SPOKANE, Wash. — People’s Clinic at the YWCA, operated by faculty and nurses from the Washington State University Intercollegiate College of Nursing, has received a three-year $60,000 donation from Holy Family Hospital to increase the availability of mental health services provided by its psychiatric nurse practitioner group.

The funding will allow the clinic to add one practitioner and provide another day of service to address the critical mental health needs of the homeless, uninsured and underinsured who are growing segments of the clinic’s clientele.

“This is one way to reach out and assist a very vulnerable segment of our society – those that are least able to advocate for themselves,” said Thomas Corley, president of Holy Family Hospital. “Recent cutbacks that affect the medically indigent have disproportionately fallen on the shoulders of the mentally ill.”

People’s Clinic at the YWCA was established in 1998. It has grown to include 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.

Until recently, People’s Clinic at the YWCA had two full-time psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners providing service two days a week. The wait for an appointment or follow-up was typically three weeks. With the added funding from Holy Family Hospital for an additional provider, the clinic will provide three full days a week of psychiatric mental health services, reducing the wait to approximately two weeks.

“The People’s Clinic delivers crucial services to the mentally ill in our community,” said Corley. “These dollars allow Holy Family to reach beyond the walls of the hospital to provide hope and healing to those in need.”

The Holy Family Hospital funding will provide $20,000 per year to supplement the existing donor and grant supported psychiatric nurse practitioner salaries at People’s Clinic. All practitioners are advanced practice certified psychiatric nurse practitioners who are all on faculty at the WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing.

“The funding from Holy Family Hospital allows us to quickly meet the needs of adults who need mental health support and counseling,” said Margaret Bruya, assistant dean for academic health services, professor and co-founder of People’s Clinic.

The clinic at the YWCA, at 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.

Established in 1968, the WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing is fully 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 nursing.wsu.edu.