CLINIC PARTNER SPOTLIGHT – Sea Mar Community Health Centers
For over four decades, Sea Mar Community Health Centers has provided bilingual, affordable, high-quality health care and social services for hundreds of thousands of migrant farm workers, immigrants and low-income patients in the western half of Washington state. Beginning with just two clinics, the organization has grown to become one of the largest community health centers in the country.
Sea Mar boasts a wide variety of services, ranging from primary medical, dental and behavioral health services to WIC, maternity support, nutrition, in-house pharmacy and specialty services such as sports medicine and endocrinology. The organization also serves special populations such as the homeless and farmworkers and currently has 11 affordable family housing developments for low-income patients to mitigate the health impacts of homelessness. In 2021 alone, Sea Mar served more than 320,000 patients at 113 medical, dental, and behavioral health clinics.
Tony Stupski, D.O., Medical Director of Sea Mar’s Southern Region, says MAVEN Project’s expert physician volunteers have been especially helpful in areas that lack ready access to specialty care. He shared, “We rely on MAVEN Project volunteers to help provide confidence that our patients will have access to the specialty care they need.”
“Availability of care paired with long wait times for an appointment and the myriad other challenges our patients face mean many can’t see a specialist at all,” he said. “With MAVEN Project’s help we can manage many problems in-house or begin moving on more complex issues that may necessitate a referral. And patients love knowing we’re doing whatever we can to provide them the best care possible.”
Working with MAVEN Project is ensuring more patients who have complex problems and need specialty care, get help. Many are able to solve their problems after a MAVEN Project consult, and others are able to begin testing and treatment as they wait for a specialist appointment locally.
“Being able to confer with a highly qualified physician enhances our primary care providers’ knowledge and skills, and enables them to go above and beyond in their patient treatment care plans,” Stupski added. “Continuing education offered by MAVEN Project is welcome and well attended by our clinicians.”
Jonathan Armstrong, M.D., uses rheumatology and dermatology eConsults most often.
“Being able to send case reports with photos to specialists in those fields has allowed me to treat various skin conditions and get advice on rheumatologic issues that they would have to normally wait nine months to one year to obtain. I had one patient that comes to mind who had a significant facial rash that was only getting worse with usual treatment. I sent photos, documented the history, and one of the MAVEN consultants gave us a plan that cleared up the rash within a couple of weeks. The patient was extremely grateful!”