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.

 

ICHS names Rayburn Lewis interim chief medical officer

International Community Health Services (ICHS) today announced that Rayburn Lewis has been named interim chief medical officer, effective immediately.

Lewis, a board-certified internal medicine physician, most recently served as CEO of Swedish Issaquah. His tenure contributed to widespread recognition of Swedish Issaquah’s high quality and high patient satisfaction. Previously, he served as executive director and vice president of medical affairs at Swedish Ballard, and as COO at Swedish Cherry Hill

“ICHS’ mission to provide affordable health care for all, and its commitment to the underserved and uninsured strongly aligns with my professional and personal endeavors. I look forward to the opportunity to further make an impact,” Lewis said.

Lewis will continue ICHS efforts directed at improving health equity and achieving the best possible patient outcomes. He will also support ICHS’ 10-year strategic plan, focused on continuous improvements in infrastructure, customer service, human investment, sustainability and quality.

“I am pleased to welcome Rayburn and look forward to his leadership. His experience and knowledge will elevate ICHS as we continue to deliver affordable, high-quality health care services, while growing to meet our communities’ needs  as a vibrant and dynamic organization,” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO.

Lewis is a graduate of the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, where he completed his internal medicine residency and served as chief medical resident from 1982 to 1983. He also completed an assignment as a general medical officer in orthopedics with the U.S. Public Health Service in Seattle. Lewis joined the medical staff at Swedish Health Services and Providence Seattle Medical Center in 1984, while starting a medical practice in Columbia City. He joined the Minor & James Medical Group in 1987, practicing there till 1996, and subsequently maintained a practice at the Swedish Family Medicine/Cherry Hill campus residency clinic until 2008.

As the elected chief of staff at Providence Seattle Medical Center in 1995, Lewis was recruited as medical director for quality and medical affairs. Serving in this capacity from 1995 to 2002, he became Swedish’s vice president for medical affairs from 2002 to 2007, after the two hospitals merged. He also served as medical director of the Mother Joseph Clinic at Swedish Cherry Hill for specialty care of community patients.

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.

 

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