The Quinault Indian Nation plans to open a wellness clinic in the former state Work source building at 511 W. Heron St. in Aberdeen to treat opioid and other addictions.
The project will be funded by the Quinault Nation and is expected to cost from $10 million to $12 million. It would be used by tribal members and members of the community at large, the tribe’s announcement Thursday said, stressing a “whole person” approach.
It will be an outpatient-only facility, with no overnight stays. Shuttle service will be available within the Greater Grays Harbor area to transport patients to and from the clinic.
More Quinault tribal members live within Aberdeen and Hoquiam than within the reservation, tribal officials said. “The clinic will make ‘whole person’ addiction recovery services available to tribal members and our non-tribal neighbors in Grays Harbor County. The clinic will also provide services to patients in the small part of Jefferson County that includes Queets and some of Pacific County,” according to the announcement.
“The Quinault community and our Grays Harbor neighbors are inextricably linked in suffering the devastating consequences of addiction and the opioid epidemic,” said Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp. “We are excited about creating this new opportunity to confront this crisis and heal together. The new clinic will be the first of its kind locally to provide the full range of services needed for individuals and families to overcome roadblocks to recovery.”
The Quinault Nation says it has spent millions of dollars every year for the past two decades to combat the opioid crisis with limited success and recent research has shown that the opioid epidemic requires a “whole person” approach that includes non pharmacological treatment for pain, as well as ensuring that people have the employment, education and housing support they need for long-term recovery.
In addition to providing Medication-Assisted Treatment for opioid addiction, the clinic will offer dental care, primary care, individual and group substance abuse counselling, individual and family mental health counseling, on-site childcare services and transportation assistance.
Clinic patients will also have access to social services such as life skills, money management and relapse prevention skills training, on-site public benefits enrollment, case management and social services referrals.
The Quinault Nation is looking at the Swinomish Tribe’s Didgwalic Wellness Center in Anacortes as an example. The Swinomish clinic says it has a 75% success rate in keeping patients in the program and on the road to recovery as an outpatient only facility.
The new clinic in Aberdeen will be fully funded by the QIN. The startup costs of up to $12 million includes the cost of purchasing the former Worksource building. The Nation’s goal is to open to patients in 18 to 24 months with hours of operation between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The Quinault Nation envisions the project as lowering demand for the Emergency Room at Grays Harbor Hospital. The clinic is expected to create nearly 50 permanent well-paying jobs including doctors, physician assistants, registered nurses, addiction recovery specialists and behavioral health professionals, the announcement said.
Future plans could include outreach to assess community needs with Grays Harbor Community Hospital, local police and fire departments, crisis care providers and the local court systems. The Quinault Nation will also be looking at potential diversion programs with local prosecutors and court systems and educational transition programs in coordination with the Grays Harbor College. Expansion programs could boost the number of jobs created to more than 100.
The Aberdeen Mayor’s office and the City Council have been briefed on the proposal as part of the Quinault Nation’s outreach to inform and get feedback from the Grays Harbor community.