International Community Health Services (ICHS) is bringing convenient, free COVID-19 testing to the Eastside. On Dec. 15, ICHS opens the first high-capacity COVID-19 test site on the Eastside at Bellevue College, expanding efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in east King County and along the I-90 corridor as local cases continue to spike. The test site is operated by ICHS and hosted by Bellevue College, with support from King County and the City of Bellevue.
People are strongly encouraged, but not required, to register for a testing appointment here. Testing is free and open to anyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Operating hours are Monday through Saturday, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
“We are so pleased to work with King County and the City of Bellevue to open this large-scale testing site serving the Eastside and its diverse community members,” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO. “Expanded testing is to the benefit of all Eastside residents during this critical stage of the pandemic. ICHS multilingual staff and providers will play an important role making sure no one is left behind because of language or culture – and all of our friends, neighbors and family members are connected to much-needed health care and testing.”
“I thank International Community Health Services and Bellevue College for their assistance in setting up this new testing site on the Eastside,” said Dow Constantine, King County executive. “This holiday season, the greatest gift we can give our friends and loved ones – and ourselves – is good health and peace of mind. We must remain vigilant to bring this virus under control, and bring our community and economy back stronger than ever.”
The Eastside is home to a number of different language communities – 13.3% of households in Bellevue are limited English speaking compared to six percent of households overall in King County from 2014 to 2018. ICHS regularly provides free on-site and remote interpretation in over 50 languages and dialects at its clinics and its multilingual staff are experienced in meeting the needs of a diverse patient community. The Bellevue College testing site adds to drive-thru testing ICHS currently provides at its International District Medical-Dental Clinic in Seattle.
“It is through these strong partnerships from community providers like ICHS that makes these sites possible,” said Patty Hayes, director of Public Health – Seattle & King County. “ICHS has a long history of providing culturally relevant care and this expertise will be extremely valuable for the diverse language communities we hope will access this site.”
“The new, free testing site at Bellevue College will be a valuable resource for our diverse community, especially as we work together to minimize and ultimately overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lynne Robinson, City of Bellevue mayor. “I want to thank Public Health – Seattle & King County, Bellevue College and operator ICHS for their partnership and for making this testing site a reality. It is also critical that Bellevue residents continue to follow Public Health’s guidance; wear a mask, stay home when you can, avoid indoor gatherings, and quarantine and get tested if you feel sick.”
The new test site is located at Bellevue College, 2645 145th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98007. The entrance is on 148th Ave SE. Drive-thru and limited walk-up testing is available. The test site is available via the 221, 226, 228, 245, and 271 bus lines.
Support for isolation and quarantine
If you have COVID-like symptoms or have had close contact with someone with COVID-19, Public Health – Seattle & King County urges you to avoid contact with others and get tested immediately. Stay home and away from others while you are waiting for test results.
Anyone who tests positive should isolate immediately. For those without a safe place to do so, King County isolation and quarantine sites are available to help people through a difficult situation and reduce risk of transmission. This is especially important for those living with a family member who is elderly or medically fragile, or people experiencing homelessness. Call the King County COVID-19 Call Center (206) 477-3977 to see if isolation and quarantine services are right for you.
As one of 20 national pilot sites, ICHS patients will screen and manage chronic conditions from home for better preventive health care and virtual visits. The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has selected International Community Health Services (ICHS) as one of 20 health centers in 16 states to participate in “Leading Change: Transforming At-Home Care,” a cutting-edge pilot project offering tools for self-care and remote monitoring for better patient health.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted ICHS to reimagine how to manage preventive and virtual care for patients with chronic diseases when regular in-person visits are difficult or no longer feasible. Remote patient monitoring can provide providers with important information and context that might otherwise be missed during a virtual visit.
“ICHS is honored to be chosen for this timely initiative,” said Dr. Beth Weitensteiner, assistant medical director of the ICHS Holly Park Clinic, who will drive ICHS’s participation in the project. “It’s important we continue to see patients with chronic conditions throughout the pandemic. This strategy provides them with tools and information they can use to care for themselves at home with our help. Further empowering patients allows us to better identify new symptoms and potential emergencies, which could be lifesaving.”
Twenty high-risk patients from the ICHS Holly Park Clinic will be given a patient home care kit that includes materials for colorectal cancer screening, a home blood-sugar monitor for diabetes, a blood pressure monitor, a thermometer and scale. They will also receive educational materials and regular virtual visits from ICHS staff and providers.
“This pandemic has shown us how community health center partners can step-up to transform our local healthcare systems and lead us into the future with new blended care delivery models that include at-home self-care integrated with virtual care,” NACHC’s Quality Center said in a written statement. “These steps have the potential to critically improve the way preventive care and chronic diseases are managed during and beyond this pandemic.”
The pilot is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration and is designed to capture data through June 2021. Among the outcomes, ICHS will provide lessons and best practices that will be shared with health centers nationally.
“ICHS serves a patient population that, because of language or culture, has historically faced difficulty accessing quality, affordable health care,” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO. “While the pandemic has accelerated the acceptance of telehealth and its widespread use, it has also highlighted disparities exacerbated by a digital divide. In participating in this pilot project, ICHS is serving on the forefront of developing innovative practices to bridge the accessibility gap for those who may be otherwise underserved.”
International Community Health Services is now offering free COVID-19 testing at two locations, in Seattle at its International District clinic and at Bellevue College. Testing in Bellevue is made possible through a partnership with King County Public Health, Bellevue College and University of Washington. Drive-thru and walk-up testing is available to everyone regardless of your citizenship/immigration or insurance status.
If you are experiencing symptom(s) and you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the past 14 days, get tested immediately! If you have no symptoms, but have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, wait 5-7 days from the date of exposure to get tested.
What you’ll need to get free testing
A photo ID with your date of birth. Testing is available regardless of your citizenship/immigration status.
Insurance card, if you have insurance. If you have insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, please provide this information and the lab will bill them. You will not be charged for the test.
You do not need to have insurance or a provider’s note to schedule a test.
COVID-19 symptoms include:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
1. Schedule a test
Choose a testing location below. Please register online before going to a location. On-site registration is not available at the ID Clinic.
Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
2645 145th Ave SE, Bellevue
If you need help with registration for the Bellevue College location, call the King County COVID-19 Call Center (open 7 days a week, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.), at 206.477.3977. If you need in-language assistance, please tell us in English the language you need. We will then connect you with an interpreter.
If you need help with registration for the ID Clinic location, call ICHS (open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.), at 206.788.3700. We also provide language assistance. Testing is prioritized if you are currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have had contact with anyone who is COVID-19 positive.
Please note: ICHS is not an emergency medical facility and we are not providing COVID-19 treatment or antibody testing. We recommend regularly visiting the King County Department of Public Health website for the most up-to-date public health information.
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.