Goodnews Bay will vote on whether to leave the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation

Nov 5, 2018

Tribal members will vote tomorrow on whether the Native Village of Goodnews Bay should withdraw from BBAHC and authorize another tribal health organization to provide health services to its members.

November 8, 2018 update: The Mumtraq Village Council will not release the results of the vote until the results are canvased and made official. The village council has not yet scheduled a canvasing meeting.

The Native Village of Goodnews Bay will vote Tuesday on whether it will leave the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation.

Tribal Administrator Peter Julius said that the Mumtraq Village Council has heard tribal members’ concerns about the quality of healthcare through BBAHC and that travel to Kanakanak Hospital in Dillingham is difficult. There are no regularly scheduled flights between Dillingham and Goodnews Bay.

Julius said that if Goodnews Bay chooses to leave BBAHC, it will likely authorize the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation to provide health services to its tribal members instead. He pointed out that Ravn Alaska flies regularly between Goodnews Bay and Bethel, where the YKHC Hospital is located.

A recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services survey found that the Kanakanak Hospital pharmacy, "placed all patients receiving medications from the hospital at risk for significant adverse events and/or death from medication errors."

Julius said that survey also contributed the Mumtraq Village Council’s decision to hold a vote about participation in BBAHC .

The Native Village of Goodnews Bay is one of 28 Alaska Native tribes that authorizes BBAHC to provide health services to its members through a contract with the Indian Health Service.

Tomorrow tribal members will decide by a simple majority whether to continue that relationship between Goodnews Bay and BBAHC.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.