JC Mash grew out of the primarily among local church members for the large number of people in the county without medical insurance and/or the ability to afford medical attention, especially the underemployed, and those who earn too much to qualify for benefits, but not enough to afford medical insurance. The intent was to help individuals get access to comprehensive care within the larger medical community by validating their medical needs and acting as their advocates. In the Fall of 1993 a letter from Grace Lutheran Church was sent to other community churches asking for interested persons to meet and discuss ways to help “people who fall through the cracks” of the medical system. As participants continued to meet, many ideas were formulated. Various sites for a place where a physician could see people outside his/her place of practice on a Saturday morning were considered including local churches, the recreation center and the health department.
On the first Saturday of August, 1994, JC Mash opened at the American Legion Hall and has been seeing people there continuously for the past 20 years. Initial staffing was all volunteer including physician, volunteers, and the board of directors. One of the founders, James K. Rotchford, M.D., continues today as board member and medical director. The clinic offered medical assessments; referrals to appropriate health services; limited, non- invasive emergency prescription coverage when possible; and advocacy with appointments, paperwork and financial information.
Clallam Jefferson Community Action Council (CAC) was involved at the beginning. CAC managed a donation account, and provided training and guidance to JC MASH volunteers who directed clients to financial and medical services. In 1994 United Good Neighbors of Jefferson County (UGN) recognized JC MASH’s place as a valuable community service. Since then, UGN has been a staunch and unwavering supporter of JC MASH, providing most of our funding. Early in 1996 CAC and UGN requested that JC MASH incorporate and become independent of CAC. By July, 1996, the State of Washington had granted JC MASH nonprofit status. Shortly there its account with CAC and opened its corporate account at Quimper Credit Union.
In 2004, the Port Townsend Rotary Club joined UGN as a major funding source. In 2005, the Rotary funding made the addition of a patient advocate position possible, greatly enhancing follow-up services to clients. Since then, the funds have been used to expand the Clinic Manager’s position to include Patient Advocate duties. Throughout our history, private community donations have generously responded to the need for our services. Please donate to keep these vital services available.