Community Health Fiesta in Spanaway

Pat Roberts-Dempsey

Spanaway is not a city, but its population is larger than any town in Pierce County’s part of the Second Legislative District.  The largest governing entity in southeast Pierce County is the Bethel School District, and often serves as the connection between students and health care services.   Four decades ago, most of the area was rural and consisted mostly of large family farms.  As property taxes rose, these farms were broken into parcels, eventually becoming gated communities. While the population continued to grow, services did not follow.  Various doctors served the community individually, but could not meet the need for comprehensive care.  The Affordable Care Act has made a difference for this community by helping to expand care to those who need it without requiring travel to Tacoma or Puyallup.

Spanaway Lutheran Church has long supported progressive goals in the community, having for many years offered a preschool program during the week in addition to its Sunday services.  Last year, the church began to sponsor (with Molina Healthcare) a day of health and community services.  We talked with Jeris Ockfen, chair of the planning committee, about the services being offered.  For the kids, there are free hotdogs, school supplies, and activities.  For everyone, Walgreens is providing flu shots, free with an insurance card. 

The service community has come together to offer information about healthcare, education, shelters and more.  The major sponsor is Molina Healthcare, with support from Bethel Public Schools, LeMay Pierce County Refuse, Community Health Care, Thrivent Financial, Walgreens, Pierce County Library, Lindquist Dental Clinic for Children, Pacific Lutheran University, Safe Streets and Sound Outreach.  Using a cafeteria style model, community members will learn about services now available in Spanaway.

Get involved and attend the Community Health Fiesta in Spanaway. The event will be held Saturday, September 16, 2017, from 10 am to 2 pm, at Spanaway Lutheran Church, 16001 A Street South, Spanaway, WA 98387