The Christ Community Free Clinic in Auburn is reopening on July 20, after hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The clinic, at 1 A street NW across from Auburn City Hall, will be open 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays. The volunteer medical staff will treat uninsured and under-insured patients for illnesses, minor injuries, infections and skin conditions. Patients at the clinic can get referrals for follow-up care and social services. The clinic also offers limited dental care.
Along with the re-opening, the clinic has a new executive director, Mike Morrisette, who formerly served on the clinic’s board of directors. Morrisette has a background in organizational management and hopes to expand the clinic so it can serve even more patients.
“The pandemic has taught us that access to basic health care is essential to maintaining public health,” said Morrisette. “Going forward, it’s going to be a team effort for us all to stay healthy. That’s where free medical clinics like ours come in.”
To start, the clinic will be seeing patients by appointment only to ensure the doctors and nurses have time for each patient. Anybody is eligible to be seen by a doctor at the free clinic, regardless of insurance status.
“One of our practices is to treat everyone with respect and let them know they’re cared for,” Morrisette said.
The clinic closed during the pandemic because it didn’t have the resources to meet the strict COVID-19 protocols. During that time, the staff researched and evaluated how to best serve the community while keeping patients and staff safe from COVID-19. They now feel they’re prepared to re-open and safely administer health care to people who might have gone without it during the pandemic.
The number of uninsured adults in Washington spiked to 18.8% in May 2020 because of job losses created by the pandemic, according to the Office of Financial Management. The number of uninsured adults has decreased to 7.8% in July 2021, but it’s still higher than the pre-pandemic rate of 6.1% in 2019.
The clinic will not be offering the COVID-19 vaccines.
Since its opening in 2007, the Christ Community Free Clinic has provided medical care to more than 7,000 patients. The clinic is supported by a variety of organizations including King County, the City of Auburn, local businesses and churches.
For more information or to schedule an appointment at the free clinic, visit www.christfreeclinic.org.