KYUK AM

Elder Who Requested Initial Funding For McCann Treatment Center Dies At Age 89

Sep 21, 2017

YKHC McCann Treatment Center in Bethel, Alaska
Credit Aleina Tanabe / KYUK

The man that the McCann Treatment Center in Bethel was named after has died. 

Police found 89-year-old Billy McCann deceased in his bedroom in Kasayuli Subdivision on Wednesday evening. His family hadn’t heard from the elder for many days and asked police to check on him. When police arrived, they discovered that McCann had passed away of apparent natural causes. 

The McCann Treatment Center in Bethel carries the elder’s name. The facility operates under the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, and according to President and CEO Dan Winkelman, initial funding for the center came from a request McCann made to Senator Frank Murkowski. McCann asked Senator Murkowski to help a relative who was struggling with inhalant abuse, or huffing. Murkowski said that he would get funding for YKHC to set up a treatment center, and he did.

The facility opened in the early 2000s. Since then, it has expanded treatment programs to provide clinical psychiatric and substance abuse services for Alaskan boys ages 10 to 18.