Neighbors
in Health

The Meridian Center for Health, by unifying healthcare and human services into one building, introduces comprehensive care for the first time to an under-served, low-income population of North Seattle.

The Meridian Center for Health brings together partners to provide integrated care: Neighborcare Health for medical and dental; Seattle-King County Public Health for the women, infants and children program; and Valley | Cities Behavioral Health Care for behavioral and mental health. It treats the “whole person” for those with little to no insurance — people on food stamps or other assistance, families, elders, the homeless or people with disabilities.

It also supports more than just healthcare: space is provided for community resources such as housing placement, job training, resume writing and more, to address the stressors that affect health. Conference areas can remain open in the evening for community organizations, substance abuse and recovery group meetings, nutrition and cooking classes, and a staffed health resource center. Public spaces can also be used for farmers’ markets, connecting the building to the neighborhood and making healthcare a less daunting part of daily life.

The project also preserved and enhanced a public park on the southeast corner of the site, which contained a grove of mature trees, a pond and an art walk. An existing grass retention pond was enhanced with lush native plantings — this formerly barren space now not only manages storm water, but also provides a habitat for ducks and native bird species.

Publications

Architectural Record, “Meridian Center for Health by NBBJ,” April 1, 2017
Fast Company, “How The Affordable Care Act Is Transforming Health Care Design,” March 27, 2017