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Sea Mar expands to meet demand in Marysville

Marysville Sea Mar medical assistant Gricelda Paz checks the colposcope machine before it’s used on any patients. - Kirk Boxleitner
Marysville Sea Mar medical assistant Gricelda Paz checks the colposcope machine before it’s used on any patients.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — Nine new exam rooms, including a dedicated procedure room, remained almost untouched as of April 7.

According to Tamara Fitzpatrick, nurse manager for the Sea Mar Community Health Center in Marysville, that won’t last long.

On April 7, Sea Mar celebrated the addition of 3,000 square feet to its Marysville clinic, which includes the exam rooms and three new offices. Fitzpatrick hopes this will be accompanied by the addition of three care providers to its staff by this summer.

“We’re already seeing 10,000 patients a year in Marysville alone,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’re one of the few clinics that simply cannot meet the demand of our community. Our acute care schedule is usually full by 8:30 or 9 in the morning. That’s 27-30 patients, with a little more than five providers to care for them now.”

Ricardo La Grotta, health care administrator for Sea Mar in Marysville, told attendees of the clinic’s April 7 open house that the facility expansion was intended to increase its service capacity.

“We’re meeting the vision of our CEO and Board of Directors 10 years ago,” La Grotta said. “Our goal is to provide the best care possible to everyone, not only medical, but also dental and behavioral health. We hope this makes us even more accessible to the community, and lets them know that we’re here for them.”

Sea Mar Senior Vice President Carolina Lucero recalled how Sea Mar began in Snohomish County as a couple of exam rooms in a small house in 1989, before moving to the Smokey Point area in 1992. Sea Mar took up residence at its current Marysville location in 2001.

“This is a phenomenal facility,” said Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, who joined Marysville City Council members Donna Wright and Michael Stevens in cutting the ribbon to the new clinic space. “You’re so involved in the community, with Ricardo serving on the Diversity Advisory Committee. I’m looking forward to a long and prosperous partnership.”

Fitzpatrick expects that Sea Mar’s Marysville clinic, which was running at 100 percent of its capacity before the expansion, will start to see a third more patients, which makes the current shortage of family practice doctors to serve them that much more challenging. Between the Marysville and Monroe clinics, more than 35 percent of those patients have no health insurance.

“Medicaid doesn’t always cover the costs of care, and if the Medicaid matching funds go away, it hacks away at our infrastructure,” Fitzpatrick said.

Sea Mar in Marysville is located at 9710 State Ave. To learn more, log onto www.seamar.org.

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