The two-year grant of $322,782 came from the Department of Health and Human Services, part of $7.4 million in grants distributed to 25 health care organizations in Washington.
Most of the money sent to Community Health Center will be spent to expand obstetric services in Edmonds, said Mallory Lisk, a spokeswoman for the organization.
The grant will pay for hiring nine new staff members, including two family practitioners and a physician’s assistant. All but one of the new staff members will work in the Edmonds office.
The Community Health Center began offering baby delivery and related services in 2011 at its clinic in south Everett. Those services are also offered at north Everett and Lynnwood clinics.
“We saw there was this huge community need,” said Dr. Tom Tocher, chief clinical officer for the Community Health Center. “We keep expanding the program, and it keeps getting filled up.”
The first year the organization offered obstetric services, 29 babies were delivered. In the 12 months ending June 30, the number had grown to 204, Tocher said.
“We have eight family physicians doing obstetrics,” Tocher said. “The providers are double-booking themselves. They’re trying to get people in, but it’s put a strain on the system.”
The Edmonds clinic is expected to begin offering the new obstetric services in the next several months when the doctors, a physician’s assistant and other new staffers are hired.
The federal grant also will allow the organization to pay for transportation as needed by patients. Patients sometimes cancel appointments due to lack of transportation, Lisk said. Part of the federal grant will allow the clinic to provide bus passes or taxi service for patients or provide transportation to area hospitals if they need X-rays or other tests.
Two care coordinators working for the nonprofit will help young moms, answering questions on caring for infants and ensuring babies are getting regular check-ups.
The Edmonds staff will be working in a new $10.5 million building, which opened in August. The 25,000-square-foot building has 22 exam rooms, 10 dental areas and a pharmacy.
Services offered The Community Health Center of Snohomish County provides medical and dental services to patients who have Apple Health, Medicaid, Medicare, most private insurance plans and the uninsured. The Edmonds clinic is at 23320 Highway 99. Call 425-640-5500 for medical appointments and 425-640-5533 for dental appointments.