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UNION GAP - Community members from throughout Yakima County were afforded the opportunity to examine the newly built Yakima Health District building in Union Gap Tuesday night.

An open house reception was held at the new facility, giving those in attendance the opportunity to awe over the improvements from the district's former location in Yakima.

The Yakima Health District offices were located on North First Street in front of the Yakima County jail facilities. "It was old and very crowded. Everything was outdated," said the health district's assessment coordinator, Jessica Brown.

She said the need for a new building was becoming greater and the new facility serves the needs of staff and technicians working for the district.

"The new facility offers updated networking capabilities, video conferencing and day to day functioning, with better office spaces," Brown said.

Yakima Health District functions in providing Tuberculosis testing to individuals, provides health education and training throughout Yakima County, ensures vaccines are stored and administered properly, has case workers trained to assist community members with sexually transmitted disease resources and information, and a whole bevy of other functions.

The three primary areas the health district assists community members with include community health, environmental health and children's health programs.

Persons interested in receiving a food handler's card can visit the Yakima Health District to utilize computers for the training and testing.

Also, the building has a room designated specifically for a variety of health resources and counselors are available for those with health concerns such as HIV.

"This facility affords us the capacity to better serve the community," Brown stated.

She said the staff was especially pleased with the new lab because the former lab was very small and provided a minimal functionality.

The offices of the new facility are spacious and many of the employees of the district have decorated them to provide a level of comfort for both themselves and clients served by the district.

The new Yakima Health District facilities are located at 1210 Ahtanum Ridge Drive in Union Gap, next to Davita Union Gap Dialysis Center.

The reception area of the new Yakima Health District offers a warm environment, complete with local art depicting life in Yakima County. Here, Assessment Coordinator Jessica Brown (left) and Carlos Contreras (right), a technician in the district's HIV program, converse in admiration of the new facility.


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