SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane’s 45,000 uninsured residents, of which an estimated 14,000 are children, will continue to have a reliable downtown health clinic to turn to when they need quality care. The Children’s Transition Clinic Project, located at the YWCA, will be able to expand its health care service for Spokane’s under-served families thanks to a generous $301,000 grant awarded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education/WSU College of Nursing, in partnership with the Community Health Association of Spokane, operates the Clinic and provides families with a permanent connection to necessary, consistent, caring and quality health care.

Options for low-income residents are limited in the Spokane area, and recent changes in Washington’s basic health care program made the situation more stressful for low-income families. Since opening last September, the Clinic has treated more than 2,000 children and their families who otherwise would have gone without essential medical care.

The grant will help the Clinic to expand beyond the essential health services already offered.

These include health screenings, education, counseling and referrals to other local health care resources.

“The ICNE/WSU College of Nursing has been providing community-based outreach in Spokane for more than 30 years,” said Dean Dorothy Detlor. “Our faculty, students and practitioners routinely take their talents and expertise out into the streets, low-income housing locations and homeless shelters to provide quality health care. The ICNE/CHAS Clinic provides a safe, clean, caring and confidential site for patients to receive expert care from advanced practice nurses, and for students to expand their nursing skills in a clinical setting.”

The four-year grant, funded by the RWJF Local Initiative Funding Partners Program, is matched by local and private funds for a total of $602,000. Foundation Northwest, The Community Foundation, has the lead role to secure local matching partners. To date, $225,000 of the local matching requirement is committed.

Corporations and foundations joining as matching partners include Cavanaugh’s Hospitality Corporation, Medical Service Corporation, Bank of America (formerly Seafirst), Washington Mutual Bank, Hasbro Children’s Foundation and the Helene Fuld Health Trust.

The CHAS community clinic network includes four sites, including the location at the YWCA. The focus is on building a comprehensive health care system serving the uninsured residents of Spokane County. The CHAS system accepts insured clients on government and private health plans, uninsured individuals on a sliding fee basis, and patients who are unable to pay.

“The LIFP Program allows us to reach out to citizens without access to health care and invite them to make the ICNE/CHAS Clinic located at the YWCA their permanent medical home,” said Delores “Loly” Reyes-Gonzalez, clinic outreach nursing services coordinator.

The ICNE/CHAS Clinic was one of only 18 projects, from 314 applicants, selected for funding by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation LIFP program. Through the LIFP Program, the RWJF helps bring national attention to new ideas and innovative approaches to community-based projects designed to improve health and health care for under-served and at-risk populations.

“Clearly there is a strong sense of the need for such a clinic in Spokane,” said Pauline M. Seitz, LIFP Program director. The RWJF grant represents the first time in the 11-year history of the LIFP Program that funds have been awarded to a project in Spokane. The ICNE/CHAS Clinic is considered a potential national model.”

A news conference held today at the YWCA provided an opportunity for major donors, community leaders and the media to tour the clinic. As part of today’s celebration and recognition, Tidyman’s provided a truckload delivery of hundreds of items designed to provide a complete and comforting experience for patients visiting the clinic. Each patient is now able to take a “well bag”, filled with useful items, with them after a visit to the Clinic.

The Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education/Washington State University College of Nursing is based in Spokane with multiple sites throughout Washington State. The College, a progressive leader in the field of nursing education and research, is the nation’s first, oldest and most comprehensive nursing education consortium. The College of Nursing is currently educating 525 graduate and undergraduate students for professional nursing practice.

Founded in 1968, the College offers baccalaureate, graduate and professional development coursework to nursing students enrolled through its four consortium partners: Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, Washington Sate University and Whitworth College. For more information about the WSU College of Nursing/ICNE, visit the Web site at .

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