UW maternal clinic opens in Smokey Point

SMOKEY POINT ­­— The fast-growing community of Smokey Point is gaining a university-based medical clinic that specializes in healthcare for women with difficult or dangerous pregnancies.

A University of Washington Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic officially opened Tuesday on the second floor of the Cascade Skagit Health Alliance building at 3823 172nd St. in Arlington.

A handful of people came in last week, prior to the clinic’s formal opening, for ultrasounds and other prenatal tests, said Dr. Jane Hitti, a maternal fetal medicine specialist and professor at the University of Washington.

The clinic accepts referrals from doctors throughout northwest Washington. It offers early genetic screening and coordinated care for both mother and child through Seattle Children’s Hospital, two resources that most local healthcare providers do not have access to, Hitti said.

Some of the most common pregnancy complications that doctors at the clinic handle are diabetes, hypertension, birth defects and multiple pregnancies, meaning twins, triplets or more.

The clinic accepts most insurance plans, and there are options for women who are uninsured or low-income, Hitti said.

“We’re committed to being able to provide access to everyone, and we’ll look at ways we can do that,” she said.

Doctors rotate shifts at the clinic, which generally have a physician and a genetic counselor working at the same time. Genetic counselors specialize in screening for diseases or other complications, Hitti said. For example, one blood test can detect Down Syndrome as early as 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

Currently, the clinic can handle between eight and 12 patients per day.

The clinic area lines a single hallway, with an ultrasound room, offices and a meeting room for counseling. Space has been set aside along a second hallway to expand the clinic in the future.

“I anticipate that there’s going to be a pretty rapid growth trajectory at this location,” Hitti said. “Judging by what we’ve seen this week, it’s going to be a challenge to grow appropriately and keep up with demand.”

Though the university’s maternal fetal medicine clinic is new to Smokey Point, it has been in Snohomish County for nearly 15 years. It was previously located at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, according to UW Medicine spokeswoman Kim Blakeley. Providence recently ended its contract with the university and now partners with Swedish Health Services.

The clinic found a new home at Cascade Skagit Health Alliance, relocating over the course of eight weeks to keep a foothold in Snohomish County, Hitti said.

The move is an opportunity, she said. The clinic can provide more accessible care for people who previously drove from Bellington or Mount Vernon to Everett and Seattle for their appointments.

The University of Washington now has three maternal fetal medicine clinics across the state, with the others located in Seattle and Yakima.

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

More in Local News

Families begin relocating from public housing complex

Baker Heights is in need of repairs deemed to costly to make, and will be demolished and replaced.

Trail work by juvenile offenders builds resumes, confidence

Kayak Point trails were built out this year by groups from Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Distress beacon leads rescuers to Pacific Crest Trail hikers

Two men in their 20s had encountered snow and waited two nights for a helicopter rescue.

Volunteers clean up homeless camp infested with garbage

The organization’s founder used to live and do drugs in the same woods.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

Arrests made in robbery-turned fatal Everett shooting

A man, 24, and woman, 18, were found at a hotel in Seattle.

Boeing marks the start of 777X production at Paine Field

It took tax breaks and union concessions to land assembly of the company’s new jetliner in Everett.

3 fire departments seek levies to support emergency services

District 25 in Oso is hoping to pass its first fire levy in 22 years.

Most Read