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February 18, 2011

Nonprofit opens new medical, dental clinic

Image by Miller Hayashi Architects [enlarge]
Neighborcare Health expects the number of patients it serves at the Rainier Beach clinic to increase from 10,000 to 14,000 in its first year.

Neighborcare Health, a community health nonprofit based in Seattle, has opened the Rainier Beach Medical and Dental Clinic at 9245 Rainier Ave. S. in Seattle. The budget was $18.5 million.

The two-story, 26,000-square-foot clinic has 24 medical exam rooms and 12 dental chairs. It was designed by Miller Hayashi Architects and built by W.G. Clark Construction.

Neighborcare said it serves more than 48,000 patients a year at 15 medical, dental and school-based sites throughout the city, including the Pike Market Medical Clinic. Its school sites are in Madison Middle School, Denny International School, and three high schools: Roosevelt, West Seattle and Chief Sealth International.

The Rainier clinic offers preventive care, family medicine, obstetrics and midwifery, plus mental health and social services. Dental services include exams, cleanings, X-rays, fillings and extractions.

Two-thirds of Neighborcare's patients are at or below poverty level, and more than 40 percent have no medical insurance. The group's most recent annual report, for 2009, lists a variety of public and private funding sources.

The new clinic combines the services of two former clinics: the Rainier Beach Medical Clinic and the Southeast Dental Clinic. Neighborcare expects the number of patients it serves at the clinic to increase from 10,000 to 14,000 in its first year.

Lorig and Associates was the project manager. Other team members were Swenson Say Faget, structural engineer; KPFF Consulting Engineers, civil engineer; HV Engineering, mechanical engineer; Hargis Engineers, electrical engineer; SSA Acoustics; Fredericks Landscape Architecture; RDH Group, building envelope; O'Brien & Co., LEED consultant; and SEEDArts, the art coordinator.

Neighborcare Health changed its name from Puget Sound Neighborhood Health Centers in 2008, but its roots go back more than 40 years.

The first community health clinics appeared in the U.S. in the mid-1960s, in Boston and rural Mississippi, to provide medical, dental and social services to the poor. Seattle's first was the Open Door Clinic, which opened in 1967 in the University District, where it operated until 1980.

Other local clinics soon opened in neighborhoods such as High Point, Rainier Vista and Georgetown, and formed a consortium in 1973. In 1986, the consortium expanded and was renamed Puget Sound Neighborhood Health Centers.

Numerous clinics have opened and joined since, including the school-based sites. The Pike Market Medical Clinic, which was founded in 1978, joined the group in 2005.