Senate passes measure to transfer land to Native health group

The headquarters of the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation in Bethel, Alaska. Photo from Facebook

The Senate passed S.230, a bill to benefit an Alaska Native health consortium, by unanimous consent on Thursday.

The bill requires the Indian Health Service to convey the 23-acre site of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Hospital and other facilities in Bethel to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. The transfer paves the way for a $250 million renovation and expansion of the campus.

“Transferring this land is important to the Alaska Native people in southwest Alaska,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said in a press release. “This bill is an example of the Senate coming together to get things accomplished for Native communities."

The House version is H.R.521. It cleared the House Natural Resources Committee on June 11 and awaits final action.

"I urge the House of Representatives to take up this measure soon," Barrasso said.

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