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Peninsula Community Health Services Service Expansion Announcement

Peninsula Community Health Services Service Expansion Announcement

Peninsula Community Health Services (PCHS) is a federally qualified health center that provides medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, and enabling services to over 38,000 patients each year in Kitsap, Mason, and rural Pierce Counties. We serve patients where they are, whether that is in our traditional clinics or at our fleet of mobile clinics, school-based health clinics, and outreach events.

Nearly one in five PCHS patients experiences homelessness. When this population requires hospitalization, discharging them to the street or to a shelter that cannot provide recuperative care is not a safe option. PCHS is preparing to fill this critical gap by launching a medical respite center at 810 6th Street in Bremerton, WA.

What is medical respite, and why is it needed?

Medical respite provides individuals a safe place to recover from a serious health crisis. People experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity often find it difficult – even impossible – to adhere to treatment plans or discharge instructions, and those who are able to access emergency shelters often find that these facilities are not equipped to meet their individual health needs.

PCHS’ medical respite center will have 22 individual rooms and an onsite clinic. We will serve people recently discharged from the hospital, as well as those who are ill or injured and need early medical intervention to avoid hospitalization. Our patients will receive 24/7 support for up to 30 days from PCHS providers and support staff who will work with each patient to develop an individual exit plan, enabling those experiencing homelessness to safely transition to more stable environment.

The medical respite model demonstrably reduces healthcare costs and strain on our healthcare system. A day of medical respite care costs a fraction of a day of inpatient hospitalization and increases the availability of hospital beds for those who need acute care. Ultimately, medical respite is a cost-effective solution for hospitals, insurance companies, state programs, and the community as a whole.

What kinds of services will be available?

PCHS’ medical respite center will operate according to the National Institute for Medical Respite Care’s “Comprehensive Clinical Care Model.” Services include:

  • Onsite Medical Care and Behavioral Health Support. PCHS clinical providers and support staff will conduct clinical appointments and care coordination at our onsite clinic. On-call medical coverage will be available 24 hours a day. Our behavioral health providers will offer screenings, assessments, and treatment to medical respite patients who struggle with mental health challenges and/or substance use disorders.
  • Nutrition Support. Patients will have the opportunity to meet with registered dieticians to develop customized, achievable nutrition goals based on their food access options.
  • Medication Management. Our care team will gather, verify, and coordinate medication information upon admission and discharge. Patients will review current prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and herbals/supplements for dosing accuracy, compliance, drug-interactions, and storage/handling. Upon discharge, patients will leave with a plan for continuing medication therapy centered around coverage, cost, and storage given their unique circumstances.
  • Community Resource Coordination. PCHS staff will work with medical respite patients to find long-term housing, employment opportunities, and other community resources.

How can you help?

Although our medical respite program will achieve substantial, long-term cost savings to our healthcare system, we need significant capital investments to launch and a smart operational funding plan to sustain. PCHS will seek capital funding from state, county, and local governments, foundations, and individuals to help renovate 810 6th Street into a recuperative care facility.

We are grateful for the capital and operational support pledged thus far by our partners:

  • Start-up funding partners:
    • City of Bremerton - $100,000
    • Community Health Plan of Washington - $25,000
    • Coordinated Care - $15,000
    • Kitsap County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) - $200,000
    • Kitsap Public Health District – $100,000
    • Molina Healthcare - $10,000
    • United Healthcare - $125,000
    • Virginia Mason Franciscan Health – $50,000
    • Washington State Capital Budget - $1,000,000 (Medical Respite)
    • Washington State Capital Budget - $412,000 (Medical Respite Supportive Housing)
  • Operational funding partners
    • Kitsap Public Health District – $100,000
    • Virginia Mason Franciscan Health – amount pending

We invite you to stay informed about this project’s progress and welcome your support as we work to transform one life at a time.