The effort to bring a Community Health Center to Bethel began in 1979 and within two years the Bethel Family Clinic opened its doors in 1981. BFC is a Federally Qualified Health Center that receives HHS funding and has Federal Public Health Service (PHS) deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals.
The service area is in the Yukon and Kuskokwim Delta area located in remote southwestern Alaska. The Bethel/Kusilvak census units cover 87,828 square miles. The service area consists of a hub city of Bethel and 55 surrounding remote villages which are sparsely populated areas. Bethel and the Kusilvak census areas have a population of 25,878 per the 2014 United State Census Bureau. Bethel Family Clinic received its 2014 Level III certification as a Patient-Centered Medical Home in 2016.
Bethel is a small, remote community and collaboration is a vital aspect of providing quality care. BFC has made a concerted effort to collaborate with the local tribal health corporation which runs a critical access hospital in Bethel and sub-regional and village clinics in the service area. BFC works closely with the state public health nurse and the State Health Department.
Bethel Family Clinic is in the heart of Bethel, centrally located within walking distance to grocery shopping, schools, gas station and a short drive to the post office. BFC has only one site located in Bethel where the majority of our services are carried out. Regular bus service travels around the community making stops where needed and BFC is accessible to this service. Other services are provided at the local schools, cultural center, and in the area villages at the schools and head start facilities which makes access to our services convenient for our patients in this service area of Alaska.