SPOKANE, Wash. — Regional health care plan MSC, incorporated as Premera Blue Cross, is helping provide consistent and affordable high-quality health care for the community by donating $21,000 in its continuing support of People’s Clinic, a community service project of the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing.

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies for an outreach site are planned for Sept. 19 at noon. The new site is located at Spokane Public Schools’ Havermale location, 1300 W. Knox, Spokane.

People’s Clinic is a community health care clinic managed and operated by nurse practitioners from the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing. Most of the 250 patients seen monthly at People’s Clinic lack adequate health care coverage.

According to Loly Reyes-Gonzales, People’s Clinic outreach services manager, health care is a human service that more than 130,000 individuals in Spokane County can’t afford or access.

MSC/Premera Blue Cross’ donation will help provide health services to Spokane County’s uninsured, underinsured and homeless men, women and children and support the Pediatric Outreach Project, now available for the entire 2001-02 school year at Havermale. Since 1998, MSC/Premera Blue Cross has donated a total of $79,313 through its MSC Health and Wellness Endowment fund to People’s Clinic, making the company the clinic’s single largest local contributor.

With MSC/Premera Blue Cross’ most recent contribution of $100,000 to Foundation Northwest through its endowment, which funds projects and charities that promote health, wellness and health education in Eastern Washington, the endowment now stands at $500,000 in just four years.

And for the fourth consecutive year, MSC/Premera Blue Cross has chosen to fund the community health services provided by the Intercollegiate College of Nursing and People’s Clinic.

The Pediatric Outreach Project, begun as a College of Nursing pilot in March of 2000, is a community-centered approach to bring health-related services to neighborhoods, schools and families by offering weekly health services in a fixed location on a fixed day throughout the school year.

Beginning Sept. 19, the POP will be offered every Wednesday from 12:30-4:30 p.m., at Havermale, located at 1300 W. Knox.

“The support of Spokane Public Schools, Foundation Northwest, the Health Improvement Partnership, and MSC/Premera Blue Cross has made funding and operating this outreach service a long-term community offering,” said Reyes-Gonzales.

“People’s Clinic provides a critical, much-needed service to Spokane area residents in need of quality health care services,” said Curtis Taylor, MSC/Premera senior vice president and general manager for Eastern Washington. “We’re pleased the MSC Health and Wellness Endowment Fund can support this project and help to improve the welfare of our local communities.”

Foundation Northwest manages the endowment and determines how the funds will be distributed. “The ability to direct $21,000 of the MSC Health and Wellness Endowment to People’s Clinic and help improve the health of this community is exciting,” said Peter A. Jackson, CEO and president of Foundation Northwest. “It’s satisfying to be part of MSC/Premera Blue Cross’ corporate philanthropy in Spokane. Their efforts with People’s Clinic and so many other organizations have a tremendous impact in our community.”

People’s Clinic, established in 1998, is a nurse-managed clinic offered as a community service of the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing. The clinic, located on the second floor of the YWCA at 829 W. Broadway Ave., is open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

The nurse practitioners, staff, supplies, and outreach services for People’s Clinic are partially funded through a four-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and matched by business, community and individual donations. The grant and all donations are managed by Foundation Northwest.

Premera Blue Cross (known as MSC/Premera Blue Cross in eastern Washington) is a regional health plan serving more than 1.2 million members in Washington and Alaska. Premera Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The Premera family of companies also offers a health plan in Oregon.

Foundation Northwest, The Community Foundation, serves the 10 eastern counties of Washington and the 10 northern counties of Idaho by providing a permanent vehicle to gather, manage and distribute resources.

Established in 1968, the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing is the nation’s first, oldest and most comprehensive nursing education consortium. The College of Nursing offers baccalaureate, graduate and professional development course work to nursing students enrolled through its four consortium partners, Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, Washington State University and Whitworth College. Each year, the College educates more than 550 graduate and upper-division undergraduate students and prepares more entry-level nurses than any other educational institution in the state. For more information about the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing, visit the Web site at www.nursing.wsu.edu.

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