Founded in 2013 and closed since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the Key Free Clinic reopened in new quarters June 22 in the KP Community Council office in the Key Center Corral, located at 9013 Key Peninsula Highway NW.
The clinic opens at 4 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month, for the time being, and is available to anyone.
“Right now we’re thinking twice a month, depending on the availability of our volunteers,” said Executive Director Anne Nesbit, who has been the executive director since 2015.
Staff will include a doctor or advanced practice nurse practitioner, two or more nurses, and office workers, including Nesbit.
“They are medical professionals in the community who are donating their time,” she said.
“Anybody can walk through the door, insured or not, it doesn’t matter,” Nesbit said. “It’s a drop-in clinic, no appointment necessary, first come, first served. In the past, we’d see four or five people a night, and that was a good, busy night. We’re open for two or three hours.”
Blood draws, lab work and imaging will be provided at no charge to the patient by St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor.
“We have a great partnership with St. Anthony,” Nesbit said. “They’re being very generous.”
The clinic will also continue its relationship with Project Access, she said, “to connect people to continuous primary care. We are not going to be someone’s primary physician; we’re available for people who need acute care.”
Nesbit said that supplies at the clinic are limited.
“If you show up and need more help I’m going to call 911, but if it’s just a few stitches or glue to close a wound we might patch you up and send you into town,” she said. But that kind of situation has been rare; most patients need help with their blood pressure or other chronic problems or need a non-narcotic prescription renewed.
One potential hurdle for some patients is just getting to the clinic.
“We don’t have the means to go home to home, although it would be awesome to be able to do that, but at this point, they have to find a ride,” Nesbit said. The Mustard Seed Project in Key Center can provide patient transportation, but rides must be arranged in advance.
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