Health related stories.

Bethel Police Department

Initial concerns appear to be unfounded that a young man found dead in a Bethel residence in January may have died from suspicious causes.  

According to information released by the Bethel Police Department, the state Medical Examiner's report classifies the death as an accident and indicates that Kyle Thomas died from acute alcohol poisoning. Thomas was found dead at 7:35 a.m on January 9, 2017.

Thomas was 30 years old. The full medical report was released to family members.    

Danielle Shawgo, Director of Outpatient Behavioral Health with YKHC, says the health corporation has not seen an increase since Bethel opened its liquor stores in people looking for help to sober up, and she says the numbers of visits to the emergency roo
Gale Ekamrak / KYUK Interns

Has the Bethel liquor store fueled an increase in domestic violence in the region? That is one of the questions at the heart of the tribal meeting held in Bethel this week. The answer is not clear-cut.

Gale Ekamrak / KYUK Interns

Bethel’s alcohol stores are affecting the entire region, and it’s up to the tribes to do something about it. That’s the message from a tribal gathering held in Bethel on Wednesday. Representatives from more than a dozen tribes across the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta came together to share how their communities have been affected since Bethel started selling alcohol last spring.

Alaska State Troopers

An Akiak woman died after being thrown from a snowmachine driven by an intoxicated driver. Alaska State Troopers responded to the crash west of Akiachak on the Gweek River trail Wednesday morning. Troopers say that Alfreda Evan, age 30, of Akiak died from her injuries. William Peter, age 33, of Tuluksak, was the driver and has been charged with a DUI and criminally negligent homicide. Evan’s next of kin have been notified.

The Yukon Kuskokwim Ayagnirvik Healing Center provides substance abuse treatment for alcohol and opioid addiction in Bethel, Alaska.
Dean Swope / KYUK

Last week, Governor Bill Walker declared the state’s opioid epidemic a public health disaster and issued administrative orders directing all departments of the state government to apply for federal funds to address the crisis. As the executive branch is mobilizing in hopes of mitigating the epidemic, KYUK is checking in with the opioid treatment program at the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation in Bethel for an update.

Katie Basile / KYUK

A woman was found dead after hours in the VFW sauna.

Maria Bell, age 31, of Chevak was unresponsive when she was discovered in the sauna of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) building in Bethel. She was taken to the Emergency Room and pronounced dead.

Alaska State Troopers

A man from Alakanuk was found dead about 50 yards from his house after getting his snowmachine stuck in a deep snowbank. 

The Yukon Kuskokwim Ayagnirvik Healing Center provides substance abuse treatment for alcohol and opioid addiction in Bethel, Alaska.
Dean Swope / KYUK

Governor Bill Walker has declared Alaska’s opioid epidemic a state disaster and ordered state and federal money for overdose medication.

Alaska State Legislature

State Representative Tammie Wilson (R) of North Pole will travel to Bethel this weekend to hold a community forum on the status of the Office of Children's Services in Alaska. Wilson has called for a grand jury investigation into how the agency is performing, along with its entire parent agency, the Department of Health and Social Services. The meeting will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 11  at the Bethel Legislative Information Office. KYUK’s Adrian Wagner spoke with Wilson to find out more.

YKHC To Ban Tobacco In February 2018

Feb 6, 2017

The Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation has pledged to become tobacco-free next year. This means smoking, dipping, and chewing will not be allowed in any YKHC rented or owned buildings, both in Bethel and the villages.