PULLMAN – Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd has announced that the university will provide bridge funding to ensure continued health care for People’s Clinic patients as they make the transition to other health care options.
Closure of the clinic was announced this week after WSU’s Intercollegiate College of Nursing was informed that federal funding for the program, which totaled approximately $400,000 each year, would not be renewed effective June 30.
“The clinic performs an important service for many people in Spokane who need access to medical care. It is important for us to do everything possible to see that the patients’ interests are protected,” Floyd said. He said this funding will allow the clinic to continue to provide services as needed for up to a year while transition plans are developed.
“I am pleased we will be able to take the steps necessary to ease this transition for our patients,” said Anne Hirsch, interim dean of the WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing.
The clinics provide primary health care and mental health services for underserved, low-income individuals, and also high school and college students in the community.
The original People’s Clinic, located in downtown Spokane, opened in 1998 and was designed to improve access to health care and mental health services in the Spokane community for underinsured and low-income families, to provide primary healthcare education to WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing students, and to develop a community partnership model of primary healthcare.
Due to a demand in the community, three more clinics were established over the course of nine years with the last clinic opening in 2006 at Spokane Community College. Last year, the clinic served approximately 3,000 patients.