Suquamish Tribe donates $80,000 to PCHS
By RICHARD WALKER
North Kitsap Herald Editor
December 22, 2012 · Updated 6:05 AM
POULSBO — In 2012, Peninsula Community Health Services expects to have taken care of 25,000 patients in 80,000 visits, providing 24-hour on-call care for low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents at four locations.
Patients pay for services according to a sliding scale, based on income. The health service also accepts DSHS, Healthy Options, Basic Health, Medicare, TriCare and other private insurance. The nonprofit agency is supported by federal, state, local and private grants, United Way, and community and individual contributions.
Though nonprofit, “Our providers are all paid. We have as strong a program as you have anywhere else,” CEO Barbara Malich said. “Our clients range from the admiral’s wife on TriCare to the homeless person down the street.”
On Wednesday, Peninsula Community Health Services received a financial boost from the Suquamish Tribe.
Members of the Tribal Council visited the Penin-sula Community Health Service offices on 7th Avenue in Poulsbo to present a donation of $80,000 and tour the offices.
“We have seen the impact state and federal budget constraints have had on the ability of health organizations to provide underinsured and uninsured patients with care,” Suquamish Tribe Chairman Leonard Forsman said.
“We saw the good work Peninsula Community Health Services was doing here in Kitsap County to fulfill those needs and gave as much as we could to assist them in providing services.”
Peninsula Community Health Services has an annual budget of $14.5 million budget, but “[At least] 51 percent of our patients are uninsured, so we are especially grateful for this donation,” Malich said.
She said Peninsula Community Health Services will use the donation to help provide behavioral health services at all of its four clinics in Kitsap County, and to assist patients who need help paying for services that are not provided by the organization.
“Our Patients Assistance Fund allows us to help low-income patients with access to imaging, X-rays and other services not provided at our clinics.” For Suquamish Tribe Council member Bardow Lewis, the donation to help provide medical services to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it holds special significance.
“I remember when I was a boy and access to medical care on the reservation was not as it is now,” he said. “We work hard to ensure our Tribal members always have the ability to see a doctor, and [we] will do what we can to help give our neighbors in Kitsap the same opportunity.”
Peninsula Community Health Services provides an array of services, including:
— 24-hour on-call care.
— Cancer screening.
— Chronic disease care.
— Dental care.
— Family planning and pregnancy testing.
— Health education and information.
— Immunizations and flu shots.
— Mental health counseling.
— Minor surgery.
— Newborn and well child care.
— On-site pharmacy services.
— Pharmacy services.
— Primary medical care.
— Routine physicals.
— Women’s breast and cervical health care.
— Evening and Saturday walk-in services at its Wheaton Way health offices in Bremerton.
Contact North Kitsap Herald Editor Richard Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-360-779-4464.