The MAT clinic in Jamestown under construction
SEQUIM – The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Medication Assisted Treatment Clinic will not see patients until March 2022.
“We will tentatively complete construction by the end of the year,” said Brent Simcosky, director of tribal health services, in an interview earlier this month on the site of the drug-assisted treatment clinic ( MAT) at 526 S. Ninth Ave., Sequim.
“We won’t see the patients immediately because (the teams) have to move the furniture and the staff have to prepare to come in.
“We will see the patients provisionally in early March. “
Named by the Tribe Jamestown Healing Clinic, the 16,806 square foot facility currently under construction remained a matter of contention in Sequim for more than two years.
Simcosky said the clinic’s goal has remained the same throughout – to help patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) through treatment with daily doses of Methadone, Suboxone and Vivitrol, as well as additional services such as dental care and counseling.
The clinic faced opposition, in part because of its types of treatment, its location on South Ninth Street behind Costco, and its size.
Members of Save Our Sequim, which a Clallam County Superior Court judge ruled in February as lacking in quality in his latest appeal, have argued for smaller drug treatment centers “strategically placed with a local orientation ”, asserting that the regional MAT is a“ ”flawed approach with dangerous consequences. (www.save oursequim.org)
The clinic will be open six days a week with a patient load of between 200 and 250 people seen daily and / or all week depending on the treatment.
“The capacity is 250 to 300 but it will be closer to 200 to 250 patients,” Simcosky said. “At the end of the first year (of operation), it could reach around 200.”
As he and other health officials testified during hearings for the clinic, around 100 OUD patients are already being treated through a Suboxone prescription program at the Jamestown Family Health Clinic on North Fifth Avenue.
Demand for OUD services continues to grow, he and other health officials said.
“We are seeing about 12 new patients added every month since the start of the pandemic,” Simcosky said.
“The overdose is skyrocketing. People fell off the wagon, and it doesn’t take a lot of stress, especially during a pandemic. ”
Through public comments, emails and calls, Simcosky said he and tribal leaders continue to hear residents’ calls for safety.
“We understand people’s concerns; this is why we accepted all the mitigation measures and proposed many solutions that were not necessary, such as a social services browser, ”he said.
“We want to cause people less stress and help people successfully without harming the community.”
One community member position remains to be filled on the Community Advisory Committee. Simcosky said the tribe will likely open applications in late fall. This resident will help a group of local law enforcement, city officials and health officials take mitigating action for any potential negative impact the clinic has on local services, he said.
“It has to be very specific, things that we can measure,” Simcosky said.
Tribal leaders are considering further community outreach efforts to hear more concerns and share more information about the clinic.
“We want to talk to people about what we’re doing and what we can work together on solutions,” Simcosky said.
Tribe members met with neighbors to hear concerns such as installing fences and / or lighting.
Once open, the facility will accommodate three security personnel, two indoors and one outdoors during normal hours, and the site will be monitored after hours by additional trained security personnel, a. -he declares.
The clinic will also have emergency buttons everywhere, a safety feature, according to Simcosky, is standard protocol for clinics like this one.
Patients will come from across the northern Olympic Peninsula and be discharged home daily, the tribe said.
Regarding concerns about tent camps and the increase in the homeless population, Simcosky said the tribe had “no interest in tent camps” and had previously escorted one person away from the site. .
“Although most people are not patients, we had better meet with city officials to help these people find a solution,” said Simcosky.
The clinic sits on about 45 acres now owned by the tribe, he said, with no additional plans for the property other than a potential goal of connecting the property to River Road in years.
Construction of the clinic has been delayed for reasons such as legal action against the establishment and the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Simcosky.
Korsmo Construction of Tacoma is leading the construction of the Tribe’s approximately $ 16 million project. The funding is made up of approximately $ 9 million of the tribe’s own money and state and federal grants.
A move that Simcosky said tribal officials were especially proud of for purchasing the clinic’s wood last year ahead of this year’s price increases, saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A day care service will be offered next to the entrance separate from the rest of the clinic.
Patients will log into a kiosk where they will view their schedules, Simcosky said. They will be randomly selected for a urinalysis about 18 times a year, on average 1.5 times a month, he said, with staff monitoring to avoid false tests.
The clinic will house three dosing rooms where a patient will show their ID to a nurse before a computer dispenses the dosage.
“We have to take every drop into account,” Simcosky said.
“All methadone and other daily medications are locked in a $ 35,000 safe that is also inspected by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) in the pharmacy,” he added.
Each patient will also receive a mental health scan by the medical director and behavioral analysis staff, he said.
The tribe received a $ 1.5 million grant over three years from Indian Health Services to develop a program that merges behavioral health counseling programs and addiction treatment, Simcosky said.
The exterior of the clinic will feature a retention basin, totem poles sculpted by Bud Turner and over a dozen sculpted cedar logs. Inside, many rooms will face the Olympic mountains.
“People ask us why we chose this property, and we say it’s so people can think about life,” Simcosky said. “We want a peaceful, stress-free environment.
Only patients and staff will be allowed inside the main clinic, so the goal is to make the exterior beautiful for everyone.
W. Ron Allen, chairman of the tribal council, played a practical role throughout the construction process, said Simcosky, Allen choosing the types of landscapes for the property and Native American art throughout the facility.
Inside, a tile sculpture on the clinic’s floor shares the idea that a stone taken out of a stream can change the course of a person’s life.
“This is what our patients do,” Simcosky said.
For more information about the clinic, visit jamestownhealingcampus.org.
Matthew Nash is a reporter for the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is made up of the newspapers of Sound Publishing, Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach it at [email protected].