News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced a federal grant of $199,423 to establish a much-needed health care clinic on Point Roberts, a 4 square mile peninsula on the Canadian border.

Currently the area's 1,400 residents need to travel 50 miles and cross the border twice to get basic medical care in Bellingham. Because of delays at the border since September 11th, the trip to Bellingham can take up to four hours.

After nearly eight years of exploring various options for bringing health care to the community, the Point Roberts Pioneer Project (the Pioneers) joined with the Interfaith Community Health Center in Bellingham and the Whatcom County Fire District #5 to make this clinic a reality.

The clinic will be housed at the local fire station and will provide the services of a nurse practitioner 2 days per week.

"No one should have to travel four hours just to get basic medical care," Senator Murray said. "This grant will allow the residents of Point Roberts to receive the care they need in their own community. I'm proud of how the community came together and joined with the Fire District and the Interfaith clinic to dramatically improve health care access. Over the years, I've worked to boost our investment in rural health care, and this is just the type of project I had in mind."

"The people of Point Roberts are extremely appreciative of the financial support and encouragement that this grant provides," said Brian Canfield, a member of the Pioneer Group. "Older folks will not need to leave the Point. They will be able to stay in the community and receive the care they need. It will truly bring to pass the notion that rural health services are available."

As a member of the Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray has consistently supported increasing resources for rural health outreach programs.

"This grant shows how a relatively small federal investment can make a dramatic difference for the people of a rural, under-served community," Senator Murray said.