Sea Mar Community Health Centers was organized by a group of Latino community leaders and health activists who dreamed of developing a comprehensive health center for the Latino community in Seattle, with satellite clinics in rural communities in western Washington.
They began in 1978 with one small clinic in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle.
Today, Sea Mar is one of western Washington’s largest providers of community-based health and human services, including community and migrant primary medical and dental care, obstetrics and gynecology, minor outpatient surgery, laboratory and radiology services, outpatient and inpatient behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services, social services and case management, maternity support services, migrant and homeless support services, health education and nutrition programs, pharmacy services, community- and facility-based long-term care services, child care, low-income and migrant farm worker housing, and youth education and leadership programs.
Sea Mar has services and programs in 13 Washington counties, including Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Franklin, Grays Harbor, Island, King, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston, Whatcom and Yakima.
Sea Mar’s mission has always been to serve low-income, underserved, and uninsured communities in western Washington, specializing in services to the Latino population. For the past 38 years, Sea Mar has consistently provided innovative leadership at the local, regional, and national levels in the delivery of bilingual and culturally appropriate health care and social services.
- 1976 - 1979
- A group of Latino community leaders begins to look at how best to address the health care needs of the Spanish-speaking community in western Washington, particularly in terms of accessibility and cost. They establish a “free” clinic, staffed by volunteers, in the Rainier Valley area of Seattle.
- Sea Mar incorporates as a non-profit organization.
- With approximately $300,000 in funding from the federal government, Sea Mar purchases a clinic in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle from a retiring private-practice physician. The Seattle Medical Clinic was established, offering primary medical care, x-ray, laboratory, WIC, and nutrition services. Sea Mar continues to care for the retiring doctor’s clients, many of whom are elderly and in need of long-term care.
- Sea Mar begins to offer social services and health education programs in its South Park location.
Sea Mar becomes a Chore Services contractor for the Washington Department of Social and Health Services’ Division on Aging and begins providing home-care services to low-income elderly and disabled persons.
- 1980 - 1989
- Seattle Dental Clinic opens in South Park.
Sea Mar obtains a Certificate of Need from the State of Washington for a licensed Medicare and Medicaid-certified Home Health Agency in South Park, and begins to provide skilled nursing care, home health aides, and rehabilitative services.
- Seattle Medical Clinic opens a pharmacy in South Park.
- Seattle Medical Clinic adds an OB/GYN program.
Mount Vernon Medical Clinic opens to serve the growing Latino community in Skagit County, realizing Sea Mar’s founders’ dream of offering health services to migrant farm workers.
- Mount Vernon Clinic adds dental care services.
- Bellingham Medical Clinic opens to serve clients in Whatcom County.
Mount Vernon Medical Clinic adds mental health and homeless support services, and an emergency food and clothing bank.
- Marysville Medical Clinic opens, realizing the dream of Sea Mar’s founders to serve the Latino populations of both Seattle and Marysville. (Sea Mar stands for Seattle Marysville.)
Bellingham Clinic begins providing state-licensed, bilingual/bicultural outpatient behavioral health services, primarily to Latinos, seasonal farm workers, and homeless people.
- 1990 - 1999
- Sea Mar purchases another building in South Park and expands the Seattle Dental Clinic’s services to include pediatric dentistry.
- Lynden Medical Clinic opens, providing primary medical care to this small farming community in rural Whatcom County.
- In response to the need for substance-abuse treatment services for Latinos and migrant/seasonal farm workers, Sea Mar adds state-licensed, county-funded bilingual/bicultural outpatient substance abuse treatment to its behavioral health services in Bellingham.
Marysville Medical Clinic moves to a larger facility in the Smokey Point area of Arlington.
- Sea Mar begins providing state-licensed, bilingual/bicultural outpatient behavioral health services in Everett, in Snohomish County, primarily to Latino and indigent clients.
Lynden Medical Clinic adds dental services.
- Seattle Medical Clinic adds behavioral health services.
Burlington Dental Clinic opens, expanding dental services in Skagit County.
Sea Mar opens an inpatient alcohol and substance abuse treatment facility in Tacoma, adding Pierce County to the list of counties receiving services.
Realizing another dream of its founders, Sea Mar opens an intergenerational Community Care Center on Catholic Hill in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle. It consists of two new buildings and includes a one-hundred-bed skilled-nursing facility with a nineteen-bed Alzheimer’s unit, and a child development center with the capacity to care for 120 children from infants to age 12.
- Tacoma Medical Clinic opens, expanding services in Pierce County to include primary medical care.
Mount Vernon Dental Clinic expands to include pediatric dentistry.
The dental program in Lynden moves to the Bellingham Clinic. Nooksak Dental Clinic opens to serve members of the Nooksak Indian Tribe and migrant farm workers, as well as the general population in this rural part of Whatcom County.
Sea Mar begins providing state-licensed, bilingual/bicultural outpatient behavioral health services in Tacoma, primarily to Latino and indigent clients.
With the opening of a clinic in Monroe, Sea Mar adds state-licensed, county-funded, bilingual/bicultural outpatient substance abuse treatment services in eastern Snohomish County.
- Sea Mar opens an inpatient alcohol and substance abuse treatment center for youth and adolescents in north Seattle, and shifts the focus of the Tacoma inpatient treatment center to adults only.
Sea Mar begins holding its annual charity golf tournaments, the proceeds of which fund college scholarships for the children of migrant and seasonal farm worker families, as well as community Christmas parties and the annual Fiestas Patrias celebration.
The Bellingham WIC office opens.
- Seattle’s inpatient alcohol and substance abuse treatment center for youth and adolescents relocates to a newly remodeled building in Des Moines.
Monroe Outreach Clinic opens, offering limited medical services.
Tacoma Medical Clinic adds dental services.
- Sea Mar adds state-licensed, bilingual/bicultural outpatient mental health services to its services in King County, primarily to serve Latino and indigent clients.
Seattle Medical Clinic adds MRI services.
Tacoma WIC office opens.
- Sea Mar opens a WIC/Nutrition program office in Normandy Park to serve more than 800 clients, mostly women and children.
Sea Mar purchases a private medical practice in Bonney Lake, establishing a second medical clinic in Pierce County.
Visions Youth Treatment Center opens in Bellingham, providing Level II secure inpatient alcohol and substance abuse treatment for teenage girls.
Monroe Outreach Clinic closes.
Lynden Medical Clinic moves to a newer, larger facility in Everson.
- 2000 - 2009
- Sea Mar purchases a medical clinic in Vancouver, Washington, and begins providing primary medical and dental services in Clark County.
Sea Mar Motel, a migrant farm-worker family housing facility, opens in a former Pasco hotel in Franklin County. Sea Mar now provides services in seven Washington counties.
- Sea Mar takes over operation of the Community Care Clinic in Olympia, providing medical, dental, and behavioral health services in Thurston County. Sea Mar now provides services in eight Washington counties.
Marysville medical and dental clinics move to a new, larger facility in Marysville.
Sea Mar adds state-licensed, county-funded, bilingual/bicultural outpatient substance abuse treatment services in Tumwater, in Thurston County.
The Nooksak Dental Clinic closes.
- Bellingham medical and dental clinics move to a new, larger facility.
The inpatient alcohol and substance abuse treatment center for youth in Des Moines, which had closed in 2001, reopens as an adult recovery house.
- Sea Mar begins the Youth Boxing mentoring program in Seattle.
Sea Mar opens an OB/GYN Clinic in Mt. Vernon.
Vancouver Medical Clinic moves to a new facility, expanding the space available for both medical and dental services in Clark County.
Bonney Lake Medical Clinic closes.
- Puyallup Medical Clinic opens, expanding services in Pierce County.
Renacer Youth Treatment Center opens in Seattle, providing Level II Secure inpatient alcohol and substance abuse treatment for teenage boys. Seattle’s outpatient behavioral health program moves into the lower level of the Renacer facility.
Sea Mar opens a dental clinic at the SeaTac Occupational Skills Center to provide primary dental care to adults and children while training dental assistants.
- Puyallup Dental Clinic opens in the same facility as the Puyallup Medical Clinic.
The Sea Mar Community Center opens in Wapato, providing recreational and educational activities to children, youth, and adults.
Sea Mar opens WIC offices in Fife and Milton.
- Sea Mar opens an outpatient substance abuse counseling office in Monroe, expanding outpatient substance abuse services in Snohomish County.
Vancouver Medical Clinic moves to a newly renovated larger facility.
Burien Urgent Care Clinic opens as Sea Mar’s first specialty care clinic.
Oak Harbor Dental Clinic opens, expanding Sea Mar’s service area to Island County.
Sea Mar assumes operation of Aberdeen Medical, Dental, and Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic and Copalis Beach Medical Clinic, formerly operated by Peninsula Community Health Services, expanding Sea Mar’s service area to Grays Harbor County.
- Burien Urgent Care Clinic becomes Burien Medical Clinic as Sea Mar adds a family practice provider in that location.
White Center Medical and Dental Clinic opens, increasing access to primary care services in south King County.
Sea Mar adds outpatient behavioral health services in its Vancouver and Puyallup clinics, and opens an outpatient behavioral health clinic in Bellevue.
Sea Mar open three WIC offices in Grays Harbor County.
- Bellevue Medical Clinic, Monroe Medical Clinic, and Lynnwood Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic open, expanding Sea Mar’s range of services in north King and south Snohomish Counties.
Sea Mar moves the Normandy Park WIC office to the Burien Medical Clinic, and adds outpatient behavioral health screening to the services available there, facilitating access to these services for south King County patients.
Vancouver Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic opens in its own facility, expanding behavioral health services in Clark County.
Sea Mar opens its second medical clinic in Vancouver, in the Clark County Public Health building.
Construction begins on a low-income housing project in South Park.
- Sea Mar opens a medical clinic in the Metropolitan Development Council facility in Tacoma to provide primary care to homeless people in Pierce County.
Sea Mar’s Child Development Center achieves accreditation by the National Association for the Education of the Young Child (NAEYC).
Sea Mar opens its third medical clinic in Mt. Vernon, inside Skagit Valley Hospital.
Sea Mar opens Cesar Chavez Village, a low-income family rental housing project in South Park.
Mt. Vernon Outpatient and Mt. Vernon Homeless Services relocate into a single building, integrating these services and improving continuity of care, especially for homeless patients.
Sea Mar assumes operation of Cannon House in Seattle, extending long-term care services to include assisted-living as well as skilled-nursing care.
Sea Mar opens WIC offices in Battle Ground, Olympia, Tenino, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yelm, expanding these services to Clark and Thurston Counties.
Sea Mar opens a new outpatient behavioral health clinic in Anacortes, expanding services in Skagit County.
- 2010 - 2015
- Sea Mar opens a medical clinic in the Community Youth Services facility in Olympia to provide primary care to homeless youth in Thurston County.
Sea Mar opens the Lacey Medical Clinic to serve families in Thurston County.
Sea Mar builds low-income housing for farm workers, La Posada East and La Posada West, in Pasco, Washington, located in the Tri-Cities area of the state
- Sea Mar acquires KKMO and Radio KDNA to produce radio programming for its Hispanic constituents.
Sea Mar assumes operations of a medical clinic located in the Tillicum Community Center in Lakewood, expanding its services in Thurston County.
Sea Mar opens four additional outpatient behavioral health clinics in Bellevue, Gig Harbor, Kent and Vancouver.
- Sea Mar opens medical clinics in Everett and Des Moines, expanding its services in Snohomish and King counties.
Sea Mar opens another WIC site in University Place, WA.
Sea Mar implements certified electronic health records software in its medical clinics and begins training providers on EHR meaningful use.
- Sea Mar opens medical clinics in Kent and Olympia, expanding its services in Snohomish and Thurston counties.
Sea Mar implements certified electronic health records software in its dental clinics and begins training providers on EHR meaningful use.
Sea Mar acquires the Latino Advocacy and Leadership Institute, a state-wide program that provides civic engagement, advocacy and training to empower Latino/a individuals as effective business leaders, community leaders and elected officials at all levels.
- Sea Mar opens medical clinics in Concrete, Yelm and Elma, as well as a Women's Health Clinic in Vancouver, expanding its services in Skagit, Thurston, Grays Harbor and Clark counties. The Yelm clinic was made possible by a Health and Human Resources Administration (HRSA) New Access Point award.
Sea Mar opens a dental clinic in Port Angeles and adds dental services at the Monroe clinic, expanding dental services in Clallam and Snohomish counties.
Sea Mar opens outpatient behavioral health clinics in Oak Harbor and Vancouver, as well as a Pregnant and Parenting Women (PPW) behavioral health clinic in Tacoma, expanding behavioral health services in Island, Clark and Pierce counties.
Sea Mar begins providing services at two Mercy Housing sites in Olympia and Bellingham, increasing access to care and focusing on the social determinants of health by conveniently offering medical services within an affordable housing setting.
Sea Mar launches its Children and Families behavioral health program, providing specialized, evidence-based and trauma-informed care to children and their families.
Eight medical sites achieve Level 2 recognition and seven medical sites achieve Level 3 recognition.
In conjunction with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Sea Mar staff enrolls more than 37,000 individuals into Medicaid and Qualified Health Plans through the Washington Health Benefits Exchange.
- Sea Mar opens medical clinics in Battle Ground and Vancouver, expanding its services in Clark County. The Battle Ground clinic was made possible by a Health and Human Resources Administration (HRSA) New Access Point award.
Sea Mar adds dental services at the Bellevue clinic, expanding dental services in King County.
Sea Mar opens an affordable housing apartment complex in Des Moines, WA, expanding affordable housing services in King County. 19 medical sites achieve Level 3 PCMH recognition.
In conjunction with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Sea Mar staff enrolls more than 29,000 individuals into Medicaid and Qualified Health Plans through the Washington Health Benefits Exchange
- Sea Mar operates 33 medical clinics and 21 dental clinics. In addition to primary medical and dental care, it offers obstetrics and gynecology, minor outpatient surgery, occupational health care, and pediatric orthodontic care. It also operates 28 outpatient behavioral health clinics and four inpatient substance abuse treatment centers. In addition to medical, dental, and behavioral health care, Sea Mar offers laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, WIC, nutrition and health education, maternity support, homeless and migrant outreach and support, home health and home care services, insurance enrollment assistance, and citizenship and ESL classes. It operates a long-term care facility and child development center that jointly use an intergenerational care model. It also sponsors weekly Spanish-language radio programs about health and a youth boxing club. It operates a seasonal housing facility for migrant farm workers, two low-income family rental housing complexes, an assisted-living facility, and has three youth educational achievement and leadership programs. In fiscal year 2015 (year ending March 31, 2015), Sea Mar provided 1,277,894 individual services to more than 247,447 people across 13 counties in Washington state. Of this patient/client base, 35% were Latino, more than 95% of clients had incomes below 200% federal poverty level, and about 89% of clients either had public insurance (Medicaid, Medicare) or were uninsured.