ICHS puts counseling and health services in easy reach at Highland Middle School
An International Community Health Services (ICHS) clinic offered in partnership with Youth Eastside Services (YES) and the Bellevue School District is opening at Highland Middle School this fall. The school-based clinic promises to improve Bellevue teens’ school attendance, graduation rates and achievement, as it puts counseling and health services right in students’ midst.
Students will be able to see an ICHS health provider for treatment of illnesses, injuries and ongoing health problems; as well as for well child checkups and immunizations. YES’ therapists will help students with issues such as depression, anxiety, family stress and substance abuse.
“In bringing clinical services to students, ICHS, the Bellevue School District and YES are effectively removing barriers to care and creating greater health equity,” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO. “This is especially important for Bellevue’s diverse community. When we take care of students’ social, emotional and physical wellbeing they are more focused and present for learning. Ultimately, students’ better health leads to better educational outcomes.”
These are fraught times for parents and teens. Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, a TV-series depicting teen suicide, a distracted driving bill recently approved by Washington state, and a report in March from the American Academy of Pediatrics that warns against early marijuana use, underscore the rise in teen health risks. East King County is no exception.
According to the 2016 Healthy Youth Survey, nearly one in four of 6th and 8th graders in the Bellevue School District reported being bullied in the past 30 days, and 29% of 10th graders reported feeling depressed within the past year. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among teens between 15 and 24 years old in Washington.
“YES is eager to further deepen our long-term relationship with the Bellevue School District, forge our first formal partnership with ICHS, and integrate our work to meet the physical, mental health, and wellness needs of Eastside youth,” said David Downing, YES associate director. “Following a 10-year national trend, we have seen the same increase in stress, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts among the youth we serve. Through this partnership at Highland Middle School, we will provide critical support for student success with an onsite, full-time and integrated team that will prevent and intervene with the many challenges students face today.”
Greater health equity keeps kids in school
Bellevue is a diverse city with large Asian and Hispanic populations, and with areas of high poverty. Highland Middle School reflects this diversity. More than 40% of the school’s students are eligible for free or reduced price meals.
ICHS’ multilingual and culturally aware staff and providers will help address acute challenges that include disproportionately high dropout and truancy rates among Highland Middle School’s Hispanic students.
In some areas of Bellevue, ethnic minorities make up more than 60% of the population. Asians represent the largest ethnic minority group, at 29% of the population, followed by Hispanics and Latinos, a group that increased nearly 50% between 2000 and 2010. One-third of Highland Middle School students speak a language other than English as their primary language.
Breast cancer screening is essential to wellness for all women, but not all women have equal access to the proper information and care. International Community Health Services (ICHS) was recently awarded a $63,000 community grant from Susan G. Komen Puget Sound to promote breast health education and reduce health disparities throughout King County.
Breast cancer prevention is strongly tied to early detection. Women in medically underserved communities can encounter obstacles to breast health services, including, but not limited to inaccurate information, cultural and language barriers, and a lack of transportation.
“King, Pierce and Snohomish counties have a higher than average number of advanced stage breast cancer diagnosis and deaths, especially among our diverse communities,” said Michael McKee, ICHS director of health services and community partnerships. “This is an avoidable tragedy and ICHS’ community advocates are working to reverse the tide as we improve access to information, screenings and care.”
ICHS health advocacy manager Rana Amini accepted the community grant on behalf of ICHS at the 2017 Komen Puget Sound Impact Celebration on May 11. ICHS’ Women’s Preventive Health Services and community advocacy programs have received funding from Komen’s Puget Sound chapter to support breast health education and outreach for more than a decade. ICHS’ Breast Health Outreach, Prevention, and Education (B-HOPE) project improves breast health education and offers early detection services to low-income, limited-English proficient members of King County’s Pacific Islander, Latina, Somali, and Asian Indian communities and other communities of need.
In 2016, ICHS staff reached more than 3,900 women with information about the importance of the early detection of breast cancer via nearly 50 community events and health fairs, and in collaboration with community-based organizations throughout King County. Since 2008, ICHS has had more than 29,000 outreach contacts with women regarding breast health education.
Among the ways ICHS partners with Komen to address breast health is through annual support of its “Race for the Cure.” On June 4, an ICHS fundraising team will join the race at the Seattle Center.
According to Susan G. Komen’s 2015 community profile report, Pacific Islander women have the area’s lowest five-year breast cancer survival rate, with 18% failing to survive for five years after a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer. According to 2015 data from the Washington Department of Health, black women also have a poor overall survival rate, with over 11% failing to survive for five years.
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City leaders want taller buildings and more affordable housing in Seattle’s Chinatown International District, but will an upzone threaten one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods? Supporters say the proposed upzone will create more opportunity and revitalize the area, but critics worry changes will threaten the neighborhood’s character and displace small businesses, nonprofits and some residents.
On the show:
Teresita Batayola, President & CEO, International Community Health Services (ICHS)
Evan Chan, Owner, Four Seas Restaurant
Bruce Harrell, President, Seattle City Council
Joel Ing, Principal, Edge Developers
Rob Johnson, Seattle City Council
Tam Nguyen, Owner, Tamarind Tree Restaurant
Maiko Winkler-Chin, Executive Director, Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation & Development Authority (SCIDpda)
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International Community Health Service’s (ICHS) young patients can rely on getting a boost on lifelong wellness with a health care team that’s committed to keeping them up-to-date on all of their vaccinations. Recently, these efforts were honored by the Washington State Department of Health.
ICHS’ medical clinics in Chinatown-International District, Holly Park and Bellevue were recently honored as 2017 Immunize Washington Gold, Silver and Bronze providers for outstanding success ensuring toddler and teen patients received their recommended vaccines.
ICHS chief medical officer, Anna Kaminski, credited a proactive, team approach for the clinics’ success.
“ICHS’ focus on quality preventive care includes maximizing every opportunity to reach and screen every young patient to make sure they are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Kaminski. “ICHS works strongly as a team to ensure that our vaccine efforts are proactive and communication with parents is clear and helpful.”
The CDC recommends vaccinating children and teens to lower the risk of childhood disease, as well as to reduce the spread of disease among people who are not vaccinated.
As Gold providers, the ICHS Holly Park and Chinatown-International District medical clinics respectively immunized 84% of toddlers and 92% of teens, and 88% of toddlers and 89% of teens. This is the third consecutive year both clinics have been awarded Gold status, which is given to providers with a minimum 80% success rate ensuring up-to-date patient immunization.
The ICHS Bellevue Clinic was recognized as a Silver provider for immunizing 76% of toddlers and as a Bronze provider for its immunization of teens.
The Immunize WA provider recognition program is overseen by the Washington Health Plan Partnership, which is coordinated by the Washington State Department of Health and the Washington State Health Care Authority. The program recognizes clinics vaccinating 70% or more of their toddler and/or teen patients with recommended vaccines.