ICHS debuts video advocating for health centers


“Healthcare Now: Hear Our Voices!” is a video project created by ICHS’ Advanced Resident Nurse Practitioner program residents together with the Asian Counseling and Referral Service SE Asian Young Men’s Group. ICHS patients, providers and staff provide first-hand testimony and experiences that illustrate the vital importance of Medicaid and continued funding for community health centers.

ICHS proudly debuted the video on Aug 16, at the “Building Health Equity Together” partnership appreciation event in celebration of National Health Center Week. Read about its creation in the International Examiner

Celebrate National Health Center Week with ICHS

Join International Community Health Services (ICHS), from August 13 to 19, for a week of celebration during National Health Center Week. ICHS unites with community health centers around the United States to honor the provision of affordable, high quality health care to millions of people and families, especially to those who are low income, underserved or uninsured.

We recognize and thank ICHS patients, staff, and supporters for their contributions to ICHS’ 44 years of success fostering healthy people, strong families, and vibrant communities. The value and strength of our solidarity, mutual support and joint activism has been underscored as we have worked together against the repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Joining the excitement is easy. Stop by your neighborhood ICHS clinic in the International District, Bellevue, Shoreline and Holly Park areas, or see us at events at the ICHS International District Clinic, Crossroads Mall and the Celebrate Shoreline festival for:

See ICHS’ event calendar for more details.

National Health Center Week is more than a celebration, it is a celebration we create together as we recognize ICHS’ rich history and promise for a more equitable and healthy future for all.

Follow the fun using #CelebrateICHS and #NHCW17 or #ValueCHCs on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Stand up for health care as a human right, sign the “People’s Proclamation”

International Community Health Services (ICHS) is providing community members with an opportunity to show support of health care as a human right by signing the “People’s Proclamation for Health Care for All,” during National Health Center Week, from Aug. 13 to 19. The proclamation announces the voice of the people on this vital matter to lawmakers.

The Senate’s recent failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act was supported by the collective effect of those who told stories, wrote, emailed, called and acted in accordance with their conscience and a belief in the right of all people to affordable, high quality health care.

ICHS invites everyone to continue the momentum during National Health Center Week, a nationwide celebration of the value community health centers bring to communities across the country. While ICHS serves many of our community’s most marginalized and vulnerable – immigrants, refugees, the elderly, the young, those who are low income, on Medicaid, uninsured or underinsured – much progress still needs to occur before all people in the United States have access to high quality preventative care regardless of health, housing or ability to pay.

Show support of health care as a human right. Look for the “People’s Proclamation for Health Care for All” at ICHS clinics and community events during National Health Center Week.

 

 

ICHS PEOPLE’S PROCLAMATION for HEALTH CARE FOR ALL

WE BELIEVE all individuals and families

 deserve quality, affordable health care, regardless of their nation of birth, culture, language, religion, age, income, gender, sexual orientation, abilities or where they live. All people in the United States deserve the security of health information privacy, to be cared for with dignity and respect, and to be assured medical services as a human right.

WE SUPPORT the vital role of community health centers in safeguarding healthy people, strong families and vibrant communities.

By signing, I demonstrate my support for this proclamation during 2017 National Health Center Week, in the year two thousand seventeen.

 

Get the facts during Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

What is something everyone deals with but (hardly) anyone talks about?

Anxiety, depression and other mental illness silently affects many. Did you know that mental health conditions are the leading cause of disability across the United States and the second leading cause of death among American youth ages 15-24?

Rarely do we ask a friend or coworker, “How are you doing with your depression?” though we wouldn’t pause when asking “How is your broken ankle healing?” The existence and continuation of stigma compounds existing challenges hindering access to mental health care — particularly within immigrant and refugee communities.

This July, ICHS recognizes Minority Mental Health Month. In doing so, we address the increased anxiety and fear rippling through our communities. Whether a result of changing national politics, local pressures or the isolation that comes naturally whenever someone moves to a new place and is among a new culture, learning how to better handle periods of stress with resilience is always relevant.

Throughout the month, we will be posting a series of Myths/Facts surrounding mental health in order to shed some light on key issues.

You can help our communities become stigma free by recognizing the importance of mental health and the weight of concerns that matter to each of us. Learn more here.

Treatment of opioid addiction in King County expands with ICHS’ new suboxone program

The launch of a Suboxone treatment program at International Community Health Center (ICHS) expands local capacity to treat opioid addiction and help address the rampant abuse of heroin and prescription pain medication in King County.

ICHS medical providers and pharmacies add to a limited number in the area that are currently qualified to prescribe Suboxone, an FDA-approved medication that treats opioid dependence. Patients take Suboxone home, like any other prescription medication. Suboxone’s chemical composition helps avoid painful withdrawal.

“Opioid addiction needs to be treated and viewed the same as other medical conditions,” said Randon Aea, ICHS behavioral health manager. “For example, diabetes can be managed with support, behavior change and medication. Suboxone is proven to be safe and effective in helping people address the disease of addiction in a similarly successful fashion.”

Aea said a medical assessment, drug screening and education about the program are required for all participants, each of whom is also encouraged to seek substance abuse treatment and counseling. Patients initially see their ICHS medical provider once per week to ensure they are taking the appropriate amount of Suboxone. Once at the right dose, they may require less frequent visits.

“The prescription of Suboxone is just one step, albeit an important one,” said Aea. “Once the mind and body are stable, and free of pain and dependence to opiates, a person is better prepared to address the circumstances that may have led to their dependency.”

King County has made confronting opioid addiction a priority, announcing in January 2017 that it is moving forward on recommendations presented by a task force of experts that include prevention, increasing access to treatment on demand and reducing the number of fatal overdoses. In 2016, 220 people in King County died from opioid overdose. According to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab, the percentage of King County drug seizures testing positive for heroin has increased six-fold from 2008 to 2015.

Learn more about ICHS’ Suboxone Treatment Program

ICHS’ Suboxone Treatment Program is available at its Holly Park, Chinatown-International District and Shoreline clinic locations and pharmacies, and will soon be available at ICHS’ Bellevue Clinic. Most insurance companies, including Medicaid, cover Suboxone treatment. ICHS’ commitment to health care for all, regardless of ability to pay, includes a sliding scale fee for those without insurance.

More information can be found at the ICHS website or by calling ICHS at: 206-788-3500.

 

Highlighting health disparities, ICHS’ fundraising team joins Race for the Cure

Let’s improve breast cancer survival rates for Asian and Black women

Most of us can think of someone who has been affected by breast cancer. That’s no surprise when you look at the statistics. One in eight women will be diagnosed within her lifetime.

As a fundraising team from International Community Health Services (ICHS) joins the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on June 4, an event ICHS has supported annually for more than a decade, we offer some important reminders. Because breast cancer is not an equal opportunity killer.

Whether a person gets cancer is usually determined by genes and lifestyle. Whether a person dies from it is usually tied to social and economic factors – including whether that person has medical insurance, a distrust of doctors, transportation and language barriers, or a lack of health knowledge and information. When cancer is found at a late stage, as it more frequently is in marginalized communities, survival through treatment becomes less likely.

According to Susan G. Komen’s 2015 community profile report, Pacific Islander women have our area’s lowest five-year breast cancer survival rate. Eighteen percent of those diagnosed with invasive breast cancer do not live past five years of being diagnosed. Black women also have a poor survival rate. More than 11% do not live past five years of diagnosis.

Giving minority women greater access to mammograms and treatment significantly increases their chances of survival. For more than a decade, ICHS and its community advocates, educators and partners have worked in concert to help women – through mobile screening services, interpretation and education – gain access to life-changing early screening and detection.

Join ICHS, as we work to improve breast health and breast cancer outcomes for all women. Prompt the women and men in your life to get regular screenings, starting today.

“Early intervention is the best protection,” said Veronica Kim, ICHS’ Breast, Cervical, and Colon Health Program coordinator. Read about Kim’s breast cancer survivor story, and how it has given her new insights in her work with patients, in this article in the International Examiner.

Bellevue students to access better health for better learning

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.

Better breast health with $63K Komen Community Grant

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.

ICHS champions state-wide hepatitis B education with support from Ann Wu Liao Foundation and Gov. Jay Inslee

The Ann Wu Liao Foundation presents the third installment of a $115,000 grant to support community outreach about hepatitis B.

 

International Community Health Services (ICHS) is behind efforts to bring to reality a Washington state free of hepatitis B, a virus affecting a disproportionate number of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and other refugee and immigrant communities.

The third installment of a $115,000 grant from the Ann Wu Liao Foundation supports community outreach and momentum during the month of May, Viral Hepatitis Month, and the work of the Hepatitis B Coalition of Washington, which is led by ICHS.

The Hepatitis B Coalition of Washington has received proclamations from the Washington State Governor’s office signifying support of hepatitis B awareness and outreach. The Hepatitis B Coalition of Washington envisions a state free of new hepatitis B infections, where all people know their hepatitis B status, all care is culturally competent and all outcomes are equitable.

“The Liao Foundation’s generous support and Gov. Inslee’s proclamation bolster our efforts to raise hepatitis B awareness among communities affected by chronic hepatitis B,” said Mohammed Abul-Kadir, coordinator of the Hepatitis Coalition of Washington for ICHS.

The coalition’s actions this month include sharing Gov. Inslee’s proclamation as it brings together a network of partners – including community, health care, government and faith-based organizations – for its annual hepatitis B forum.

This year’s forum brings key challenges front-and-center with a free screening of Be About It, a documentary telling the story of two men and two families living with hepatitis B, on May 23 at New Holly Gathering Hall at 5:30PM.

“The biggest challenge is breaking the silence and stigma,” said Abul-Kadir. “By enabling ICHS and the coalition to amplify its message and outreach, the Liao Foundation and governor’s office are creating a strong impetus for change.”

Learn more about the upcoming Hepatitis B forum on May 23rd