Unity Care NW commits to building North Whatcom Health Center

Architectural rendering of the planned Unity Care NW new health center.
Architectural rendering of the planned Unity Care NW health center on Portal Way.

Unity Care NW officials announced today they will be breaking ground on the new North Whatcom Health Center in Ferndale this summer.

Officials had earlier delayed start of construction saying the project was dependent on continued existence of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion. In September, Unity Care NW Executive Director Desmond Skubi said in an email, “The loss of insurance coverage by many of the people we serve will place much greater demand on our sliding fee scale and the grants and charitable contributions required to support the sliding fee scale.”

Today’s announcement clarified, “Uncertainty concerning the future of health care remains, but with the award of a capital grant from the Washington State Legislature, and New Market Tax Credits, private foundation support as well as other fundraising opportunities underway, we are now moving forward.”

The 23,393-square-foot two-story facility will open in 2019 according to the announcement. It is expected to provide primary medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and lab services to 9,500 north Whatcom County residents.

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An official groundbreaking ceremony is currently scheduled for Thursday, June 7th, at the project site located at 6044 Portal Way.

Founded in 1982, Unity Care NW was formerly known as Interfaith Community Health Center.

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