Joint Olympic Medical-Jefferson opioid clinic planned in Sequim

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is purchasing 19.5 acres southeast of Costco in Sequim for a medically-assisted addiction treatment facility for opioid addicts.

The $20 million behavioral health center is being planned in collaboration with Olympic Medical Center and Jefferson Healthcare hospital.

Most of the grassy parcel off Ninth Street just west of downtown Sequim was purchased May 21 for $900,000, with sale of the remaining $275,000 lot, less than 1 acre, signed for but not finalized, tribal Health Services Director Brent Simcosky said on May 30.

The sellers of the finalized parcels at 526 and 521 S. Ninth Ave., were Norman Dawley and E.L. Frankfurth of Bainbridge Island, according to the county Assessor’s Office.

Simcosky said the tribe’s $1.2 million purchase is a major first step toward developing Phase 1 of what tribal officials for now are calling a healing campus that eventually will include an inpatient psychiatric facility.

Construction of the $7.2 million medication-assisted addiction treatment (MAT) facility will begin in spring 2020 and be completed by March 2021 he said.

Phase 2 will consist of a 16-bed inpatient psychiatric evaluation and treatment facility that is expected to be built beginning in 2021 with completion anticipated in mid-2022.

MAT clinic funding was approved during the 2019 state legislative session under a joint capital budget application submitted by the tribe, OMC and Jefferson Healthcare.

The MAT facility, built and operated by the tribe, will dispense daily doses of methadone, Suboxone and Vivitrol in a closed, secure setting, initially in a 15,000-square-foot building that Simcosky said would grow to about 25,000 square feet.

Rice Fergus Miller Inc. of Bremerton, the Bremerton architectural firm that designed the tribe’s 7 Cedars Casino hotel, which is under construction, has been hired to draw up plans for the MAT facility to accommodate the larger footprint, Simcosky said. The company has designed inpatient medical facilities, he said.

The smaller facility will serve 200-300 clients from Clallam and Jefferson counties and the larger facility,

which will cost an additional $8 million, about 400 clients.

Simcosky hopes that funding will be appropriated in the 2020 legislative session.

The facility “will follow a daily-dose model of care and wraparound services, including group counseling, child care, transportation and general support,” according to the 2019 capital budget application.

“We know there are about 600 Suboxone patients in Clallam County with opioid disorders from anywhere from pain pills to heroin,” Simcosky said.

“A lot of people don’t want to be addicted to heroin but just can’t find a solution to get off of it.”

MAT treatment is covered by Medicaid, which Simcosky expects will cover 75 percent to 80 percent of the clients.

The tribe has higher reimbursement rates, which allows the tribe to provide add-on services other centers cannot afford, he said.

“It’s a long-term solution we’re trying to look at,” Simcosky said.

“If we treat 300 or 400 people, we are probably impacting a few thousand in the community just because of the negative impact they have on the groups they are associated with, such as their family.”

Clients will not be allowed to loiter on the premises, and methadone will be stored in a safe, and be measured and accounted for, per federal Drug Enforcement Administration regulations, he said.

“In most places, people do not violate the rules because they want to be in the program,” he added.

Tribal funds were used for the property purchase, and about $500,000 in tribal funds also will be spent on vans and buses to transport clients to and from the facility.

Plans include a management agreement with Olympic Medical Center to operate the psychiatric facility and potential agreements to collaborate with Jefferson Healthcare, Forks Community Hospital and Peninsula Behavioral health.

Jefferson Healthcare CEO Mike Glenn lauded the effort last week in an email.

“This is a great thing,” Glann said. “The three major players have worked closely to identify necessary services for our region. We will continue to collaborate as the development of Phase II moves forward.”

Eric Lewis, Olympic Medical Center CEO, said last week that the behavioral health center serves two big needs: opioid and heroin addiction treatment and inpatient psychiatric treatment.

“Jamestown is leading the way with Phase 1,” he said. “Phase 2 will be the inpatient evaluation and psychiatric treatment facility that will include Jefferson Healthcare, which will be part of the team, and Forks Community Hospital and Peninsula Behavioral Health and, of course, OMC and Jamestown.

“We are going to come together and add a service that not only Clallam County needs but Jefferson County needs. For me, it’s a transformational project.”

The property is zoned for the MAT, and the use does not require public hearings, City Manager Charlie Bush said on May 30.