Cowlitz Free Medical Clinic receives grant through Regence Blue Shield employee nomination

SEATTLE – The Regence Foundation announced today it awarded a $20,000 grant to Community Health Partners in Longview, Washington to support the Cowlitz Free Medical Clinic.  The grant will help the clinic hire a part-time medical provider, add a second free clinic shift each week, and launch a chronic disease management program.  Regence employee Chuck Polacek, who is on the Community Health Partners board, nominated the clinic as part of Regence’s third annual employee-nominated Transformation Grant program.

“I was born and raised in Longview, and it means a lot to me to help support the Cowlitz Free Clinic,” said Polacek.  “I’ve seen firsthand how the staff and volunteers improve the lives of the people they meet and work with in our community.  This grant will help ensure that patients, particularly those with short term chronic care conditions, receive the care and follow-up they need, and no longer have to be turned away because the clinic is full." 

Community Health Partners was formed in 1995 by St. John Medical Center, Cowlitz County Health Department, Regence Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente and PeaceHealth to address access to health care for uninsured children and adults in Cowlitz County.  In 2005 Community Health Partners opened the Cowlitz Free Medical Clinic, an urgent care clinic dedicated to serving people without health insurance.  Currently, about 21 percent of adults in Cowlitz County are uninsured. By adding a second shift per week, with the Regence Foundation grant, the clinic will be able to serve an additional eight hundred chronic care patients annually.

“Our mission is to fund collaborative and innovative programs making a positive impact in the community,” said Michael Alexander, Regence Foundation board chair. “We applaud Community Health Partners for the work they’re doing to improve access to affordable, quality care in Cowlitz County.”

About The Regence Foundation

The Regence Foundation is the corporate foundation of Regence, the largest health insurer in the Northwest/Intermountain region and a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. A 501(c)3 grantmaking organization, the Foundation partners with organizations driving significant change in health care delivery and accessibility in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Through its Sojourns program, the Foundation also supports organizations advancing quality palliative and end-of-life care. For more information visit or