The Very Beginning:

1975 - Yakima Neighborhood Health Services (YNHS), a private nonprofit health clinic in Yakima, was founded to provide preventive health care and education services to low-income people. The original YNHS programs included senior screening physicals, Stop Smoking clinics, weight-loss counseling, well-child exams, and various employment physicals. One physician and four support staff provided care to approximately 20 patients per day.

1979 - It was evident that the working poor were at a loss for comprehensive health care, and the Board of Directors charged the staff with development of a full-scope primary care center, providing accessible, affordable, quality health care. This vision became the long-standing primary mission of Yakima's Community Health Center.

The Formative Years:

1980 - YNHS was awarded the first of many contracts from the State of Washington to provide ongoing comprehensive health care for low-income and otherwise disadvantaged families in our community. Maternal Child Health (MCH) grant funds were obtained to augment the clinic’s services to children ages 0-21 and pregnant women who were without health insurance or Medicaid. Services included primary care, Healthy Kids exams, immunizations, and prenatal support services.

1981 - The clinic was awarded a state contract to provide WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Supplemental Food and Nutrition Education Program for the Upper Yakima Valley and Sunnyside. The WIC program continues to prove cost savings in reducing infant mortality and morbidity across the country. The WIC program at YNHS has grown from 900 clients per month to our current caseload averaging 7,000 clients per month.

1987 - YNHS began an ongoing contract with the Department of Health / Community Health Services (CHS) Program to provide services to low-income and uninsured medical and dental patients. The CHS Program was later transferred to the Health Care Authority, and continues to target support for uninsured patients.

1992 - YNHS applied for and achieved Federal designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). This special designation allows YNHS to receive financial support for enabling services such as interpreters, transportation, and education to families who could not otherwise access needed health care services. It also made YNHS eligible as a loan repayment site for the National Health Service Corps, where health care professionals can receive loan repayment for serving uninsured and disadvantaged populations.

1994 - With funding secured from Yakima Federal Savings and Loan, YNHS built a new 11,000-square-foot facility and recruited pediatricians, internists, family practice physicians and obstetrical team to the primary care program. Public health staff (nurses, nutritionists, counselors, case managers, educators) was increased to accommodate the resulting increases in maternal child health caseloads.

1996 - The original YNHS building was remodeled into a dental facility , and a team consisting of a dentist, dental hygienist and two dental assistants were successfully recruited. YNHS was awarded a grant from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the Washington Dental Services Foundation to remodel and equip the new dental clinic.

2004 - Pharmacy Services are offered for YNHS at discounted pricing for low-income patients without access to prescription drug coverage.

2005 - YNHS targets health services for homeless families and individuals in Yakima; "Neighborhood Connections" rolls out with partnerships throughout the health and social service community.

Part of the YNHS Mission – "… to Provide Learning Opportunities to Students of Health Professions"
Training opportunities at YNHS through local and state vocational and higher education learning programs have recruited many health professionals to the Yakima Valley. YNHS provides internship training for the following institutions/organizations:

  • Washington State University Intercollegiate Nursing Education
  • Yakima Valley Community College Nursing Program
  • Gonzaga University Nurse Practitioner Program
  • University of Washington Family Practice Residency Program
  • University of Washington Pediatric Dentistry Program
  • Eastern Washington University School of Social Work Program
  • Central Washington University Dietetic Intern Program

Keeping YNHS Stable…Keeping YNHS Strong
YNHS has experienced steady growth with each additional provider and service to Yakima residents. The organization enjoys strong community backing, a strong Board of Directors, and committed staff. YNHS’s philosophy, leadership, and no-frills approach to health care have succeeded in providing cost-effective delivery of quality service for three decades to residents of the Yakima Valley.