Meridian Center for Health
Innovative one-stop center for health brings expanded care options to North Seattle
Three leading King County health organizations are welcoming the public to a transformative new health care center in North Seattle – greatly expanding access and introducing a bold model for patient-centered care to the Puget Sound region.
The Meridian Center for Health is more than an attractive building and a public-private partnership. It offers a seamless, coordinated and integrated experience for people who have multiple health or social service needs. This is especially important for those who have financial, insurance, language, transportation, health or other barriers to overcome.
The partners at the Meridian Center for Health — Neighborcare Health (medical, dental and pharmacy), Public Health – Seattle & King County (WIC nutrition and maternity support services), and Valley Cities (mental health and substance use recovery services) — have embraced a “no wrong door” approach, with each organization helping clients get what they need, regardless of where they begin.
“We’re transforming the way we deliver health services by focusing together on the individual needs of each client,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “By having providers from partner organizations working together to customize services, we’re better able to deliver the best outcomes.”
This model is at the forefront of reforms in public health, health care delivery and social services. Better integration – focused on patient-centered care, quality and prevention — is the primary goal of King County’s Health and Human Services Transformation Plan. The model meets the aims of the federal Affordable Care Act and the Washington State Health Care Innovation Plan, which call for new types of integration to provide care for the “whole person.”
“There is a huge and under-acknowledged need for health services for low-income people in north Seattle, particularly for dental care, and we are poised to meet that need,” said Mark Secord, CEO of Neighborcare Health, the largest community health provider in Seattle. “By getting people the care they need before reaching crisis, we see better health outcomes, lower the cost of care, and improve lives.”
The Meridian Center for Health will:
- Improve access for those who have had difficulty connecting with a full range of healthcare services, providing care for more than 14,000 patients per year
- Enhance much needed support for pregnant women, moms and young children, who can get help with parenting skills, nutrition and breastfeeding at the same location as their medical, dental and behavioral health care
- Serve as the base for home-visiting nurses, who offer preventive care and connect pregnant women and new moms with all the services offered at Meridian
- Promote clients’ mental health and substance use recovery by coordinating closely with their physical health treatments
New building embodies and promotes collaboration
The facility itself, built by Neighborcare Health and situated on King County property, encourages integration through its shared Welcome Center, an open floor plan, shared team spaces and community meeting rooms.
“This creates a true healthcare home for clients, in a facility that supports their dignity, encourages respect, and integrates treatment for the mind and body,” said Ken Taylor, CEO of Valley Cities, a behavioral health treatment agency that helps nearly 8,000 people a year.
Neighborcare Health conducted a capital campaign to fund construction. Sources for the $22.5 million project include individual and foundation donations, a federal grant, support from the State of Washington and the City of Seattle, New Markets Tax Credits, debt and equity. King County contributed the land for the facility.
Ultimately, the partners aim to improve the overall health of the population of North Seattle, by bringing additional resources into the facility and creating extended partnerships that impact determinants of health, such as access to healthy food.
“Meridian offers a great opportunity to bring together the preventive services that support healthy choices and healthy behaviors, such as support for pregnant moms and nutrition services for families, with medical, dental and behavioral health care,” said Patty Hayes, Director of Public Health – Seattle & King County.
- Primary medical care and dental care – Neighborcare Health
- Maternity support services and WIC food/nutrition program – Public Health
- Behavioral health–mental health and substance use counseling – Valley Cities
- Federal grant ($5m)
- Washington State ($2.5m)
- City of Seattle ($1m)
- New Markets Tax Credits ($4.7m)
- Neighborcare Health reserves and debt ($7m)
- Philanthropic campaign ($2.3m)
- Neighborcare Health continues to solicit and accept donations to help pay down debt to help preserve more resources for direct patient services
- In addition, King County provides the land for the center, valued at $3 million+