Ending the silence on hepatitis B

May is viral hepatitis awareness month and in its recognition the Hepatitis B Coalition of Washington (HBCW) hosted its’s annual forum on hepatitis B on May 23, 2017, at the New Holly Gathering Hall in South Seattle. This year’s theme was “ending the silence on hepatitis B”. The forum was highlighted by a showing of a documentary on hepatitis B titled “BE ABOUT IT” featuring two families’ struggle with the diseases. Following the documentary, those in attendance broke into small groups and discussed how the story related to them, their community/ and their work, what stood out the most to them in the movie, what lessons they take away and share with their respective communities, and how they could continue to raise hepatitis B awareness in their communities.

In addition to finding the documentary informative and an effective tool to raise hepatitis B awareness in the communities, attendees felt that it “put human face to the disease and felt that they could relate to the story in many ways such as its focus on family, family support, cost, loss, resilience, stigma, the emotional impact of the disease, the importance of vaccines and promotion of immunization. Many expressed the need for the documentary to be translated into languages spoken by the communities and for it to be shown on smaller settings such as community centers and households.

Before the showing of the documentary, attendees enjoyed taking pictures with the Hepatitis B United (a national partner of HBCW) mascot Oliver and visited information booths that displayed information about HBCW’s member partners.

ICHS patients share their stories with Sen. Patty Murray to fuel fight for affordable health care in Washington

While age, experience and background differed, patients and health practitioners at International Community Health Services (ICHS) were united in a single, important message today to Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) – don’t let the Senate take away affordable health care. Murray will head to Washington, D.C., armed with this message and stories from ICHS patients, as she calls on Senate Republicans to end closed-door deliberations in exchange for public hearings on the American Health Care Act.

“Sen. Murray’s advocacy comes at a time when the stakes couldn’t be higher,” said ICHS CEO Teresita Batayola. “Six thousand ICHS patients benefit from expanded Medicaid and an additional 2,200 risk being priced out of insurance coverage if they lose medical subsidies and tax credits.”

During her visit to ICHS, Murray toured facilities, spoke with staff and doctors, and collected opinions and concerns from patients and the local community. Remarks from Batayola and Murray pointed to the progress made under the Affordable Care Act, as well as the high costs of rolling back Medicaid. Batayola also underscored community health centers’ value as part of the national health care safety net; saving taxpayers, on average, $2,371 (24%) in total spending per Medicaid patient, when compared to other providers.

“The concern I heard today in stories from patients at ICHS about how they might lose coverage for life-saving treatment if Trumpcare is enacted was moving and powerful,” said Murray. “The last thing patients and their families should have to worry about is Republicans taking the care they rely on away or forcing them to pay more – and that’s why I’m doing everything I can to make sure their voices are heard in back in Washington, D.C., and fighting to keep Republicans from jamming this harmful bill through.”

“Our message to Congress is – preserve coverage for those currently covered. So many fear the loss of life-saving and the most basic of health care services, including doctor visits, maternity and prenatal care, hospitalization, prescriptions, mental health and ambulance rides,” said Batayola. “We thank Sen. Murray and those like her, who are leading the fight for us in Congress. But we also have a job to do in making sure those who would suffer under the Senate’s ‘in the dark’ health care bill are heard.”

Among those Murray listened to were two members of the local community. Douglas Hathaway, a Medicaid recipient with Parkinson’s disease, shared how affordable health care was vital to being able to work; and Kelly Hill, a behavioral health worker talked about seeing two sides of the coin in the national health care debate, as her son has special needs that requires costly medical care.

More than 600,000 Washington state residents risk losing health care coverage under the state’s Medicaid program with passage of the American Health Care Act; while another 72,000 to 100,000 risk losing their current private insurance.

 

Click to view pictures from Sen. Patty Murray’s visit: https://flic.kr/s/aHskXnL7Ue

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.

City Inside/Out: Chinatown/ID Upzone- MAY 12, 2017

City Inside/Out: Chinatown/ID Upzone
City of Seattle
5/12/201729:24

POLL: Do you support the plan to upzone Seattle’s Chinatown ID?

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)

 

Link to the article:
http://www.seattlechannel.org/CityInsideOut?videoid=x76019

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

ICHS Bloom Gala raises $218,000 to support health care for all

On May 6, hundreds of supporters showed up to ‘Raise the Paddle’ and give health care to those who need it most. The International Community Health Services (ICHS) Foundation raised more than $218,000 at its annual Bloom Gala at the downtown Seattle Sheraton to support uncompensated patient care delivered within ICHS clinics.

Last year, ICHS provided $1.3 million in care to low-income patients who could not afford to pay for services.

“As ICHS marks its 44th year and looks toward its 45th anniversary, we have been fortunate to have the support of people passionate about ensuring health care to the community and equally committed to our longevity and success, “said ICHS Foundation director Ron Chew. “I thank all ICHS supporters and friends for giving us so many reasons to celebrate tonight.”

ICHS annually honors one individual and one organization for their service and contributions to the health and well-being of Asian Pacific Islander and immigrant communities. This year, Allen Muramoto, MD and Country Doctor Community Health Centers were recognized with the 2017 Bamboo Awards for Health.

The Bloom Gala took place just four days after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and passed the American Health Care Act, a bill that threatens millions of Americans’ access to affordable health care. ICHS CEO Teresita Batayola was passionate and straightforward in calling for a defense of health care coverage for low-income immigrants and communities of color. Her remarks brought a standing ovation as she referenced ICHS’ roots in offering hope to those who had little, and a safe harbor for those who might otherwise be turned away.

Batayola challenged attendees to join her in the fight ahead.

“We are fortunate to be in a state that believes in taking care of its low income, uninsured and under-insured residents. But the state will potentially lose $1.4 billion a year if the U.S. Senate adopts what the House passed,’ she said. “We need our entire community to reach out to their friends and families in other states to make sure that the U.S. Senate does not pass the AHCA.”

Read Teresita Batayola’s full speech

See the photos from the 2017 Bloom Gala

Learn about the 2017 Bloom Gala sponsors

Immunize Washington honors ICHS clinics

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.