Urgent care clinic opens for ���underserved population'

A clinic opened tonight inside an affordable housing complex with a plan to bring healthcare to an underserved population.

SEATTLE – The Rainier Valley Community Clinic has a new, larger home located inside an affordable housing complex.

The clinic, founded last year to provide care for pregnant women is South Seattle, now has a broader mission. At the new location they will provide urgent care too.

Life expectancy in the South Seattle neighborhood is an average of five years less than other areas of the city, according to Amy Martin with South Seattle Women’s Health Foundation. Martin adds that it has been federally designated as a “medically underserved population.”

“There’s a huge problem in this area with diabetes and chronic health issues,” said Martin. “There is a huge immigrant population, and access to care is a big problem. It takes over an hour to take the bus to Swedish Hospital from here.”

Friday night there was a grand opening at Rainier Court. The building is operated by the Senior Housing Assistance Group or SHAG.

“The arrival of the clinic at Rainier Court is a tremendous benefit for our residents. It represents our increased focus at SHAG on building partnerships that promote the wellbeing and quality of life of the people residing with us,” said Jay Woolford, executive director of SHAG.

Tara Lawal, a co-founder and midwife at the clinic, says they are working to fill a void in Rainier Valley.

Martin says the goal is “to provide culturally-relevant, equitable care to everybody.”

At the clinic they say they won't turn anyone away. If patients are uninsured, services will be paid for on a sliding scale.

Copyright 2016 KING


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