The Quinault Indian Nation is building a new wellness center in Aberdeen it says will usher in a “new era of whole person addiction treatment” to Grays Harbor County that will serve not only Quinault citizens, but the entire community.
Construction is underway at the 19,000-square-foot Quinault Wellness Center at 511 W. Heron St. in Aberdeen, the site of the old WorkSource building. It will be an out-patient facility — no overnight stays — to address the opioid epidemic through evidence-based holistic substance use treatment.
The Quinault Nation is fully funding the $20 million dollar project, to answer the call to action by the entire community to combat the impacts of addiction.
“The Quinault Nation and our Grays Harbor neighbors have experienced the devastating consequences of addiction and the opioid epidemic,” said Nation President Guy Capoeman. “We have a vested interest in providing these vital services to our membership and our neighbors.”
According to the Nation, Grays Harbor County has a higher rate of opioid related deaths than Washington state as a whole. In the past decade, Grays Harbor has experienced a 361% increase in first admissions, meaning people who have had no prior publicly funded treatment for any drug.
“Respect is a Quinault value. It’s important to us to provide a treatment program that recognizes the value of every individual and provides a caring and effective support program,” said Capoeman. “The comprehensive programs offered at our center will provide hundreds of our community members a chance for long-term recovery.”
Data from the 2017 Washington Syringe Survey Exchange Health Survey shows 48% of Grays Harbor participants in the survey indicated they were hooked on prescription opioids before they began to use heroin. According to the 2016 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey, 4% of Grays Harbor 10th grade students in Grays Harbor reported recent use of pain pills to get high; 9% have misused someone else’s prescription; and 7% report using heroin once.
The Quinault Wellness Center is modeled after the Swinomish Tribe’s Didgwalic Wellness Center in Anacortes, which boasts a 75% success rate in keeping patients in the program and on the road to recovery as an outpatient facility.
The addiction treatment program is designed to reduce barriers patients face and provide improved access to care within Grays Harbor County, according to the Nation. The wellness center will offer addiction and mental health services along with medication-assisted treatment, primary medical, and dental care.
All services will be available for both tribal and non-tribal members. A shuttle service to and from the facility will be available to clients, as well as a drop-in day care facility. The wellness center will offer social services, such as life skills, budgeting, on-site public benefit enrollment, case management and social services referrals. Having all these services in one location is designed to provide the support needed for long-term recovery.
The clinic will be able to provide services for 250 clients and will service anyone in need of substance use treatment. Services will be provided between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, allowing clients to access services without negatively impacting work schedules.
“The Quinault Wellness Center will be an asset to the community,” read a Nation statement. “We project the creation of an initial 50 permanent well-paying jobs. By providing preventative care we project a dramatic reduction in emergency room visits at Grays Harbor Community Hospital and reduced demand for addiction related emergency response services, including law enforcement.”
In the future, the wellness clinic intends to work with local municipalities to create a cooperative wellness court program for clients. Future cooperative initiatives will include educational programs in coordination with Grays Harbor College to help clients transition to long-term recovery.
The design team for the project is Bremerton’s Rice Fergus Miller; the general contractor is Abbott construction based out of Seattle. Many local subcontractors are working on the project including Quigg Bros, Rognlin’s Inc. and MB Electric.