Lynnwood clinic for low-income, uninsured patients now open Sundays

LYNNWOOD — The nonprofit Community Health Center of Snohomish County has a new service to help treat the colds, coughs, cuts and broken bones that can crop up on weekends.

Its walk-in clinic at 4111 194th St. SW is now open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The Community Health Center provides medical services to anyone but was founded in 1983 to treat low-income and uninsured children and adults. Last year the organization treated 47,000 patients.

The walk-in clinic fills a niche that the Community Health Center couldn’t fill at its other clinics in Arlington, Edmonds and north and south Everett, said Dr. Scott McAfee, medical director of the walk-in clinic.

In the past, patients could go to one of the existing clinics hoping that they could fill a no-show slot, said Bob Farrell, the health center’s chief executive. “It’s not good customer service to have them wait and hope they can get in.”

The walk-in clinic is design to take care of that need, McAfee said. You don’t have to be a regular patient of the Community Health Center to be treated at the walk-in clinic. In fact, about a quarter of all the walk-in customers are new patients, McAfee said.

The walk-in clinic opened in May, initially on weekdays, following a $1 million remodeling project. It’s located in a building the organization first opened 23 years ago as a family practice clinic.

“We get lots of kids with fevers and ear infections,” McAfee said, as well as patients with colds, coughs and flu symptoms, minor cuts and burns, sprains and broken bones and nausea. “People are in and out in under an hour,” he said.

The walk-in clinic is the only Community Health Center clinic with an X-ray machine. That can save a patient a trip to an emergency room to be treated for broken bones.

“We’ve seen some pretty amazing things,” McAfee said. One woman in her 20s came to the walk-in clinic with leg and ankle pain. An X-ray showed she had been working for a month with a fractured bone and dislocated ankle because she couldn’t afford health care, McAfee said.

The walk-in clinic “can provide care that may not be available anywhere else other than at an emergency room, and, it’s much less expensive,” McAfee said.

Lynnwood is home to patients with global connections, he said. In additional to English, patients may speak Spanish, Arabic and east and west African languages, Russian, Romanian, and Asian languages such as Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. Telephone interpreter services are available.

The building also houses a pharmacy and walk-in dental services.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

Clinic information

The nonprofit Community Health Center of Snohomish County’s walk-in clinic in Lynnwood is now open Sundays. The clinic is at 4111 194th St. SW. The clinic is open to any patient but the organization was formed to serve low-income and uninsured patients. Call 425-835-5200 for information.

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