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King County and Auburn Secure Partnerships to Keep Public Health Clinic Open through 2016

Public Health Press Conference
(L-R: King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, Muckleshoot Tribal Councilmember Charlotte Williams, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Interim Director of King County Public Health Patty Hayes)

King County Executive Dow Constantine joined Mayor Nancy Backus today in Auburn to announce that a deal has been reached to keep Auburn’s Public Health clinic open for the next two years. The City of Auburn has been working closely with King County staff to structure partnerships in and around Auburn to offset the costs to run the clinic. In the end, Backus and Constantine were able to secure public and private partnerships to keep the clinic open through 2016.

As of the announcement, the Auburn clinic funding partners are:

  • City of Auburn: $220,000
  • Muckleshoot Indian Tribe: $150,000
  • Group Health: $100,000
  • Orion Industries: $40,000
  • City of Algona: $10,000
  • City of Pacific: $10,000
  • The Valley Regional Fire Authority: $10,000

“Just look at the partners that came together,” said Constantine. “Tribes, cities, employees, non-profits, businesses. It is an unprecedented coalition. With this approach we can keep the Auburn clinic open for two more years.”

Constantine did not want it to go unnoticed that King County Public Health employees sacrificed their own wage increases to help fill the budget gap. “This shows their commitment to what they do.” He said.

“It is a glorious day in Auburn,” said Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus. “I am humbled, but not surprised, by what has been accomplished by the south county cities, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, the Auburn School District, Valley Regional Fire Authority, healthcare agencies and employees, and private industry working in partnership with King County to maintain the services for our region's most vulnerable people. As often happens in Auburn, when a need arises and something monumental needs to happen, we step up to the challenge and get it done.”

The King County council will vote on the final budget on Nov. 17.