Thank you for your informative article about the new Eatonville Clinic (11-4).
Not many people realize the strong medical history in Eatonville, the hub for Southeast Pierce County. The first Urgent Care facility was operated by the Bridge family including Mary Bridge, Dr. Don Nevitt and Dr. Tom Van Eaton, from whom the city gets its name, skillfully served the town for many years.
Unfortunately due to population growth and tough economic times, Eatonville has become one of the most underserved medical communities in the Northwest. United Way of Pierce County was aware of this fact and their volunteer health committee was one of the first organizations to help build awareness of the need for increased capacity for health care in the greater Eatonville community. Dr. Elizabeth Neuhalfen, who took over for Dr. Van Eaton, recognized the need and has been working with leaders of nonprofit MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital who also sits on the United Way Health Impact team.
They eventually found a local owner/developer for the project. With further community support, Eatonville will once again restore its proud medical history. Thank you to United Way and MultiCare Good Samaritan for their leadership in health care.
Smallwood is the former mayor of Eatonville.