Point of View: LWV studies, supports Healing Campus

By Linda Benson

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

We use a time-tested method for taking positions on issues.

Members first complete research, identifying evidence-based resources to sort facts from assumptions on an issue. This data is presented at a membership meeting where consensus on a position is reached. Only then is a statement of our position written and approved by the board of directors.

We followed this process to study the proposed Healing Campus Medical Facility for Clallam and Jefferson counties. The consensus we reached was based on the following information that we have determined to be credible and factual:

The designated location is optimal because it would not be near residential neighborhoods, schools or walkable to downtown Sequim.

The location is already zoned for medical use and is geographically situated in the middle of the Clallam-Jefferson service area.

The key partners of Olympic Medical Center, Jefferson Healthcare, Peninsula Behavioral Health and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe represent the entities best equipped to achieve successful treatment and care of patients. Simply put, they have established credibility and are trusted entities within the North Olympic Peninsula.

Jamestown Tribe qualifies for greater Medicaid/Medicare reimbursement rates, thus making strong economic sense for a sustainable health care program.

The Healing Campus model will offer more than just medication-assisted treatment. It will provide “wrap-around” services for patients and their families.

This will include primary health care, dental care and social services to secure food, housing and job training as needed. This has been documented to be a highly successful approach to treatment and is a major factor in successful rehabilitation.

There are no nearby clinics offering this wrap-around service model and one is needed for the Peninsula. The state of Washington is taking a regional approach to the problem of addiction and there will be facilities throughout the state in order to serve people closer to where they already live.

The League of Women Voters of Clallam County fully endorses the Healing Campus and we offer our support and assistance to help make it a reality.

We believe that this healing campus is a win for our communities on the North Olympic Peninsula and thank our elected officials and civic leaders for their support in making it a reality.

You may go to our website, https://my.lwv.org/washington/clallam-county for information on the sources that were referenced before making this decision.

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Linda Benson is president of the League of Women Voters of Clallam County

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