Are you injured? Do you need dental care? Are you pregnant? Do you have a medical condition, but are delaying treatment because of low or no insurance?
Good news! Your wait is over.
Now, thanks to money from a $500 million federal grant under the Affordable Health Care Act and lots of work by several teams of dedicated folks, quality, affordable care is available right now in the community at the new Community Health Care facility located at 23320 Highway 99 in Edmonds.
Part of the Snohomish County Community Health Care system, the new 22,500-square-foot facility represents the continuing commitment of the CHC to bring quality, accessible care to all, regardless of insurance, ability to pay, citizenship or documentation.
The clinic is one of two in South Snohomish County. The other is located in Lynnwood at 4111 194th St. SW.
More than 75 people attended a gala ribbon-cutting on Friday to formally dedicate the new state-of-the-art facility.
“This kind of primary, preventive care not only keeps people healthy and allows them to be active, productive members of the community, but saves big money in the long run,” said Joe Downs, staffer for Senator Maria Cantwell, who spoke at the ceremony. “By keeping patients healthy and avoiding costly inpatient care, our community health centers save $24 billion annually.”
Services include a low-cost pharmacy, modern primary care and a team of eligibility specialists to help connect patients with the care they need. And significantly, the two-story facility has an entire floor dedicated to dental care, with 10 chairs, the newest equipment, and a growing team of skilled dentists.
“Dental care too often gets pushed to the background and delayed,” said Kelli Kallenberger, Dental Care Coordinator. “But good oral health is critical to overall wellness. Dental problems left untreated can have dire consequences, and often lead to huge medical issues down the road.”
Kallenberger’s job is to connect people with dental care. She is one of a team of patient specialists dedicated to helping patients navigate the system to find the care they need.
“Even if you have no insurance, don’t speak English, or are undocumented, we help you find the care you need for free,” she said.
“The sad truth is that thousands of Washington state residents go without primary health care,” said CHC CEO, Bob Farrell. “We’re here to turn that around.”
You can learn more and get connected to quality low-cost and free health care at the CHC website.
— Story, photos and video by Larry Vogel