More than 122,000 people moved to Washington state in 2016, which is the largest population increase since 2007. Within the state, metropolitan counties saw higher increases than rural counties. Yet these numbers prove that the population of Washington state continues to change. Demographic changes often also indicate changing medical needs; after all, more health care in needed to serve more people. In western Washington, Neighborcare and Sea Mar Community Health Centers are continuing in their decades-long path to serve their local communities.
For over 40 years, the non-profit Neighborcare has been providing health care to low income and uninsured individuals and families, immigrants, seniors, and the homeless. Neighborcare has 4 core values: social justice, cultural sensitivity, community, and excellence. The organization’s ultimate goal is 100% access and zero health disparities.
Neighborcare clinics are concentrated in Seattle neighborhoods with the highest health disparities. Currently, the organization has 28 medical, dental, and school-based clinics throughout Seattle and Vashon Island.
With its wide variety of services, Neighborcare strives to provide a health care home for their patients. The organization offers primary medical and dental care, pediatrics, geriatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, behavioral health services, and more.
Sea Mar Community Health Centers
Sea Mar began with a conversation between local Latino leaders about different ways to provide health care services to Spanish speaking residents. The first Sea Mar clinic opened in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood in 1978. Sea Mar has been a non-profit organization since its beginning in 1976. Since its inception, the organization has continued to grow and change with the surrounding communities. Unlike Neighborcare, Sea Mar Community Health Centers operates clinics outside of the greater Seattle region.
Sea Mar operates 33 medical clinics and 19 dental clinics in 11 Washington counties.
Sea Mar offers medical, dental, and behavioral health care. Additionally, many locations also offer laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, health education, long term care, maternity care, classes, and more.
For decades, Sea Mar Community Health Centers and Neighborcare have been providing vital health services to local populations that need support. While both organizations began in Seattle, Sea Mar has expanded to operate many clinics throughout western Washington. Neighborcare still is concentrated in Seattle, and its twelve school based clinics provide needed medical support for vulnerable children and teenagers. Both organizations are models for how to take care of patients and provide needed services, regardless of ability to pay.
Neighborcare. “About Us.” 2016. (http://www.neighborcare.org/about-us) retrieved November 6, 2016.
Neighborcare. “Clinics & Staff.” 2016. (http://www.neighborcare.org/clinics) retrieved November 6, 2016.
Neighborcare. “Medical Clinics.” 2016. (http://www.neighborcare.org/clinics/medical) retrieved November 6, 2016.
Sea Mar Community Health Centers. “History.” (http://www.seamarchc.org/static_pages/history.php) retrieved November 6, 2016.
Sea Mar Community Health Centers. “Services/Locations.” 2015. (http://www.seamar.org/service_location.php) retrieved November 5, 2016.
Sea Mar Community Health Centers. “Welcome to Sea Mar Community Health Centers.” 2015. (http://www.seamarchc.org/) retrieved November 5, 2016.
State of Washington. “2016 Population Trends.” September 2016. (http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/april1/poptrends.pdf) retrieved November 6, 2016.