SEQUIM — A Sequim medical facility born in the heat of public opposition has enjoyed a quiet seven months of operation since it opened July 6, 2022.
Even the staunchest critics of the Jamestown Healing Clinic, a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) center for opioid-use disorders, have not raised their voices, tribal Chair Ron Allen and Health Services Director Brent Simcosky said this week.
“We’ve had no complaints, no complaints from anyone in the community,” Simcosky said.
Over the last seven months, there has been one police call related to a person at the facility who was homeless who was not a patient and another call regarding a person who was “very angry,” he said.
Simcosky said a member of the anti-clinic group Save Our Sequim drove by the 526 S. Ninth Ave. facility and paid the building a compliment. Simcosky, at the site, recognized him as a member of the group Save Our Sequim.
“He said, ‘This is nicer than I thought it would be,” Simcosky recalled.
Save Our Sequim had filed appeals against the project, gathering a 2,600-signature petition, with opponents asserting it didn’t belong where it ended up. It was ruled eventually to have no standing in the matter.
Another initial critic, former Mayor William Armacost, is on an advisory council whose formation was required by land-use hearing examiner Phil Olbrechts that includes Simcosky and which meets monthly.
Armacost has not expressed opposition with the facility and in fact voted with the majority on all advisory committee meetings, Simcosky said.
Simcosky said there were 100 active patients receiving care at the facility, which has a capacity of 300.
MAT clinic opponents had criticized the project as being “regional,” saying that it would draw clients from outside the area.
Simcosky said all of the active patients are from the North Olympic Peninsula, and mostly from Clallam County — 60 percent within 15 miles of the clinic, 30 percent outside 15 miles, and 10 percent from Jefferson County.
“We did not think it would grow this fast, to be honest,” he said.
Legislative Reporter Paul Gottlieb, a former senior reporter at Peninsula Daily News, can be reached at email@example.com.