SPOKANE, Wash. — People’s Clinic, a community health care clinic managed and operated by the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/Washington State University College of Nursing, will join other clinics across the country and participate in “National Infant Immunization Week” April 13-19. The national campaign is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and emphasizes the importance of timely infant and childhood vaccination.

Now more than ever it is important to protect our children from preventable childhood illnesses through immunization, clinic staff said.

People’s Clinic wants to increase community awareness of the need to vaccinate children at an early age. “Children need over 80 percent of their vaccinations in the first 24 months of life to protect them against disease, disability and even death,” said Margaret Bruya, a nurse practitioner and People’s Clinic co-founder. “Parents need to keep accurate records of their children’s immunizations because students cannot enter Spokane area schools without the requisite immunization records.”

Immunizations are safe and protect families and the community making them one of the most cost-effective public health strategies. Infant immunization is a simple and inexpensive way to protect children from 11 potentially deadly infectious diseases. Nationwide, immunization levels are high for most vaccines and most vaccine preventable diseases have been reduced by more than 99 percent since the introduction of vaccines by Dr. Edward Jenner nearly 200 years ago. However, more than 900,000 of the nation’s children are not fully immunized.

People’s Clinic has been serving the needs of Spokane County’s uninsured and underinsured population since 1998 from its flagship location on the second floor of the YWCA in downtown Spokane. People’s Clinic serves more then 300 patients each month.

Established with significant funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, People’s Clinic is maintained by funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration, many local and national foundations, agencies, organizations and individuals who are concerned about health care for those who might otherwise not have access to primary care services. People’s Clinic at the YWCA is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and offers primary, preventative, acute and chronic health care services, mental health services, well-child exams and immunizations.

People’s Clinic helps clients without insurance sign up for the Washington Basic Health plan and accepts most forms of insurance including Medicare and Medicaid. Clients are advised of a sliding fee structure, however, no one is turned away for an inability to pay.
The “National Infant Immunization Week” campaign is designed to increase awareness of the need to vaccinate children at an early age. Further information about immunization campaign can be found at www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/niiw/.

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 WSU 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, WSU and Whitworth College. Each year the college educates more than 600 graduate and upper-division undergraduate students and prepares more entry-level nurses than any other state educational institution. For more information about the WSU College of Nursing and People’s Clinic visit the Web site at nursing.wsu.edu.