Another medical clinic coming to Sequim
by DIANE URBANI DE LA PAZ
Peninsula Daily News
SEQUIM -- Sit down with this woman, and you'll feel like telling her everything.
That's the first thing that's clear: Bridgett Bell Kraft is a listener.
Then she breaks the news about what's next for her and for this city.
Kraft plans to open Primary Care Sequim, a 3,400-square-foot combination urgent care and primary care clinic, at 520 N. Fifth Ave. in October.
At first the walk-in center will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays through Tuesdays. It will close on Wednesdays and Thursdays the least-busy days for a health clinic, Kraft said during its first three months. Then, around the beginning of the new year, Primary Care Sequim will be open seven days a week.
The combination clinic will be the first of its kind in Sequim.
Port Angeles' Clinicare, 16 miles away, is the closest walk-in clinic.
Kraft, a nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience in clinics and hospitals from Seattle to Saudi Arabia, is in the process of hiring six other nurse practitioners who will co-own and operate the facility.
Primary Care Sequim will be on insurance carriers' provider lists, Kraft said.
``This will relieve some of the burden for other practitioners,'' across the Dungeness Valley, she said.
``I don't see myself as being in competition with other providers. My clinic will be just another option.''
Like primary care doctors, nurse practitioners make referrals to specialists.
``We're fortunate in this area to have a wealth of physicians to refer to,'' Kraft said.
Last month the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe announced plans to open a 35,000-square-foot health clinic on the Olympic Medical Cancer Center campus, also on Fifth Avenue in Sequim.
It will open to the general public as well as to tribal members around the end of 2007, with 15 to 18 family doctors, specialists and nurse practitioners on its staff, but the tribe's clinic won't have an urgent care center.
Sequim's Olympic Medical Park, as it's now called, doesn't include a walk-in clinic in its first phase either, said spokeswoman Bobby Beeman.
``We will soon begin planning the next phases, and we will seek input from the Sequim community,'' she said, adding that the medical center ``recognizes there will be a growing need for primary care in Sequim.''
To Kraft's mind, the need is here now