Enter Unity Care Northwest. Part of a national network of community health centers established in 1965 with bipartisan support, it has provided healthcare to anyone in Whatcom County who needs it, regardless of income or insurance, for more than 30 years. Since 2008, its patient population has increased by 74%.
Last year, amid the uncertainty and discord surrounding the Affordable Care Act and key federal funding, the construction of Unity Care’s much-needed new North Whatcom Health Center went on hold.
This year, they plan to move ahead. Not because uncertainty disappeared, or federal funding was renewed (it wasn’t), but because the need for healthcare does not go on hold, and in this community neither does the commitment to shaping a more perfect place.
Which means bravely wading into the fray of uncertainty and conflict to listen, compromise and creatively solve problems. Unity Care has assembled most of the funding necessary to move ahead. (Help finish the job here!) Hats off to Unity Care NW — could they have a better name? — and their many partners and supporters who are making better health a reality for more people in our community.
A better future depends on bridging divides, finding common ground, building understanding, finding new ways to move ahead.
May we all find the courage and commitment to forge ahead in 2018.