Expansion should reduce waits at Providence Everett Healthcare Clinic

EVERETT — After six years of growth, it was time for space to catch up with demand.

Providence Everett Healthcare Clinic, which opened in 2004 to provide medical care to people who otherwise might not be able to get it, has just completed a $350,000 expansion.

The money was used to increase space for primary care exams by 1,200 square feet, a 40 percent increase in space since the clinic last expanded in 2007, said Dr. Marcia Wharton, medical director.

The clinic is open to any patient but targets those without health insurance, such as low-income children and adults, students recently graduated from training schools or college, immigrants and seniors on Medicare. The clinic charges on a sliding fee, based on ability to pay.

The clinic has 14 rooms for primary-care patients and two for mental health services for children and adults.

The extra space should allow the clinic to treat patients more efficiently and with fewer waits, said Lisa Carroll, clinic manager.

The latest expansion is one more milestone for a clinic that opened in January 2004 after a yearlong public fund drive that raised $1 million. The clinic is located at 1001 N. Broadway, near Everett Community College.

During its first year, the clinic had a staff of five employees and was able to schedule 5,000 medical appointments. The number of patients it serves has grown by 10 percent to 20 percent a year.

It now has 20 full- and part-time employees and scheduled 13,000 appointments last year, Carroll said.

“We’re just always growing and changing,” she said.

Over the years, nearly 100 nurse practitioner students from the University of Washington have trained at the clinic.

The clinic has had a wave of new patients in the past year. The bad economy has caused people to lose health-care benefits and their jobs, Carroll said.

“We have families where one partner is employed and has insurance and nobody else in the family does,” she said.

New patients with health-care needs that aren’t urgent, such as physicals or well baby exams, sometimes now have to wait a month for an appointment, Carroll said.

Clinic patients can also receive dental care at the clinic, a service provided three days a month though Medical Teams International.

About the clinic

At Providence Everett Healthcare Clinic in 2009:

13,000 medical and mental health appointments were provided.

60 percent of patients were older than 19.

65 percent were on Medicaid.

8.5 percent were on Medicare.

About one-third of patients had a mental health diagnosis, such as depression or stress.

The clinic is at 1001 N. Broadway, Everett; call 425-317-0300.

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