Dungeness Valley Health & Wellness Clinic celebrates new location

It's official. Dungeness Valley Health & Wellness Clinic is firmly ensconced in its new digs at 777 N. Fifth Ave. in Sequim.

The newly remodeled offices give what is known as the free clinic nearly double the space it has had at Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church for the past seven years.

A private reception and an open house recently gave patrons and community members an opportunity to check out the clinic in Olympic Medical Center's

Sequim Medical Plaza.

"The entire clinic used to be only as big as this room," said John Beitzel, president of the clinic's board of directors, standing in one room of the new clinic. "Now we have private rooms for patients and a reception area."

Perhaps no one is more excited about the move than clinic founder Mary Griffith, who was honored at the Nov. 7 reception.

Griffith was a recipient of the 2008 Clallam County Health Hero Award. Tom Montgomery, first vice president of the board, presented the award to Griffith and spoke of her compassion and courage to dream "a very significant dream" of opening a free clinic in Sequim.

"She conceived of and brought into being a welcoming health home for the uninsured right here in her home community," Montgomery read from a proclamation honoring Griffith. "Under her leadership a team of volunteers moved her daring dream into the reality of the Dungeness Valley Health & Wellness Clinic."

In recognition of Griffith's achievement, the board named the Wellness Program headquarters the Mary Griffith Wellness Center.

Griffith was visibly pleased when she accepted the award and hugs from Montgomery.

A proclamation from Gov. Chris Gregoire declaring the importance of the clinic as it dedicated its new facilities was read during the reception as well.

The clinic is renting the 2,600 square feet of space at Sequim Medical Plaza from Olympic Medical Center for $1 a year, which goes a long way in helping the underinsured and uninsured in the community, Beitzel said.

Several local businesses support the clinic's annual budget of about $120,000.

The Dungeness Valley Health & Wellness Clinic can be reached at 582-0218.

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