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Though they don’t have a pharmacy, Christ Clinic offers their patients medication assistance.


ministry,” says Martinez. “Together we pray that we will glorify God in our organization’s overarching principles, underlying foundations and mundane details.” The two entities are inextricably linked in the goal of providing affordable healthcare to the most vulnerable of Spokane.


As bags of beans were being assembled


and patients were being seen, Christ Clinic began to outgrow the room at Westminster Congregational Church. “There were so many people who needed the services,” says Ruggles. “The board and leadership took time to prayerfully consider ‘do we do the best we can with this space, or do we grow and know that we can serve more people?’”


The answer was to grow In 2008, Christ Clinic completed


construction on a new building, at the current location on Monroe and Carlisle, and opened its doors. The building is debt- free, a testament to those who support this organization, freeing it from the strains of a mortgage, allowing them to use their finances to tend to those in need. The majority of the financial support comes from individuals, as well as revenue generated by the clinic and the product sales at the kitchen. Strategically


60 SPOKANE CDA • March • 2013


located in the West Central neighborhood, the clinic serves those who live around it. Many of the patients who come to


Christ Clinic rely on the bus system for transportation, which is a major reason the board of directors selected the current site when it came time to build a new facility. Being located on an arterial allows patients to use the bus system to access the clinic. And access the clinic they do! In 2012 there


were 1,345 patients served through 5,846 patient visits, with 1,200 hours volunteered by


Spokane medical professionals. In


addition to the rotation of ten to twelve volunteer doctors and nurse practitioners who see patients, there are volunteer nurses, chiropractors and physical therapists, as well as two anchor providers who are always in the clinic. “The model works because these are


volunteer providers who have different skill sets,” says Danielle Riggs, a nurse practitioner and the medical director of Christ Clinic. “With our volunteers we are able to keep our costs lower.”


Who is served, and at what cost The qualifiers for patients to come to


Christ Clinic are that they do not have health


insurance or a primary health care provider, and that they are in the low-income bracket, usually within 200-300 percent of poverty level. That number, sadly, continues to climb. According to a statement by Spokane’s Community Indicator Initiative (CII), “We are facing a crisis in this county – the number of people without health insurance is at an all time high. Having no health insurance affects access to needed medical care, leaving individuals more likely to suffer dangerous health consequences of untreated medical conditions, and also threatens a family’s financial security with high amounts of medical debt.” The demographic


that Christ Clinic


serves is mainly 18 to 65 year-olds. Children under 18 usually have health insurance through state programs, and around age 65, Medicare and Medicaid begin to kick in. There are occasionally patients outside of that age range, but that is the bulk of who is seen in the clinic. “This is not a free clinic,” says Raelene


Vogelsang, development director for Christ Clinic. “All of our patients have some skin in the game, if you will. They all pay something akin to a co-pay. That is a huge component to the dignity of the relationship. The clinic and patient are both getting something.”


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