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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane Regional Health district considering moving treatment services

The Spokane Regional Health District is exploring options to move the treatment services program to a larger location.

Currently, services are offered on the first floor of the district’s building off Monroe Street, but demand continues to increase, and the program needs more space.

The health district offers opioid treatment, including methadone and suboxone, to about 1,200 patients. There are about four new intakes each day.

The district is eyeing a county building on West Eighth Avenue for the new home of treatment services. The building is close to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

The building currently houses Spokane County community services, housing and development services, as well as behavioral health services. One floor of the building was temporarily used as a shelter for women experiencing homelessness earlier this year, according to county spokesman Jared Webley.

Behavioral health services are beginning to be offered face-to-face at the location again in August, but Webley said the county was looking to relocate where these services are offered regardless of where discussions with the health district go.

Commissioner Mary Kuney said the county had been trying to sell the building but recently took it off the market.

Now the health district is looking at potentially leasing the space.

Administrator Amelia Clark asked the Spokane Board of Health to approve continued negotiations with the county about the space last week at the monthly board meeting.

The board approved Clark’s request to continue negotiations with the county for a lease that would cost up to $30,000 a month, or $360,000 per year.

Clark will have to bring the full contract for the leased space back to the board for approval, given that it exceeds $100,000.

The lease will be paid for with the funds the treatment services program generates, Clark said, meaning the new lease will not use local funding.

The board authorizing Clark’s request is the first step in negotiations but is by no means a final decision, Kuney noted, saying there could be other locations out there.

“None of it is a done deal at this point in time, and it’s really to investigate and start the process,” Kuney said.

The county commissioners recused themselves from voting on the authorization of lease discussions.

Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is primarily funded by the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, with additional support from Report for America and members of the Spokane community. These stories can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.