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Public health department gets new home

Visitors to the Clallam County Public Health Department no longer have to navigate a slippery staircase to the courthouse basement to access services.

The department moved to a new location at 111 E. Third St., Suite 1A, in Port Angeles.

Clallam County Commissioner Steve Tharinger attended the office's open house Aug. 6, along with commissioner Mike Chapman, county administrator Jim Jones and others.

Tharinger said the location, which was purchased by the county in 2008, was ideal because it is close to the existing county department offices in the courthouse and provides ground-level access.

"When you've got a stroller and a baby, that's a set up for a safety problem," said Iva Burks, Clallam County Health and Human Services director.

The public health office includes the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program - a nutrition education, health promotion and supplemental food program for women and youths who have nutritional needs.

There are 1,370 women and children a month in the program, Burks said.

The new facility includes a large padded play area for children in the waiting room with toys, obstacles and books. There is one room dedicated for the WIC program, two exam rooms, one interview room and a conference room.

"We were competing for space before," said Christina Dettra, public health program manager. "We had three rooms, now we have six."

The building's renovation took less than six months, Burks said.

The old office there had no windows and the 16 staff members shared offices. The new office has many windows providing sunlight and staff have cubicles set up in a big, open room central to the facility.

Burks said the county hopes someday to house the entire Health and Human Services Department in the two-story building.

For information on the new location, call the public health department at 417-2274.



Amanda Winters can be reached at awinters@sequimgazette.com.

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