The People’s Clinic operated by the Washington State University Intercollegiate College of Nursing has recently expanded its services and moved into additional quarters at its flagship location on the second floor of the YWCA in downtown Spokane. The move adds 1,350 square feet of additional space directly across the hall from the existing 900-square-foot clinic space and will allow for the addition of two mental health rooms, a conference/meeting room, and offices for the clinic manager and administrative assistant.

An open house and community celebration will be held Jan. 31 from noon-2 p.m. to showcase the new space and furnishings, as well as the handiwork of the many individuals and community partners who have contributed their time and talent to the clinic. Representatives from Premera Blue Cross, Shea Graham Construction, Foundation Northwest, People’s Clinic and the WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing will be present to recognize the community collaboration and contributions toward the continued success of People’s Clinic.

The People’s Clinic was established in 1998 and operates a network of nurse-managed community health care clinics for underserved populations. The clinic uses traditional, mobile and satellite clinics to provide a network of health care and related services in Spokane and Yakima areas.

The clinic at the Spokane YWCA, 829 W. Broadway Ave., is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and provides a full spectrum of primary health care services including general health services, immunizations, school sports physicals, women’s health, well-child exams, mental health services and dental services. Through local provider contracts and referrals, the clinic also offers specialty services such as obstetrical and surgical services.

The WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing is committed to making health care accessible to those who need it most. Insurance and vouchers are accepted at People’s Clinic, but services are provided regardless of the ability to pay. These services are made possible through federal grants, corporate and individual donors, foundations, college and university allocations, student fees and essential community collaborations.

“We have seen a significant increase in clients needing mental health counseling,” said Ken Ferro, outreach nursing service coordinator and manager for the People’s Clinic network of clinics. “The ability to have private and accessible mental health rooms is a true asset for our clinic.”

The clinic space was completely renovated and furnished with the help of Premera Blue Cross and Shea Graham Construction. Shea Graham donated time and resources to the construction and remodel and contracted with Power City Electric for the electrical work.

“The continued support of Premera Blue Cross, Shea Graham Construction and other generous donors has made it possible for the clinic to continue providing outreach services in a safe and reliable location and to provide funding for necessary supplies and specialized medical equipment,” said Margaret Bruya, assistant dean for academic health services, and a professor and co-founder of People’s Clinic.

A $5,000 Premera impact grant allowed People’s Clinic staff to identify and purchase file cabinets, book cases, lamps, and paint for the clinic and uniforms and stethoscopes for nursing students. In addition to the grant, 18 Premera associates and family members gave the People’s Clinic at the YWCA a “face lift” in November. Employees volunteered side by side with People’s Clinic staff to help ready the new space for clients.

“Working to improve the health of Washington residents is important to Premera Blue Cross,” said Gail Keeling, Premera vice president and general manager for the company’s eastern Washington operations. “People’s Clinic provides help to the most needy within our community, and does so in a safe, supportive environment.”

Established in 1968, the WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The college is the nation’s oldest and most comprehensive nursing education consortium. Celebrating 36 years of world-class nursing education, the college offers baccalaureate, graduate and professional development course work to nursing students enrolled through four consortium partners, EWU, Gonzaga, WSU and Whitworth College, and in five communities across the state. Each year the college educates more than 700 graduate and upper-division undergraduate students and prepares more entry-level nurses than any other state educational institution. For more information about the College of Nursing visit the Web site at www.nursing.wsu.edu.