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HEALTH: Special (non-COVID) vaccine event for students next week

March 16, 2021 3:43 pm
|    Comments Off on HEALTH: Special (non-COVID) vaccine event for students next week
 |   Health | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Staying healthy involves a lot of non-COVID vaccines too. If a teen or tween in your house isn’t up to date on theirs, this event next week might be of interest:

Make sure your students are up to date on their vaccines! The West Seattle Teen Health Center (located right inside of West Seattle High School) offers free vaccines to any SPS student. On March 25th, we’re doing an event dedicated to Meningococcal (MCV) vaccines. Students are recommended to have one at 11/12 years old and a booster at 16 years old. Give us a call or contact your primary care physician to get an appointment scheduled or for more information! Unsure if your student has already had one? Give us a call and we can doublecheck! Miss this event but still need vaccines? Send us an email or call to schedule another time! or call/text 206-471-6263.

HEALTH CARE: Another provider taking over soon-to-be-ex-Swedish space in West Seattle

(King County Assessor photo)

The West Seattle space that Swedish is vacating at 3400 California SW will remain a health-care clinic. We’ve been covering the plan for Swedish to move into The Junction but didn’t know until today what would happen to the building it’s leaving. Here’s the announcement we received:

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is announcing the opening of a new medical clinic in West Seattle this fall. This facility will expand options for new and existing patients in the community as the closure of the West Seattle Bridge creates a barrier for residents to access quality health services close to home.

The new facility will house primary care, internal medicine, laboratory and limited radiology services.

Specialty services will rotate weekly and will include:

General surgery
Women’s health

In addition to the clinic, West Seattle patients will have integrated access to nearby St. Anne Hospital if needed, as well as on-site specialists from our network, including legacy Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan locations.

Virginia Mason became part of CHI Franciscan earlier this year. Meantime, Swedish is moving providers into two Junction sites, as reported here.

FOLLOWUP: Swedish announces its plan for West Seattle Junction move

Four months after we first reported that Swedish was taking over the Capco Beverages space at 4100 SW Alaska, the health-care organization has announced its plan. Even after documents in city files confirmed Swedish as the new tenant, the organization didn’t answer our requests for comment, but Swedish has detailed the plan in a letter sent to local patients:

… Our team is pleased to announce two major changes taking place this year that will strengthen and expand our commitment to providing you safe, high-quality care. This summer, Swedish West Seattle Primary Care Clinic will relocate to a new West Seattle location. In addition, Swedish Medical Group will increase internal-medicine service capacity with opening of the new Swedish West Seattle Internal Medicine clinic. Both clinics are conveniently located in the Junction and are less than a block away from one another. Please note that our West Seattle Primary Care internal medicine providers will relocate to the new West Seattle Internal Medicine clinic.

Beginning June 2021, the clinics and our providers will begin operating at the following locations:

Swedish West Seattle Internal Medicine
4744 41st Ave SW

Swedish West Seattle Primary Care
4100 SW Alaska St

See the full letter, which includes affected providers’ names, here. (Thanks to the reader who forwarded it!) While the SW Alaska location is new for Swedish, it already has some providers at the 41st SW site. As for the future of its current space at 3400 California SW, where Swedish was a tenant, there’s nothing new in online files so far.

HELPING: More chances to save lives by giving blood in West Seattle

If you can give blood, Bloodworks Northwest wants you to know that it has extra capacity for upcoming West Seattle donation dates, starting this Friday. Here’s the update:

Bloodworks Northwest has openings for our upcoming March and April West Seattle pop-ups! We will accept blood donations at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon St) on: March 5, 6, 12, 13 & Apr 9, 10, 16 & 17.

Please sign up here. As these slots fill, please check back for cancellations and/or our soon-to-be-scheduled May West Seattle pop-up.

Your donation could put you in the driver’s seat! When you donate blood with Bloodworks between now and March 17, you will automatically be entered for a chance to win a car! The lucky winner will have their choice among 9 pre-selected new vehicles from Haselwood Auto Group. More info at

Or, be in the running to win one of two Dyson V11 vacuums when you donate blood between March 18 – April 4!

Masks are required at all donation sites. Walk-ins, guests or anyone under 16 years of age are (unfortunately) not permitted. Have questions or need help booking an appointment? Please call 800-398-7888 or e-mail

Giving blood during the pandemic is a safe and essential action. For more info on how Bloodworks is keeping donors and staff safe, by abiding by all CDC, FDA and WA State Department of Health guidelines please visit:

Harold’s Fitness: Welcoming a new West Seattle Blog sponsor!

Need somebody to inspire and guide you on your quest to be more fit and healthy? Today we welcome a new WSB sponsor, Harold’s Fitness. Here’s what Harold wants you to know about what he offers:

Harold says his major advantage is his experience. His several decades of owning and operating gyms has given him a great deal of knowledge about what’s right for each person who comes to his gym in West Seattle. From the very start, he interviews each new client, asks them what their goals are, and starts an organized plan to help them get to where they want to be. Working with smaller groups, Harold says he’s better able to give each of his clients far more attention than they’d receive at one of the larger gyms. Harold says you’ll never get lost in the shuffle – someone will listen closely.

You’re never too old to work out with Harold – even his merch says so:

Women’s sessions are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; men’s sessions are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Harold’s Fitness is at 5908 California SW, between The Junction and Morgan Junction.

Call 206-937-7733 to find out about working out at Harold’s Fitness.

We thank Harold’s Fitness for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

BIZNOTE: Need health insurance?

Need health insurance? Carol at Financial Designs in West Seattle – a registered agent for the Washington Healthplanfinder – wants to be sure you know about an extended enrollment period that’s now open:

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange will provide a special enrollment period for Washingtonians to enroll in health insurance.

What you need to know

This special enrollment runs through May 15, 2021 and applies to:

-Those currently uninsured

-Those enrolled on short term limited duration plans, health-sharing ministries plans, or COBRA plans

-Current Washington Healthplanfinder enrollees are not eligible and MAY NOT change plans

-Reminder: Enrollment is offered year-round to individuals and families eligible for Washington Apple Health (Medicaid)

Carol is happy to answer questions or help you through the Healthplanfinder – 425-392-7390.

BIZNOTE: 8 Limbs Yoga closing West Seattle studio

Thanks for the tips. 8 Limbs Yoga has announced via email that its West Seattle Junction yoga studio is closing at month’s end. From the email sent by owner Amaan Kurji:

When I took over the reigns of 8 Limbs Yoga Centers in January 2020 and a lease at W. Seattle set to expire a month later, my goal and hope was that by extending the lease and some investment and TLC, I would be able to revitalize the studio and keep it in the 8 Limbs family for many more years. There was no doubt that the studio held an incredibly special place in the hearts of so many of our students, teachers, and partners.

Unfortunately, Covid 19, the resulting shutdown of the studio two months later, and a continued closure has made any chance of achieving this reality highly improbable. With a heavy heart, I am writing to let you know that the 8 Limbs studio at 4546½ California Ave SW, Seattle, will permanently close its doors on February 28th, 2021.

I know that for many of our students and teachers, this studio has played an important role in their development and growth as yoga practitioners. It is because of this community that 8 Limbs was able to stay the course for almost 16 years. On behalf of all at 8 Limbs, thank you for this trust and support. ….

The full announcement is published on the 8 Limbs website, including information on a plan for “opening the doors for folks to come by, say goodbye to the space, and pick up a few things for their home studios.” The company plans to continue offering online classes as well as in-person classes “when we re-open our other studios in Capitol Hill, Phinney Ridge, and Wedgwood.” 8 Limbs is the second Junction yoga studio to close in six months; Bikram Yoga closed last fall.

Duwamish River cleanup change? EPA community meeting Wednesday

(File photo)

A change in government safety standards for a certain chemical could lead to a change in the Duwamish River cleanup plan. So the Environmental Protection Agency is taking public comments, and having an online meeting tomorrow night to talk about it. The EPA says the change could remove an aggregate total of five acres from the 170+ acres that were part of the ~$342 million 7-year-old cleanup plan for the polluted river. Now, they have to ask you about it. The substance in question is benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), a “carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (cPAH).” The federal government raised the level of what’s considered safe, and that’s what could lead to the cleanup change. So the EPA is taking comments until March 8th, and will have an online meeting Wednesday (February 17th) at 5:30 PM, including Q&A. Spanish, Khmer, and Vietnamese interpretation will be available. The Zoom link for viewing/participating is here; meeting ID is 362 818 756. The agenda and slide deck for the meeting are linked here; an EPA one-sheet about the proposed changes is here. If you want to comment on the proposed changes, whether or not you attend the meeting, you can email by March 8th.

HELPING: Snow woes for blood supply = call for donations

February 15, 2021 12:01 pm
|    Comments Off on HELPING: Snow woes for blood supply = call for donations
 |   Health | How to help | West Seattle news

While the snow’s been big fun for many people, it’s also caused some trouble, beyond stuck cars and delayed trash pickup. Bloodworks Northwest says 800 people have canceled appointments to donate blood because of the snow and icy roads. So if you can donate sometime soon, please do! If you can give by month’s end, Bloodworks NW says, “Give blood through February 28 and discover if you have COVID-19 antibodies. Positive donors could become convalescent plasma donors and help critically ill coronavirus patients directly.” A little further into the future, we note, you have another chance to donate without leaving West Seattle – the Senior Center in The Junction is hosting pop-up dates in March and April. It’s on the list of locations where donors can make appointments – go here or call 800-398-7888.

COVID TESTING: Clinic at Madison MS next Tuesday

January 27, 2021 5:16 pm
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 |   Coronavirus | Health | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

If you need to get tested for COVID-19, a one-day community clinic is coming to Madison Middle School next Tuesday (February 2nd). Here’s the announcement:

Neighborcare Health and Seattle Public Schools Present: Community Covid-19 Testing

Covid-19 testing is available for all students, staff, family, and community members in this outdoor event. Everyone is eligible to receive a test regardless of insurance or immigration status. Testing is also FREE for everyone. We will bill your insurance if you have it, but will not charge a fee if you do not have insurance or your insurance does not cover testing. On-site interpretation services available through phone.

Date: Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 from 12:00-4:00 pm
Location: Madison Middle School: 3429 45th Avenue SW

For questions, please contact: Neighborcare Community Access Team at 206-333-2524

Here are flyers – in English, y en Español.

SPORTS: Clinic next week for Seattle Public Schools student athletes

Students planning to play sports for Seattle Public Schools when they resume this year need to be ready, so this clinic is being offered next week in West Seattle. Here’s the announcement:

The Denny Wellness Center, located inside of Denny International Middle School, is hosting a Sports Physical Clinic.

WHEN: January 25th- 29th, 8:00 – 4:30 pm

WHERE: Denny Wellness Center located inside of Denny International Middle School [2601 SW Kenyon]

WHO: Any Seattle Public School student who is interested in playing sports and has not yet had a physical or whose physical has expired.

COST: We do not charge fees or copays, though we may bill your insurance. There is no cost to you. No student will be denied services due to inability to pay.

STEP 1: Register by scanning the QR code in the flyer with your phone or call our clinic to request a registration form via email.

STEP 2: Call 206-923-2809 to schedule your appointment!

Students may also be seen at their local school-based clinic. For more Neighborcare Health school-based locations, go here.

BIZNOTE: We Sweat West Seattle celebrating 1st anniversary, with gifts for you

(One year ago today, pre-pandemic: We Sweat’s grand-opening party with teen band Okay-ish)

The pandemic has posed challenges to so many small businesses. We Sweat West Seattle, the infrared-sauna salon that opened in The Admiral District one year ago today, faced an extra challenge – less than two months in business before the first round of restrictions forced it to temporarily close. “What a year to start a new business!” recalls proprietor Athena Frederick. “During the shutdown, we decided to become an infrared sauna dealer for Clearlight Jacuzzi (R)” in addition to offering on-site services. So they’re celebrating the anniversary with a variety of offers: “Any new client can book a sauna session for FREE today only. Follow this link and in the comments write ‘anniversary’.” If you can’t try We Sweat today, or are a returning client, here’s a deal for future bookings: “We are also having a one-day-only sale, with single/double saunas for $21 and our 3/4 person saunas for $31. Follow this link.” We Sweat is at 2705 California SW.

PANDEMIC: Here’s how vaccinations are going at West Seattle care facilities

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Though we’ve heard a lot about less-than-rapid rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines in the four weeks since the first doses arrived in our state, people are indeed getting vaccinated, including here in West Seattle.

Last Friday, we briefly mentioned that vaccinations had begun for our area’s largest senior-care center, Providence Mount St. Vincent. So today we followed up with The Mount and some other West Seattle care centers to see where they’re at with vaccinating patients/residents and caregivers – the first groups eligible under our state’s prioritization plan.

(Photos courtesy Providence Mount St. Vincent)

PROVIDENCE MOUNT ST. VINCENT: Vaccination is happening in phases, The Mount’s Molly Swain tells WSB, in this update that even features a playlist:

The team at Providence Mount St. Vincent was thrilled to close out the New Year and welcome 2021 with their initial vaccine clinic held for Long Term Care residents and staff on December 31st. Approximately 90 percent of The Mount’s Long Term Care residents received the vaccine with a few opting out. This clinic was operated in partnership with Walgreens who will be back on-site on January 21st for second doses as well as first doses for Assisted Living residents and additional caregivers. Of The Mount’s nearly 500 caregivers, it is estimated that nearly half have been vaccinated both through the on-site clinic as well as through local Providence hospital resources.

Currently there are no residents who are positive with COVID-19. Through our bi-weekly caregiver testing, we continue to periodically identify a small number of positive caregivers. Following a two-week period of no positive caregiver results, two new cases were recently identified.

(L-R: Kaylea Watkins, BSN, RN, Infection Preventionist; Tanisha Mojica, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC, Director of Clinical Services; Lester Sauvage, MD; Charlene Boyd, Administrator)

Our team has enjoyed the attached music playlist during the :15-:30 minute waiting period after receiving the vaccine, we thought others might enjoy!

The Mount reported 14 COVID-19 deaths during outbreaks last year.

PARK WEST NURSING/REHAB CENTER: Vaccinations are also under way for this facility in North Admiral, which reported an outbreak late last year that took four lives. Spokesperson Nicole Francois says, “Their first round of vaccinations took place last week. Park West partnered with Walgreens. They report that everything went well. Our staff was particularly impressed with the care team from Walgreens because they were well-staffed, well-prepared, and ready to perform the vaccination process. The vaccinated Park West staff and residents received the Pfizer vaccine.”

QUAIL PARK MEMORY CARE RESIDENCES OF WEST SEATTLE: At this Junction center, vaccination is about to start, says executive director Brian Anderson: “Our first vaccine clinic day is tomorrow! We have 2 more clinic dates following that one, so all that participate have the opportunity to get both shots. The vaccine clinic is taking place in the community for the residents and staff. We have great participation at this time. Everyone choosing to receive the vaccine is very excited.”

BROOKDALE: At Brookdale-Admiral Heights, spokesperson Tina Bendermacher tells us, “Our first round of vaccinations will happen here at our community on January 17th with CVS; our second is February 7th. Residents and staff will be vaccinated.”

THE KENNEY: The senior-living center north of Lincoln Park tells WSB that it “will offer COVID-19 vaccinations to its residents and staff this month.” The Kenney’s nonprofit parent company Heritage Ministries says in its response to our inquiry:

The Kenney will offer the option to receive the vaccine to all of their residents, including assisted living, memory support, and those residing in independent living, as well as staff members. The community will initially receive the Moderna vaccine, and will offer multiple clinics on-site at The Kenney to ensure all those who wish receive the immunization are able to do so. A licensed and COVID-19 vaccine-certified pharmacist will perform all vaccine administration.

AEGIS LIVING: The memory-care-focused complex in west Admiral is also in the planning stage. Spokesperson Nandi Butcher tells WSB, “Our Aegis Living Vaccine Task Force is hard at work scheduling COVID-19 vaccine clinics for residents and staff at every one of our communities. West Seattle vaccine clinic dates are in the process of being confirmed … The vaccine will be a game changer for our seniors and frontline care teams. It can’t come soon enough.” Aegis dealt with a deadly outbreak that we reported in September.

The people getting vaccinated now in our area are in the earliest prioritization phase; this graphic shows who’s next, and the state’s draft plan (page 8) outlines what phases are likely to look like after that – while warning everything’s subject to change.

HELPING: Delicious delivery supporting West Seattle health-care workers and restaurateurs

(WSB photo)

A truly special delivery this afternoon at Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle gave a boost to both health-care workers and local restaurateurs. At left in our photo are Suzanne Roberts and Lisa Riebe, West Seattle mental-health-care providers. They paid Admiral District restaurant Circa – whose co-proprietor Gretchen Evans is at center – to cook up 85 dinners for front-line workers at The Mount. The staff doesn’t dine on site, so the dinners were foil-wrapped and ready for them to take home after work. There to accept the special delivery were, at right, Colleen Farrell and Molly Swain from The Mount. Evans tells WSB that Roberts did this last spring, too, buying meals from Circa to deliver to Harborview Medical Center employees. She added that it’s hoped “this may inspire those who want to support restaurants and frontline workers by going to their favorite restaurant and offering to buy meals for those working on the front lines in some regard. It’s a double dose of donating. It’s been amazing!”

P.S. The Mount team told us their recent outbreak is under control, with no new cqses in their most recent testing, and vaccination for caregivers and residents has begun.

VACCINATION: Seattle superintendent wants higher priority for educators & other personnel; King County announces clinic/mobile plan

Two developments today as the COVID-19 vaccination rollout continues:

SUPERINTENDENT’S LETTER: Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau sent a letter to the governor and state/local health officials, asking them to move teachers and other school personnel higher up in the queue, as the district prepares to bring back 10,000 students March 1st. From the news release about her letter (which contains its full text):

The superintendent is urging prioritization of vaccinations for the following personnel who will be providing in-person instruction and services:

• Preschool educators
• Kindergarten educators
• First-grade educators
• Special-education educators*
• Principals
• Assistant principals
• Safety & Security personnel
• Nutrition Services personnel
• Custodial personnel

* For students receiving moderate to intensive in-person special education services and students who require in-person services to meet goals outlined in their Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Her letter says limiting early prioritization to educators over 50 “does not make sense.’ She also offers the use of SPS facilities for vaccination clinics.

KING COUNTY PLAN: In a midday media briefing, King County Executive Dow Constantine and others announced plans for “high-volume county vaccination sites” starting around February 1st, and mobile teams ASAP, in hopes of stepping up the pace of vaccination administration. No specific locations yet, but South King County is the most likely general area. Constantine said the county will allot $7 million for this, hoping for eventual state/federal reimbursement but not waiting for it. One stat cited during the briefing: Only about 2,000 people are getting vaccinated in King County right now, a pace that would mean it would take close to 2 years before all of the county’s adults get it. Here’s more info on today’s announcement.

HELPING: More opportunities to donate blood without leaving West Seattle

If you can donate blood, Bloodworks Northwest invites you to make an appointment at its upcoming pop-ups in West Seattle. Here’s the announcement, along with an update on the most recent pop-up here:

Bloodworks Northwest is so grateful to everyone who attended our pop-up @ The Sanctuary at the end of December. 166 units of blood were collected over 4 days. Since one unit of blood can potentially help up to 3 patients, this means almost 500 local patients will benefit!

If you missed the Sanctuary pop-up but are still interested in donating blood, we have another West Seattle pop-up happening January 26 & 27 and February 2 & 3 at Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor Ave SW) in the lower-level Alki Room. And January is National Blood Donor Month, so what better time to make a donation and impact someone’s life!

Please use this link to sign up:

Your donation could put you in the driver’s seat! When you donate blood between now and March 17, you will automatically be entered for a chance to win a car! The lucky winner will have their choice among 9 pre-selected new vehicles from Haselwood Auto Group. There’s a Jeep for the adventurer, not one but TWO hybrids for the ecologically minded, a Mazda for the sportier types, and more! More info at

All donations are by appointment only. The one-hour donation appointment is a safe and essential action to support local hospitals and patients. The pop-up centers are being conducted in accordance with social distancing guidelines. No walk-ins, guests, or people under age 16 are permitted onsite. All donors are required to wear masks during their appointment. Bloodworks has posted information addressing questions and concerns for blood donors at For questions about eligibility and to make your appointment, call 800-398-7888 or e-mail

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Natural Medicine Clinic staying open, with new ownership

When we reported last month that West Seattle Natural Medicine Clinic (3256 California SW) planned to close after 37 years, we noted that owner Dr. Katherine Oldfield was hoping to find a buyer. Tonight, she announced she has, and so the clinic will continue:

It is with great joy that I am able to announce that West Seattle Natural Medicine Clinic is not closing! Dr. Krystal Richardson, a friend and colleague, has bought the clinic, thus providing the stability and energy that we needed after a tumultuous 2020. … I first met Dr. Richardson many years ago when she was doing her residency with my friend Dr. Tamara Cullen Evans. She went on to purchase that practice from Dr. Evans. I can’t imagine a person better suited to take over the helm of WSNMC as she is an excellent clinician and a trusted business owner.

The new WSNMC owner has clinics downtown and in Fremont. You can read more about the change on WSNMC’s website, which says Dr. Richardson’s first day there is next Monday (January 11th). Dr. Oldfield had owned the clinic since 2002.

Outdoor health-services-and-more event Saturday in Highland Park

January 4, 2021 1:40 pm
|    Comments Off on Outdoor health-services-and-more event Saturday in Highland Park
 |   Health | Highland Park | West Seattle news

This event Saturday is happening in the parking lot at Highland Park Elementary (1012 SW Trenton), but everyone’s welcome, whether there’s a student in your family or not:

The announcement is from organizer Dominique Pie, who you can call with questions, 206-437-4068.

Here’s how you can give a priceless holiday gift

If you can give blood, now’s the time. You can do it right here in West Seattle. Here’s what we just received from Bloodworks Northwest:

Bloodworks Northwest is back at The Sanctuary in West Seattle (2656 42nd Ave SW) next week!

The Sanctuary will host its 2nd pop-up donor center in the Grand Room on December 23, 26, 28 & 29.

All donors will automatically be tested for covid-19 antibodies through (at least) Dec 31. Result mailed within 2 weeks of your donation. More info here.

Give the best gift of all this holiday season – the gift of life! We have lots of open slots! Please sign up here.

Donation is by appointment only. Masks required. Questions? E-mail or call 800-398-7888.

COVID-19 vaccine arrives in our city. So when will it be available in West Seattle?

(State Health Department pool photo: UWMC Pharmacy Manager Christine Meyer puts a tray of 975 doses of vaccine into the deep freeze)

Thousands of doses of the first approved COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Seattle. The photo above is from the initial delivery, at UW Medicine‘s Montlake campus. Now that the vaccine has started arriving, we wondered when it might cross the bay to West Seattle.

First, about the vaccine, from the state Health Department announcement:

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, given 21 days apart. Clinical trial data show the vaccine is 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 infection starting 7 days after the second dose. Individuals will not be considered fully protected until 1 to 2 weeks after they receive the second dose. The clinical trials revealed no major unanticipated adverse events.

62,400+ doses are expected to arrive in our state this week, going to 17 sites in 13 counties. The first to be vaccinated will be in Phase 1a, about half a million people described by the state as “high-risk workers in health care settings, high-risk first responders, and patients and staff of long-term care facilities.” (This fact sheet has more details on Phase 1a eligibility.)

Being on that list doesn’t mean you or your facility is getting vaccine immediately. For example, we checked today with Providence Mount St. Vincent, our area’s largest long-term-care center (and one that’s been dealing with a deadly outbreak). The Mount’s Molly Swain tells WSB, “We are indeed so grateful and excited that the vaccine is coming, it just can’t arrive a moment too soon. We don’t, however, have any information, as of today” regarding when and how their residents/patients and staff will get it. They’ll be partnering with Walgreens, but hoping it can be administered on site.

The state has been inviting would-be vaccine providers to enroll. One of the many that have is Trivas Family Medicine (WSB sponsor) here in West Seattle. Dr. Courtney Johnson tells WSB, “The smaller clinics are waiting for approval of the Moderna vaccine, which is more logistically appropriate for the smaller clinics and pharmacies to handle. I’ve applied to be a distributor of the Moderna vaccine. The state is doing an impressive job trying to roll out this huge endeavor in an incredibly short period of time. Where I’m standing it feels like it’s taking forever, but in context it’s very appropriate. The next steps I’m looking for are approval of the Moderna vaccine and more information on the rest of the algorithm to find out who gets vaccinated when.” The Moderna vaccine could get federal approval later this week. Dr. Johnson says the VaccineFinder website is expected to list providers eventually. (We’ll also be reporting on availability here on WSB, as we’ve continued to provide daily pandemic coverage since the very beginning.)

By month’s end, if all goes well, our state expects to have received 222,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 187,000 of the Moderna vaccine, with regular weekly shipments after that. The state hopes most people in the state will be vaccinated by mid-summer.

BIZNOTE: West Seattle Natural Medicine closing after 37 years, seeking buyer

As Dr. Katherine Oldfield describes her clinic, West Seattle Natural Medicine is “a West Seattle institution.” But right now, that institution is set for closure in mid-January, after 37 years of operation.

Dr. Oldfield first announced the closure to patients after Thanksgiving, She has owned the clinic for about half its life, buying it from Dr. Jeana Kimball in 2002. She is now living in Canada, but that’s not why the clinic is closing – she says in an explanation on the WSNMC website that it’s closing because the doctors are moving on. The clinic website has information about them and their future, including three who will be part of a new naturopathic clinic in West Seattle, and one who’s opening her own local clinic in February.

Having a sizable staff has been a hallmark of the clinic’s growth in the past decade and a half, including lots of mentoring, Dr. Oldfield writes, saying she’d hoped to eventually sell the clinic to members of its staff. But, she continues: “Then came 2020. The global pandemic has sickened and killed people we love, changed the way we function as a society, affected the poor, people of color and women disproportionately and it has made it very expensive to run a small medical clinic. We secured a PPP loan to keep operating, we switched to a telemedicine/in-person hybrid model and scrambled to adapt in order to keep functioning. The stress on our doctors and staff and my inability to visit and manage in person during this critical time because of the US/Canadian border closure eroded our cohesiveness as a group. That is a story of many small businesses right now. Financial stress and uncertainly are the characteristics of this year and sadly we’ve seen many small businesses close.” But that’s not the whole story – she says a change in state law regarding non-compete clauses meant there was no longer anything to keep someone from leaving and forming or joining a competing business. “Having\ no more doctors to provide care in January has made it impossible to keep the doors open and keep our front desk employees.”

So the clinic is closing January 15th, but, Dr. Oldfield tells WSB, “I am actively looking for either a renter or a doctor who may want to buy the clinic and take over the operations.” In case that doesn’t happen, she also is advertising the building (3256 California SW) for rent. Meantime, the clinic is no longer accepting new patients, and has FAQs for current patients here.

2021: How to start the new year with Get Fit, West Seattle

2020 is almost in the rear-view mirror. If you want to kick off 2021 with a boost to your health and fitness, you can do it with the n free Get Fit, West Seattle program, presented by West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor). The pandemic doesn’t have to get in the way. First, you can join in on the Get Fit Info Night, live online, at 6 pm Tuesday (December 15th). That’s when you’ll learn about the free training program that will start in early January, culminating in you running a half-marathon in June. WSR’s Lori McConnell reassures you, “It is a program for beginners. We will start everything virtually! You will get a training plan and encouragement!” After the Info Night, you’ll look ahead to the kickoff at 10 am January 2nd, also live online: “We can encourage one another as a group as we get off the couch and train.” GFWS will include group runs when health rules permit. Questions? Email

SURVEY: Questions for you about local youth drug/alcohol use

If you have a few minutes to answer some questions, a community group would appreciate your assistance. Here’s the announcement:

The SW Seattle Youth Alliance, a school and community coalition formed to address the high rates of youth substance use in Southwest Seattle, would like your help in learning more about community concerns related to drugs and alcohol. The coalition will use these surveys to guide their work in selecting effective prevention programs and services for youth and the community. Please take a few minutes to complete this anonymous survey.

The survey is online in English y en Español.