Rep. Adam Smith spoke about the importance of accessible health care in local communities at a presentation at HealthPoint in Federal Way on Aug. 5. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Rep. Adam Smith spoke about the importance of accessible health care in local communities at a presentation at HealthPoint in Federal Way on Aug. 5. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Rep. Adam Smith stresses access in HealthPoint Federal Way visit

“No issue is as universal as health care,” Smith says.

To celebrate National Health Center Week, HealthPoint Federal Way welcomed Congressman Adam Smith and Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell to speak on the importance of community health centers on Monday afternoon.

“It’s all about access to health care,” Smith told the crowd of more than 60 people on Aug. 5, adding that access is what community health care facilities provide on a “ground base, grassroots level.”

HealthPoint Federal Way is a locally-run center that is part of the nationwide affordable primary care organization, a network that serves more than 28 million patients. National Health Center Week, honored Aug. 4-10, aims to raise awareness of the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers throughout the past 50 years.

These accomplishments include reaching special patient populations by going beyond methods of conventional medicine to address social determinants, reducing unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations, serving more than 355,000 veterans throughout the country, and more.

Smith, a supporter of universal access health care, said health care policy is the one thing that “every single one of my constituents cares about.”

“No issue is as universal as health care,” Smith said. “It touches everybody … “

Of all the problems with America’s health care system, Smith said, the biggest frustration for most is not being able to get the care that they need and the first step happens when an individual is able to walk into a community clinic such as HealthPoint.

There is no more effective deliverer of health care services than those in your neighborhood and those that are easily accessible, Smith added.

Although it may be an incremental process, the current focus needs to be expanding access, Smith said. Two questions stemmed from the idea: How do we get more people covered? And then how do we control costs?

“In my mind, controlling costs is the same as expanding access,” he said. “The one of the big blocks to it is how expensive it is.

“We need to figure out better ways to deliver health care; more efficient, more effective ways to get better results quicker.”

“The most important work, in my mind, of health care reform going on in this country is being done by you,” he told the crowd of more than 60 people on Monday afternoon.

Smith said he hopes to hear more stories from those in the field to help reflect these experiences in future health care policies.

HealthPoint CEO Thomas Trompeter briefly discussed community health care facilities heavy reliance on federal funding.

While historically the funding for these centers has been authorized for five-year increments providing ample funding for each year, the federal budgeting periods have been set at two-year increments in recent years, said Claire Keeler, communications and engagement director for HealthPoint.

This reduction has created a hardship for many community health care centers as they try to plan for their futures while their financial support is in question, Keeler said.

Congressman Smith is an advocate for the return of the five-year authorization schedule and for the sufficient funding necessary for centers like HealthPoint to serve local communities, she added.

At the event, Mayor Ferrell shared his advocacy and support for local health clinics, highlighting the City Council vote to spend $221,000 toward the Public Health clinic in 2014.

“It’s the people that are on that edge financially that are the least prepared in the middle of an emergency,” Ferrell said, thanking the care team of HealthPoint for their life-changing work.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

Rep. Adam Smith spoke about the importance of accessible health care in local communities at a presentation at HealthPoint in Federal Way on Aug. 5. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Rep. Adam Smith spoke about the importance of accessible health care in local communities at a presentation at HealthPoint in Federal Way on Aug. 5. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

More in News

School lunch. File photo
School district distributes thousands of extra meals amid pandemic

Congress hasn’t renewed the program, which provided twice as many student meals for free last spring.

Todd Keeney, president of the Federal Way Washington Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, presents a check towards diapers for FWPS families to Laura Batcheller, ECEAP/Head Start (ESTART) program manager​ of Federal Way Public Schools. Courtesy photo
Local LDS church donates to families of FWPS Early Learning program

The donations included hygiene kits, cleaning supplies, and a six-month supply of diapers for 460 kids, and more.

Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
City of Federal Way to close Steel Lake Park

The park will be closed indefinitely to visitors starting Thursday, Aug. 13.

The Enumclaw Health and Rehabilitation Center, which is located by St. Elizabeth hospital, a senior living community, and a nursing home. File photo
Inslee lifts visitation ban at long-term care facilities

Starting Wednesday, a four-phase plan will allow restrictions at nursing homes to gradually be relaxed.

Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
Upcoming drive-in movies at the PAEC

Free showing of Toy Story 4 at 8:40 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15

Photo courtesy of Bruce Honda
A sweet success: FWPD drive-thru ice cream social serves more than 1,500 residents

The event, paid for by local businesses, raised about $4,500 for Washington Special Olympics.

Two homes struck by gunfire | Federal Way police blotter

In two separate incidents, officers found evidence of a shooting; no injuries resulted from incidents

barry johnson
Local artist’s work beautifies transformation of Federal Way’s downtown

Federal Way resident barry johnson created an “Our Federal Way” mural to be displayed outside of the Sound Transit construction site of incoming link extension.

South King Fire rescue swimmers search for a man underwater at Steel Lake Park on Aug. 8. Photo courtesy of South Sound Media Production
Man in critical condition after drowning at Steel Lake

Rescue swimmers pulled the man from the lake on Saturday evening, Aug. 8.

Most Read