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Longtime nurse looks to start local clinic
MARYSVILLE — Janet Crumley’s goals for the future were born a quarter of a century ago.
“I was in the Air Force, living out on the economy in San Antonio 25 years ago,” said Crumley, a registered nurse for 34 years. “The neighborhood I lived in was poor and rundown, and as I got to know the women who lived there. I realized they were bringing their children to me, as a nurse, because they couldn’t afford health care.”
From then on, it became Crumley’s dream to open a free medical clinic where she could share the benefits of her experience and help educate people, especially those with no access to healthcare.
Crumley’s work on behalf of this goal coincides with recent announcements that the Snohomish County Health District’s services budget will be cut this year. This will include reductions in its Everett clinic hours and its numbers of full-time positions, in addition to reducing or eliminating a number of other community health education programs.
“The health district is cutting back on its service staff hours by 25 percent, and no one will be there to pick up the slack,” Crumley said.
Crumley hopes to do just that, though, by proving information, both one-on-one and in community classes, about weight management and obesity, diabetes, congestive heart failure, nutrition and baby care.
“If someone needs to see a physician, though, that’s what I’ll tell them to do,” said Crumley, who nonetheless believes she can promote the benefits of preventive health maintenance.
Before Crumley’s retirement from Group Health, she had earned her master’s degrees in both nursing and divinity, and accumulated a great deal of grief counseling experience. Even with her years of healthcare experience, though, navigating the process of declaring herself a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity organization has been confusing.
“It’s felt like a bit of a Catch-22,” Crumley said. “The application costs about $750, and I’ve been strongly advised to hire an attorney to help me fill out the paperwork, where the best deal I can find would be able $2,500. I don’t have money enough for either.”
Along the way, Crumley has received what she described as conflicting advice on what to do, all of which has stalled any set start date for her clinic. She’s also searching for donations of both medical equipment and office furniture, to outfit the building space she hopes to obtain on Third Street. As such, she invites those with donations, advice or other assistance to contact her, by phone at 360-659-9179, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be made to “Next Door Nurse at any Wells Fargo Bank.