ICHS enrolls over 5,800 individuals in state benefits exchange

The enrollment period for health coverage through the Washington State Health Benefits Exchange ended on March 31st. With that came an end to the months of back-to-back appointments for the staff at International Community Health Services (ICHS). Since October of 2013, a team of certified in-person assisters have been helping patients and other community members apply for coverage through the Exchange.

“The ICHS clinics and administrative areas were continually packed throughout the open enrollment period with patients and their families looking to ICHS for help in navigating Washington Healthplanfinder,” said Abbie Zahler, ICHS Health Advocacy Manager.

“We also conducted outreach and enrollment sessions outside of the clinics to make sure that community members had access to enrollment assistance in locations that were convenient and accessible.”

When the Washington Healthplanfinder website launched last October, it experienced numerous crashes due to the high volume of users causing long delays for many ICHS clients. Despite this challenge, ICHS was able to help complete over 5,800 enrollments by the March 31st deadline, far exceeding its goal for the year.

“Almost 6,000 people now have stable, quality health care through ICHS’s efforts. We couldn’t have done it without our dedicated and caring staff. More than 50 staff members took on various roles in the process from actual enrollment assistance, to checking patients in, providing community education, and scheduling the thousands of appointments during open enrollment. Their grace under pressure and empathetic assistance made all of this possible,” added Abbie.

ICHS will continue to provide affordable health services to uninsured patients who missed the March 31st deadline. Additionally, ICHS staff will continue to provide enrollment assistance throughout the year to patients who qualify for Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) or experience a qualifying life changing event. Washington residents who missed this year’s open enrollment period can apply for insurance during the next open enrollment period of November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015 for coverage that will take effect in 2015.

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ICHS to honor Kip Tokuda at 2014 Bloom Gala

ICHS has named Kip Tokuda as the recipient of the 2014 Bamboo Award for Health. The former state legislator, who passed away in July 2013, was a prominent leader in Seattle’s Asian Pacific Islander (API) community and is credited for mentoring several generations of civic and political leaders, including ICHS Foundation Director Ron Chew. Tokuda was also a long-time supporter and former board member of ICHS, and spent his career advocating for children and under-represented communities.

“Some leaders are respected and some are liked. He was both. You listened to what he had to say because he listened to you,” said Ron in an interview with the Seattle Times.

“Kip’s left behind an enduring legacy,” adds ICHS Foundation Board President Charles Wu. “His life’s work lives on through the leaders who are guiding the future of ICHS and other API agencies in this community. We are proud to honor Kip with this year’s Bamboo Award for Health.”

The 2014 Bamboo Award for Health will be presented to Kip Tokuda’s family at the ICHS Bloom Gala on Saturday, May 3rd at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront hotel.

Learn more about Kip Tokuda’s life.
Buy tickets to the ICHS Bloom Gala.
Learn about last year’s Bamboo Award recipients.

Capital Campaign meets major milestones

The ICHS Capital Campaign for the new Bellevue and Shoreline clinics reached two major milestones this month, as staff and boards each raised over $100,000 for the development of the first ICHS clinic sites beyond the City of Seattle.

The joint ICHS boards, made up of about 25 individuals, donated over $100,000 to contribute to the Capital Campaign. At the same time, a total of 172 ICHS staff members raised a little over $100,000 to meet their campaign goal.

“This is an amazing accomplishment for both our staff and our boards. For many of them, their campaign gift was one of the biggest charitable donations they have made in their lifetimes,” said Ron Chew, ICHS Foundation Director.

“It shows their deep commitment to the ICHS mission and their passion to be involved in helping shape ICHS into a regional health care organization,” he added.

The new ICHS clinics in Bellevue and Shoreline represent a significant step in the growth of ICHS from a small storefront clinic. With these new clinics, ICHS will mirror the dramatic growth of API and other immigrant communities in the region.

“This will be a banner year for ICHS, with the opening of the Bellevue clinic this spring and the Shoreline clinic this summer. It is a great time to get involved with ICHS. We want to invite our community to be a part of this next chapter in our history,” added Ron.

Make a donation to the ICHS Capital Campaign.
Learn more about new ICHS clinic locations.
Join the celebration at the 2014 Bloom Gala.

Bellevue clinic to open doors in May

Construction at the site of the new ICHS Bellevue Medical & Dental Clinic has kept up a quick and steady pace since the crews began working on the facility this past summer.

The 6,500 sq. ft. clinic is located at 1050 140th Ave NE, three miles east of downtown Bellevue, bordering the ethnically-diverse Crossroads neighborhood. The clinic includes 10 medical exam rooms, 8 dental operatories, behavioral health rooms, patient waiting space and staff offices. There will be 55 parking spaces for patients.

“Most of the structure is complete. At this point, the crew just needs to add the last few touches. We are waiting for the furniture and supplies to be delivered so we can start setting up,” says ICHS Clinic Director Sherman Lohn.

ICHS patients who live in the area and key partners at several Bellevue community organizations are eagerly awaiting the first day of operation at the new ICHS clinic site.

“We will start scheduling appointments by the end of March. Many of our current patients who live on the east side are looking forward to having a clinic close by, so they don’t have to deal with the extra travel time just to get services at our Seattle clinics,” adds Lohn.

The new ICHS Bellevue Medical & Dental clinic will offer primary medical, dental, and behavioral health services. The location will also have an in-house laboratory for patients’ convenience.

The Bellevue clinic is the first of two new clinics ICHS will open this year. Another new clinic in Shoreline is scheduled to open later this summer. ICHS launched a capital campaign in late 2012 to help raise funds for the new clinics.

Make a donation to the ICHS capital campaign.
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ICHS Accepting Applications for Family Nurse Practitioner Program

ICHS is accepting applications to its Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Residency Program. Competitive candidates will be accepted into a one-year salaried intensive education focused on family practice with specialty clinical rotations. The ICHS Family Nurse Practitioner Residency Program is a precepted clinical education program for newly licensed and certified FNPs. The program is open to recent MSN or DNP graduates.

Deadline for applications is April 10, 2014. The first ICHS ARNP residency class will begin in September 2014.

Learn more about the program.

Call for nominations for 2014 Bamboo Award for Health

International Community Health Services (ICHS) and the ICHS Foundation invite you to submit your nomination for the 2014 Bamboo Award for Health. The Bamboo Award was established for the purpose of recognizing the outstanding work of individuals or agencies whose strong achievement has resulted in:

  • Increased access to health services for ICHS patients, clients or the local Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community and other local underserved communities; or
  • Improved measurable health outcomes for ICHS patients, clients or the local API community or other local underserved communities; or
  • Increased resources that allow ICHS to serve or expand its patient and client populations.

Last year’s Bamboo Award for Health recipients were Dr. Joseph Saitta, a volunteer physician at the ICHS clinics, and Asian Counseling and Referral Service.

The 2014 awards will be presented at the upcoming Bloom gala, ICHS’ annual fundraising event. The Bloom Gala will be held on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront Hotel.

Download the nomination form here.
Read about last year’s Bloom event.

Save the Date for ICHS Bloom Gala

On May 3, 2014, hundreds of ICHS supporters will gather at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront to celebrate ICHS’s 41st year of providing affordable and in-language health services to our communities. This will be a landmark year for ICHS as it celebrates the launch of its Mobile Dental Clinic and prepares for the opening of two new clinics in Bellevue and Shoreline.

Join us in celebrating ICHS’s growth from a small storefront clinic to a regional health care provider, and help us expand access to affordable care to our neediest community members.

Early bird tickets are on sale now. For more information tickets and updates about the ICHS Bloom Gala, visit www.ichs.com/bloom.

ICHS Voted Favorite Health Organization for the Second Time

Readers of the International Examiner, the only non-profit pan-Asian newspaper in the country, declared International Community Health Services (ICHS) their favorite Health Organization two years in a row.

The readers cast thousands of votes in 50 categories to recognize this year’s Reader’s Choice winners. Also a Reader’s Choice winner this year is Ron Chew, director of the ICHS Foundation as Favorite Mentor.

ICHS is a full-service community health center with two full-service clinics in Seattle’s International District and Holly Park neighborhoods, a school-based health center at the Seattle World School in Capitol Hill, and a weekly medical clinic at Asian Counseling and Referral Service in South Seattle. Since 1973, ICHS has functioned as a critical part of the health and human services safety net for immigrants and refugees and other communities of color in Seattle.

The winners were honored at the Reader’s Choice Awards held on December 5, 2013 at the Filipino Community Center in Seattle. Charles Wu, board of directors president of the ICHS Foundation, accepted the award for ICHS.

ICHS to Unveil Mobile Dental Clinic This December

A new, state-of-the-art dental clinic on wheels will soon become a familiar sight at Seattle-area schools.

The International Community Health Services (ICHS) will celebrate the launch of its own mobile dental clinic on December 9, 2013 at 4 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house event. This initiative is made possible through a $440,000 federal grant under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The clinic, developed as a partnership with Seattle-King County Public Health, Group Health, and Seattle Public Schools, will provide oral health care to low-income students and underserved children with limited access to dental services.

“The new mobile dental clinic opens up a whole new set of opportunities for us to meet the needs of our children in the community,” says Teresita Batayola, CEO of ICHS.  “We take our responsibility seriously in ensuring they have access to proper medical and dental care. This mobile dental coach allows us to bring ICHS’ dental services even closer to them.”

Toothaches and oral pains are one of the most cited reasons why students miss school. This fully equipped mobile dental clinic will provide students K-12 with access to restorative and preventative care, including cleanings, exams, X-rays, fillings, extractions, sealants, fluoride treatments, emergency examination and palliative treatment right on the school grounds.

The mobile dental clinic is scheduled to move from school to school throughout the year with ICHS working closely with the following schools to develop a service delivery system that maximizes the clinic’s ability to serve those students with the greatest need.

Aki Kurose Middle School
Cleveland High School
Franklin High School
Ingraham High School
Nathan Hale High School
Nova High School
RainierBeachHigh School
Seattle World School
South Lake High School
Washington Middle School

“We are very excited to get this mobile dental clinic on the road,” says Michael McKee, Director of Health Services and Community Partnerships at the ICHS. “Having the clinic on site will remove several barriers to oral care by eliminating the need for parents to take time off work and reducing students’ time away from the classroom for dental appointments.”

ICHS plans to bill health insurance plans for the services, and can also assist people in enrolling in free and low cost dental plans, if needed. No one will be refused services.