditions and standards well suited to deliver services to the patient population.

The current 30+ year-old facility will undergo its renovation in late 2018 and be used for administrative, finance and billing offices, ancillary services, behavioral health and dental. The second and third floors will be modified for provider housing for visiting locums providers.

Prep work has been completed and RPF for construction contractors has been let out on Jan. 25. Major building will begin summer of 2017 with completion by spring of 2018.

With your support BFC new facility will be an asset to our community and continue to serve the people of Bethel and Kusilvak Census Areas of western Alaska. The Grand Opening is planned for the summer of 2018.

For more information on this project and how you can make your tax deductible donation, contact BFC at 543-3773.

“Bethel Family Clinic saved my Life”, from Cynthia Coffee.