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Riverstone Family Health Northeast Clinic opens
Doors to health services at the new Riverstone Family Health Northeast Clinic opened on Jan. 3, giving nearly half of Spokane County’s 40,000 medically uninsured residents in the Northeast Community Center (NECC) service area access to medical care.

The 31,000-square-foot, two-story facility, beside the center at 4001 N. Cook, houses a 15-room medical clinic, and a 13-chair dental clinic with a procedure room and oral surgery center.

The dental clinic will open in March in conjunction with a grand opening.
A major fundraising effort ensured construction of the Riverstone Clinic, which has support from federal, state, city, corporate and individual funding and donations.

“The construction was collaborative effort,” said Jean Farmer, NECC director, done in “inclusive, supportive and transparent relationship” with surrounding neighborhoods.
Architects and contractors ensured the new building would look like it belonged in a residential neighborhood.

“In a down-turned economy, it was incredible to have such partnerships behind this project,” she said. “Everyone acknowledged the incentives for economic development.”
Last May, the NECC, which has served people in Northeast Spokane for 30 years, reached an agreement with the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC) and the Spokane District Dental Society Foundation (SDDSF) to open the clinics.

The medical clinic has capacity to serve 100 patients a day and the dental clinic, 75 patients daily.  Access to the Riverstone Family Health Northeast Clinic is not limited by geography.

“We welcome everyone, including the East Central and West Central neighborhoods who want to use our services,” Jean said.

Through their partnership, the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic brings expertise in community health care to offer affordable health care to families in need, said NECC board president Bill Duffy.

 Since 1978, the YVFWC has offered low-income communities medical and dental care, behavioral health care and counseling, pharmacy services, treatment for substance abuse, community health services and nutritional services in clinics across Washington and Oregon.

Spokane Falls Family Clinic, an affiliate of YVFWC, will continue to serve patients at 120 W. Mission Ave. under the supervision SFFC director Randy Hartman.
The YVFWC provides operational funds for the clinics.

Maria Gadayan, SFFC office supervisor, said about 20 health-care providers and staff serve the Riverstone Clinic—family practice doctors with obstetrics training, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, medical assistants and registered nurses.

The clinic also features on-site lab services, a pharmacy and a behavioral health component.

Organizers said the NECC service area has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in Spokane, with 26 percent of 12- to 16-year olds overweight.

“With better health care, preventative care and nutrition, our neighbors will be healthier and better able to work and reach their potential.  The opportunity for regular check-ups will prevent greater health problems which strain our community because of their higher cost,” Bill added. “The ability to treat children from a young age will ensure a healthy start to their lives.”

The Spokane District Dental Society Foundation began as a group of dentists in 2006 and became a nonprofit in 2009. They promote oral health and opportunities for direct delivery of dental care to people in need in the community, plus educational programs and collaboration with existing programs. Riverstone is their first clinic.

Mark Koday, dental director for YVFWC, said the clinic is the largest in their network.
“If we start young, we have a chance to affect the overall health of the community,” he said.

YVFWC will bring dentists and support staff from the Spokane Falls Family Clinic.  Dentists from YVFWC will serve most chairs, leaving three open for volunteer specialists from Spokane District Dental Society.

In addition to general dentists and specialists, the dental clinic will house University of Washington School of Dentistry students completing their residencies through the Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) program.

The program was designed to help meet the oral health needs of rural and underserved communities in the Northwest and to increase the likelihood the students will select further training or practice opportunities in rural and underserved regions.


For information, call 326-4343 or email jfarmer@aimcomm.net.

Copyright © January 2011 - The Fig Tree