International Community Health Services (ICHS) Foundation is searching for a new executive director as Ron Chew retires on January 1. Chew has led the ICHS Foundation for the past 10 years, effectively steering the recruitment of an active board of directors and new fundraising and capital campaign initiatives, as well as building a vibrant network of support.
“Thanks to Ron’s strong leadership, the ICHS Foundation is well-positioned to welcome new leadership in support of ICHS’s vision and promise of affordable health care for all,” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO. “His many contributions ensure ICHS and the Foundation will continue to serve our communities and meet our patients’ needs far beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and for generations to come.”
Chew recently completed his memoir, “My Unforgotten Seattle,” and says he is looking forward to spending time on more writing projects. Chew made indelible imprints on the community over the years, as a longtime editor of the International Examiner, a visionary leader reimagining the Wing Luke Museum, and now as the director who built the capacity and potential of the ICHS Foundation. As he transitions into retirement, he will continue to support Aging in PACE (AiPACE), a partnership between ICHS and Kin On, in its $20 million capital campaign to build and operate a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) to care for those who are qualified for nursing home care but want to stay in the community and live in their own homes.
“It’s been a privilege to have served ICHS during the later stages of its evolution from a ramshackle one-room storefront clinic into a full service health care provider with 11 different sites,” said Chew. “I look forward to continuing to assist ICHS and Kin On with raising funds to complete the ‘aging-in-place’ site on Beacon Hill.”
Chew previously served as executive director of the Wing Luke Asian Museum from 1991 to 2007, setting its course to become a culturally thriving and financially viable institution. Before that, he worked for over 13 years as editor of the International Examiner, where he was instrumental in a larger movement to recognize the role of ethnic and neighborhood newspapers in anchoring healthy communities.
Established in 2007, the ICHS Foundation’s mission is to build donor support from individuals, businesses, community partners and private foundations to sustain charity care provided at ICHS clinics and to bridge operational shortfalls that are not covered through public resources.
Now you can enroll, renew or change your health plan through Washington HealthplanFinder. There are more plans to chose from, including a new, affordable health plan option called Cascade Care. Take time to compare plans as you may qualify for a low-cost one.
Nov. 1 – Open enrollment begins
Dec. 15 – Last day to register for a health plan that begins Jan. 2021
Jan. 15 – Last day to register for a health plan that begins Feb. 2021
ICHS provides free help to our patients and for anyone seeking to enroll or renew their health insurance. Schedule an appointment with one of our multilingual outreach and enrollment navigators. They can explain your health plan options and assist you with enrolling.
Our staff speak languages including: Amharic, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, Toisanese), Korean, Russian, Tigrinya, and Vietnamese.
Call (206) 788-3700to schedule an appointment. We are only accepting appointments by phone.
Fifth consecutive year ICHS named Gold Level Provider
International Community Health Services (ICHS) has been recognized for its success protecting children through vaccination. All four of ICHS’s medical and dental clinics were honored with gold or silver level awards in the 2020 Immunize Washington Provider Recognition Program.
Child Immunization Rates
Teen Immunization Rates
“Immunizations provide a safe, proven defense to help parents make sure children grow up strong and healthy,” says Dr. Asqual Getaneh, ICHS chief medical officer. “They provide almost complete protection against serious diseases like measles, which still plagues some U.S. communities. Not only that, but getting vaccinated helps protect everyone, even those who are not vaccinated, by contributing to herd immunity and lowering the overall risk of infection.”
One component of ICHS’s success was proactive outreach efforts by Carmina Caoile, ICHS population health coordinator. Caoile made phone calls to ICHS patients and answered questions about cost. In Washington, youth younger than 19 can receive immunizations for free.
Caoile also represented ICHS at local health fairs to share educational materials and developed a ‘Super Kid’ incentive to make immunizations less scary. Young patients became an “ICHS Super Kid” after getting shots, complete with fun costumes, photos and certificates.
“Our young patients really enjoyed dressing up and posing for photos” Caoile shared. “Having a reward at the end motivated them to do their part to help fight disease.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately hit nursing home residents it has drawn attention to the benefits of the nation’s PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) programs, which allow frail seniors to “age in place” in their own home instead of a nursing home. Enrolled seniors are safer from infection because they are supported to thrive at home.
When COVID-19 began spreading in King County, “PACE made a series of quick and abrupt decisions,” said Dr. Kannie Chim, ICHS PACE medical director. After weeks of declining visits, on March 9, in the interest of patient safety, Legacy House closed group activities. “The team had to pivot to reaching people through other means.”
Staff made weekly phone calls to check on participants’ and share information. Knowing that many lacked safe transportation options, PACE staff began delivering food coordinated by PACE dietitians so participants could continue sheltering in place. The PACE team also increased home visits to ensure seniors received the care they needed to stay healthy.
“Doctors, physical therapists, nurses, almost everyone comes to your home to check on you,” said Janet. “I’ve had home safety checks and they are very careful.”
PACE staff also taught Janet how to connect to telehealth services. “Everyone in the program is motivated and responsive to patients,” she said. “I like it, especially during this difficult period.”
Healthy aging at home
PACE programs are individually designed for each participant and managed by a team. Care is interdisciplinary—a social needs analysis and investigation into individual health barriers are part of the program. Care is culturally competent, able to meet participant needs with respect to cultural traditions, language and preferences. The goal is to allow individuals to safely live in their community for as long as possible. When that is no longer feasible, PACE can coordinate transitions that keep the participant centered in his or her care.
“It’s team-based,” said Dr. Chim. “At PACE, we say ‘Let us take all of this and put it under one roof and take care of it. Let us help, we are going to coordinate this.’”
Mei and her husband live in the Chinatown-International District (C-ID) neighborhood of Seattle. Before the pandemic, PACE drivers would pick up Mei’s husband three times a week and take him to ICHS Legacy House for medical care, physical therapy and activities. The couple continue to live in their C-ID apartment while Mei’s husband receives the primary care he needs, staying connected to multiple services to help keep him healthy.
PACE team members include doctors, therapists, nutritionists, drivers, behavioral health specialists, social workers and administrative staff to coordinate an individualized care plan.
Many ICHS PACE participants take part in adult day services and social activities at ICHS Legacy House. They may also receive care within their own home that ranges from therapy and medical visits, to meal deliveries and home safety assessments.
To be eligible for PACE, participants must be 55 or older and in need of nursing home level of care as defined by Washington state.
Most participants “join the PACE program needing a little help,” explained Dr. Chim. “You are living at home and can get around and still do your daily activities, but you are just getting by. We want to help participants not only survive, but thrive.”
Setting the PACE ahead
During the pandemic, long-term care facilities have been especially vulnerable to outbreaks of COVID-19. Seniors face compounding challenges, including heightened risk of infection, transportation barriers, limited access to telehealth and other difficulties.
“Offering well-coordinated, community-based health care, socialization and living support is a priority throughout this pandemic and in the future,” commented Teresita Batayola, ICHS President & CEO. “For us, PACE is the future.”
ICHS, in partnership with Kin On Health Care Center (Kin On), is taking a bold step to create a better future for elders. Established in 2015, the partnership, called Aging in PACE Washington (AiPACE), will pioneer the nation’s first aging-in-place program for the Asian Pacific Islander community. A $20 million capital campaign is underway to create a 25,000-square-foot PACE center on the north lot of Pacific Tower on Beacon Hill.
On June 24, 2020, International Community Health Services (ICHS) released the following statement of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, outlining our 10 demands for police reform and our commitments to fighting systemic racism.
We are outraged and saddened by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and Rayshard Brooks. Their deaths are endemic to the crisis of police brutality and structural racism in this country. We also remember and honor the lives of our Black neighbors and community members who were killed by police here in Washington: Charleena Lyles, Manuel Ellis, Che Taylor, Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens and many others.
As public health advocates and as a health center dedicated to serving our communities and promoting health equity for all, we are committed to challenging racism and the system that upholds it. We stand in solidarity with those calling for racial justice, police accountability and criminal justice reform. We stand in solidarity with our Black family members, colleagues, friends and communities to say enough is enough. Black Lives Matter.
ICHS reaffirms its birthright as an organization founded to assure access to quality health care for those who need it. We recommit ourselves to dismantling systemic racism that manifests as health inequities and police violence as well as anti-Blackness in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in which we are rooted.
“In recent weeks, the U.S. has seen nationwide protests demanding justice and the end of police killings of Black Americans. These protests have further illuminated the long standing systemic racism that exists in America. But we know that racism is deeply embedded. As a community health center, we see firsthand its impact on the health of our communities. As an organization dedicated to health equity, we commit to challenging racism in our police departments and working with our community partners on bold steps forward.”
– Teresita Batayola ICHS President and CEO
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the well documented health disparities that stem from systemic racism and the implicit and explicit biases in testing and delivery of care. As health care workers, we embrace justice as one of the four pillars of biomedical ethics – the others being autonomy, non-maleficence and beneficence. We all have a responsibility to look introspectively into our own implicit biases.”
Don’t put off your health. If you need to walk into one of our clinics, we have strict procedures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
All patients and visitors are screened for symptoms and have their temperatures checked prior to entering our clinics.
Waiting time is cut down to minimize social contact. You will be moved quickly from check-in to exam room.
The number of guests is limited and our waiting rooms have been configured to ensure safe physical distancing.
All visitors are asked to wear a mask when they arrive. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided. Staff are masked at all times
Hand sanitizer is readily available throughout each clinic. Exam rooms are fully sanitized between visits. Common areas and high-touch spots are disinfected multiple times daily.
COVID-19 information and testing
ICHS offers drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Fridays from 10am-2pm at our International District clinic – regardless of immigration or insurance status. Appointments required. You do not have to be an ICHS patient to receive a test.
Please call us at (206) 788-3700 for more information on receiving a test at an ICHS clinic.
ICHS is not an emergency medical facility and we are not providing COVID-19 treatment or antibody testing.
At ICHS, our mission to promote health equity extends beyond our clinic walls. From providing meals to vulnerable seniors in the Chinatown-International District to providing in-language health information and addressing the rise in hate crimes and stigma, ICHS is on the front lines caring for our community.
The International Community Health Services Foundation raised over $270,000 during the first-ever Bloom Online Fundraiser, surpassing an initial goal of $200,000. Hundreds contributed as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a virtual fundraising strategy in light of new uncertainties and social distancing.
All donations directly serve over 32,000 ICHS patients across King County to provide discounted and free health services in over 50 languages. The funds will help mitigate the impacts of a pandemic that has taken a financial toll on many families in the region, making vital health services out of reach.
“I want to thank our generous sponsors and donors, whose support for ICHS never wavered amidst the uncertainties that this pandemic brought,” writes Leeching Tran, ICHS Foundation Board president. “When we realized that our in-person luncheon originally scheduled for April 25th could no longer take place, we worried about how it would affect our fundraising efforts. I’m relieved and touched that our supporters came out stronger than ever to continue to give to ICHS.”
ICHS continues to adapt and respond to the changing health needs of the diverse communities it serves, including hosting COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites, rolling out telehealth services and working with community partners to bolster wellness through food and meal programs, at-home visits and other means of support.
Double your impact by making a gift by May 31st to provide free charity care for uninsured ICHS patients.
International Community Health Services Foundation is addressing the COVID-19 outbreak in our community. Complying with public health mandates, we canceled our 2020 Bloom Luncheon – our largest event of the year.
But we are not halting our fundraising.
Patients need critical health care now more than ever. With unemployment at a record high, the need for free charity care for the uninsured has never been greater.
Will you make an urgent gift of $100 to provide a health visit to one uninsured patient? Your gift today will be doubled up to $100,000 thanks to a matching challenge.
Meet Uncle Lau, a 71 year old Vietnamese refugee who relies on affordable health care services. ICHS was “crucial to his recovery” after he had a stroke in the early 2000’s with no health insurance. Donations to charity care are donated directly to patients like Uncle Lau.
“Lau worked for years helping to run a beauty salon while also delivering newspapers in the morning. But as the cost of his premiums rose, the payments became too steep — so he gave up his health plan.” Read his story in Crosscut
ICHS has experienced a significant financial shortfall during the unprecedented public health crisis. Yet, frontline staff remain committed to providing critical services – all while uncertain of how long we can keep our doors open.
Your gift today will directly pay for critical patient services such as free COVID-19 drive-thru testing, telehealth visits, and other essential health services.
And now, you have an opportunity to double your impact with the $100,000 matching challenge.
One of the key topics of discussion was how community health service providers are faring amid the outbreak. ICHS has been proactively working with public health officials in Public Health — Seattle & King County and staff of the County Executive and Seattle Mayor’s office to coordinate its response and to educate the public on personal hygiene and social distancing to decrease the risk of transmission.
“Local and state health workers across Washington are working around the clock to combat the coronavirus outbreak and I thank them for their lifesaving efforts,” said Rep. Smith.
Community leaders also discussed concerns regarding the impact on Asian-owned businesses and workers, as well as more vulnerable members of the community, such as the elderly. They reported an increase in anti-Asian bias and xenophobia, and shared suggestions on how the congressman and others in government could offer their support and additional resources.
“It is critical that members of the community follow guidance of health experts and avoid misinformation about coronavirus,” said. Rep. Smith. “Misinformation has led to the stigmatization of those of Asian descent based on fear and xenophobia – this is a danger to the wellbeing of our communities and to public health. We must remain unified and vigilant at this critical time to combat this epidemic and to uphold our resilient and diverse communities. I applaud ICHS, ACRS, Kin On, and other community partners for their dedication to protecting the health and wellbeing of all of our community members.”
“We appreciate Congressman Adam Smith’s longtime support – he is a strong ally as we work to address the challenges of the Covid-19 outbreak together,” said Batayola. “His visit today offered a valuable chance to discuss his impact and how we can work collectively to keep our local community members safe and healthy, and help reduce the misinformed racist stigma against Asian Americans.”