A large Tacoma luncheon crowd today heard David Flentge, president and CEO of Community Health Care, share how the not-for-profit medical and dental practice is serving ever more patients.

“In 2016, a total of 44,329 patients were served through 162,904 patient visits,” Flentge shares, “with 565 babies delivered.” This means one of every 20 Pierce County residents passed through CHC’s eight clinics and 4 pharmacy locations.

More than half of these patients have incomes at or below the poverty level and despite the gains from federal and state Affordable Care Act programs, 14 percent arrive with no insurance coverage. While every one treated pays something on a sliding scale, the organization’s mission states that nobody will be turned for their inability to pay.

Community Health Care calculates that keeping each of its uninsured patients out of local hospital emergency rooms saves more than $7.6 million in costs there. The program works to improve access to timely screening and preventative services.

Construction will be starting soon on a new CHC dental clinic and pharmacy in Spanaway, to be completed this summer. Clinic capacity has also been enlarged at the Hilltop Regional Health Center.