Free Healthcare Clinic for Islanders

Posted December 21, 2021 at 9:50 am by

Health clin­ic team mem­bers from Sea Mar, Joyce L. Sobel Fam­i­ly Resource Cen­ter and Peace­Health join par­tic­i­pants of the Lat­inx Health Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee to plan the first mobile health clin­ic — Con­tributed photo

A record 77 peo­ple received free care dur­ing the first mobile pre­ven­ta­tive care clin­ic coor­di­nat­ed by San Juan County’s new Lat­inx Health­care Advi­so­ry Committee. 

The clin­ic, host­ed Decem­ber 2 at the Mullis Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter by the Joyce L. Sobel Fam­i­ly Resource Cen­ter (FRC), Sea Mar Com­mu­ni­ty Health Cen­ter and Peace­Health, was cre­at­ed in response to find­ings from the Committee’s recent health sur­vey tar­get­ing islanders who may not have health insur­ance or may have dif­fi­cul­ty vis­it­ing a health­care provider for a vari­ety of reasons.

Com­mu­ni­ty health work­ers and clin­i­cal staff from Sea Mar pro­vid­ed health screen­ing sta­tions, COVID and influen­za vac­ci­na­tions and pre­ven­ta­tive health edu­ca­tion on can­cer screen­ing and dia­betes. Many fam­i­lies also brought chil­dren who received their first COVID vac­ci­na­tion. Sea Mar’s mul­ti­lin­gual care team pro­vid­ed all the sup­plies and ser­vices at no cost to the com­mu­ni­ty, includ­ing free rapid COVID tests for peo­ple to take home. The Town of Fri­day Har­bor also con­tributed funds toward the clin­ic efforts.

The Lat­inx Health­care Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee, com­prised of local vol­un­teer Lat­inx res­i­dents and facil­i­tat­ed by the FRC and Peace­Health, was formed in 2020 to dis­cuss ways to improve health and health­care access for the Lat­inx com­mu­ni­ty. The first goal was to con­duct a health needs sur­vey among 41 local Lat­inx com­mu­ni­ty house­holds in Spring 2021. Results showed the following:

  • Only 1 in 5 peo­ple had reg­u­lar access to a doc­tor or health­care provider on San Juan Island.
  • 3 out of 4 sur­veyed stat­ed they were NOT able to access reg­u­lar med­ical screen­ing or well­ness exams.
  • 50% of Lat­inx fam­i­lies said it was very chal­leng­ing to make appoint­ments, fill out forms and under­stand bills due to lan­guage and lit­er­a­cy barriers.

More events will be sched­uled in the New Year. Finan­cial sup­port for the Com­mit­tee and future mobile clin­ic activ­i­ties will be pro­vid­ed by the Peace­Health Com­mu­ni­ty Ben­e­fit Fund, the Town of Fri­day Har­bor and North Sound Account­able Com­mu­ni­ty of Health. For more infor­ma­tion, or if you’d like to con­tribute to future events, please reach out to Yubi Schollmey­er at the Joyce L. Sobel FRC or Beth Williams-Gieger at Peace Island Med­ical Center.

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