Free clinic has new home; adds hours

STANWOOD ­— The Safe Harbor Free Clinic plans to move to a new location and double its days of operation by mid-August.

The clinic, which celebrated its fifth anniversary June 19, provides free healthcare for people in Snohomish, Island and Skagit counties.

Safe Harbor currently leases space from the Skagit Regional Clinic at 9631 269th St. NW. Volunteers set up and tear down equipment for weekly clinics, executive director Julie Vess said.

The clinic is moving to its own space at 7209 265th St. NW Suite 203, where equipment can remain in place and more services can be offered, Vess said.

The clinic’s office staff relocated in February. Medical equipment is scheduled to follow once the space is remodeled.

A $10,000 grant from the Charis Fund covers most of the remodel, which is projected to cost about $15,000, Vess said. The clinic is taking donations for the remaining $5,000.

Safe Harbor plans to add two more days of service each week. The clinic is open from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Fridays and every other Saturday. Once the renovation and relocation is complete, it is set to be open from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

“I don’t think I really knew what it would become,” Safe Harbor founder Jimmy Grierson said. “I was hoping that after five years we’d be fairly well established, and I think we’re on the right path for that.”

Safe Harbor provides chronic care, women’s clinics, podiatry, acute care and periodic dental clinics, Vess said. The most common diagnoses are diabetes, high blood pressure and sinus infections.

Clinic volunteers also see a number of undiagnosed cancers, asthma and heart disease, Grierson said. They try to provide appropriate tests and medications for patients with chronic problems, but are limited due to the clinic’s lack of specialty care and imaging equipment.

“There are frustrations,” Grierson said. “You always wish you could do a little bit more with people.”

Private grants and donations fund the clinic, Vess said. About 25 medical professionals and 200 other people volunteer at Safe Harbor. The clinic has four paid employees: Vess, who works full time, and a part-time development director, clinic manager and dental coordinator.

It costs about $75 per patient visit to keep the clinic running, Vess said. Volunteers saw about 2,100 patients in 2013.

“It’s kind of like hauling a bucket around,” Grierson said. “When you plug up some holes, water still leaks out as you go along because there are so many other little holes. There are a lot of people who need care.”

Most patients are uninsured, Vess said, but a number have insurance and can’t afford the deductibles.

Safe Harbor volunteers advocate at the state and national level for free clinics, Grierson said.

“I really hope this clinic can be a model,” he said. “If we can do this in Stanwood, Washington, there’s no reason you can’t do this anywhere in the country.”

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439, kbray@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Officials to test sanity of suspect in Everett crime spree

He allegedly tried to rob and clobber a transit worker, then fled and struggled with police.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
Everett’s brush with Katharine Graham, leader of ‘The Post’

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson recalls The Washington Post publisher’s visits.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Families seek to change wrongful death law

A bill would allow or parents or siblings who wish to pursue a suit for an unmarried, childless adult.

Most Read