ICHS celebrates graduation of first batch of Nurse Practitioner Residents

ARNP Residents Graduation

By DoQuyen Huynh, ICHS ARNP Program Administrator

On Sept. 12, 2015, our first class of Nurse Practitioner (NP) residents celebrated their graduation at the Wing Luke Museum. Jean Baumgardner’s unparalleled kindness, Megan Wilbert’s fierce leadership and Kimberly Cooper’s fearless determination naturally complemented one another, and they gelled immediately that first week of residency a year ago. From this dynamic group came the birthing of an incredible year of clinical, political and social synergy.

From the first year, our residency program has achieved its mission, which is education and retention of new nurse practitioners. Starting next month, Jean will transition to Holly Park, Megan will be at Shoreline, and Kim will start at Bellevue clinic. All three are excited to continue their work as new primary care providers for our community. All this wouldn’t have been possible without the vision and strategic planning of our board of directors and executive team, along with the collaboration of ICHS staff and external partners.

It is estimated that in 5 short years, there will be over 200,000 vacant Primary Care Provider (PCP) positions in the United States. Our patient populations continue to grow and yet, there are not enough providers. New graduates nurse practitioners working at community health centers often burn out quickly due to the complexity of Community Health Centers’ patient population. Thus, residency is a viable option to increase the new NPs’ competence and confidence, as well as increasing patient access to care. This is a much-needed pipeline to grow a healthy workforce so that we can continue to serve our community.

So, what’s next for us besides starting the second class in just one week? ICHS is heavily involved with our partners at both the local and national levels, seeking to improve and expand the quality and reach of our program. We are collaborating with the NW chapter of residencies and fellowships to maximize learning opportunities by sharing vision, knowledge and experience. At the national level, we are an active member in the National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Consortium, steering accreditation of NP post-graduate training. Our NPs deserve this education. Our patients deserve this quality of care. Our country needs this healthy vibrant work-force. ICHS is energized and ready for the next step.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray hears appeal from local leaders to prioritize funding for nation’s Community Health Centers

U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) met with International Community Health Services (ICHS) CEO Teresita Batayola and Anita Monoian, CEO of Yakima Neighborhood Health Services, last week (Jan. 21) to discuss continued funding for the nation’s community health centers.

 

The focus of the meeting was the impending “Health Center Funding Cliff,” a term that refers to the end of the mandatory funding of Community Health Centers (CHCs), as provided by the Affordable Care Act, at the end of fiscal year 2015. If and when this occurs, CHCs nationwide will see their federal funding cut by 70 percent. CHC leaders nationwide have been meeting with key Congressional leaders to urge protection of funding for community health centers.

 

“We are seeking Sen. Murray’s help in defending these vital funds that allow our state’s community health centers to remain open and provide health care to thousands of needy and underserved Washingtonians,” said Batayola, who previously served as president of Washington Association of Community and Migrant Health Centers. “We want Congress to prioritize solving this issue and fix this ‘health center funding cliff’ that has placed the state’s 26 community health centers in peril.”

 

Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline for fix the Health Center Funding Cliff.

 

During their meeting with Sen. Murray, Batayola and Monoian argued for protecting funding for CHCs, stressing that:

 

— Community health centers are a sound investment. They have a long history of bipartisan support and have been shown to result in health care cost savings and improve access to primary care.

 

— Access to primary and preventive care remains a problem for many, despite enactment of the Affordable Care Act. CHCs play a key role in getting residents to access health care close to where they live.

 

— Thousands of people — patients, medical providers, clinic staff — depend on CHCs for their health care and livelihood, and would be best served by guaranteed funding for community health centers.

 

For more information about ICHS, please visit: www.ichs.com

 

 

Photo caption: U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash), (center), met with International Community Health Services CEO Teresita Batayola (left) and Yakima Neighborhood Health Services CEO Anita Monoian on Jan. 21 to discuss protecting federal funding for the nation’s community health centers.

 

 

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About ICHS

Founded in 1973, ICHS is a non-profit community health center offering affordable primary medical and dental care, acupuncture, laboratory, pharmacy, behavioral health WIC, and health education services. ICHS’ four full-service medical and dental clinics — located in Seattle’s International District and Holly Park neighborhoods; and in the cities of Bellevue and Shoreline — serve over 20,000 patients each year. As the only community health center in Washington primarily serving Asians and Pacific Islanders, ICHS provides care in over 50 languages and dialects annually. ICHS is committed to improving the health of medically underserved communities by providing affordable and in-language health care. For more information, please visit: www.ichs.com

ICHS Earns Valuable AAAHC Accreditation

International Community Health Services (ICHS) has earned valuable accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

ICHS meets or exceeds AAAHC standards for medical care, dental care, behavioral health and pharmacy. The accreditation process is very thorough, covering the entire organization from patient care to business practices.

“AAAHC accreditation is a real milestone that proves that ICHS provides the highest quality care,” said ICHS CEO Teresita Batayola. “Our patients should feel confident that an independent third party says ICHS is up to or better than some really tough standards.”

The process to earn AAAHC accreditation started in January of 2013. The first step was to update or create policies and procedures that meet AAAHC standards. Initial documentation was submitted in December 2013, which led to valuable feedback about areas of improvement. AAAHC conducted an on-site survey for two and half days in September, including all locations and the mobile dental clinic.

“Congratulations to everyone at ICHS for working really hard to earn this,” Batayola said. “Every last person worked together to get this done. I’m extremely proud of ICHS.”

ICHS has been awarded the full three years of initial accreditation, and will apply to extend the accreditation in 2017. Part of keeping the accreditation current is a continuous self-evaluation and improvement process over the next three years.

ICHS will expand dental services at ID Clinic

This summer, International Community Health Services (ICHS) will add four dental chairs at its International District (ID) site to meet the growing demand for affordable dental services in the neighborhood.

“We have always seen a steady flow of patients at the ID Dental Clinic, but we’ve had many more patients come through in the last few months due to the reinstatement of preventive dental coverage for adults on Medicaid,” says ICHS Dental Director Ji Choi. “By adding four more operatories, we will be able to see more patients and hopefully, reduce the wait time for those seeking care.”

With the addition of the four new dental chairs, the ID Dental Clinic will grow to a total of 12 operatories. Last year, ICHS increased its capacity to see more patients at its Holly Park Clinic as well by adding two dental operatories. (The site now has a total of eight chairs.) In recent months, ICHS also launched a Mobile Dental Clinic that provides on-site services at 10 Seattle-area schools and opened a new clinic in Bellevue which houses eight dental operatories. By the end of August 2014, construction for the new ICHS Shoreline Medical & Dental Clinic will be complete, and the brand-new facility is slated to have 10 dental operatories.

“Having access to regular and preventive dental care is such an important part of your overall health,” continues Choi. “Many of the patients who come to our clinic have no other options for affordable services. That’s why ICHS is grateful to our funders and partners who support us in fulfilling our mission to provide care to those who need it most.”

The ID Dental Clinic expansion was made possible with financial support from the Covidien NACHC Challenge Grant Program and the Washington Dental Service Foundation.

 

Learn more about dental services at ICHS.

Find a dental provider at ICHS.

Learn more about the ICHS International District Medical & Dental Clinic.

 

Washington Dental Service Foundation Awards $120K in Grants to ICHS for Dental Clinic Expansion

Four more dental chairs will be added to the International Community Health Services (ICHS) clinic in the International District, thanks to a $120,000 grant from the Washington Dental Service Foundation (WDSF), a non-profit funded by Delta Dental, committed to lasting approaches to improving the oral health of Washington’s residents.

“This is great news for us at ICHS,” says Dr. Ji Choi, ICHS Dental Director. “The need for our dental services in the International District clinic has been steadily growing and has reached a point where there’s a 7-week wait time. And, with the anticipated increase as a result of Medicaid expansion, this grant couldn’t have come at a better time.”

With four new operatories and two additional x-ray machines, the grant enables ICHS to reduce the current wait time and significantly increase the number of patients served in its International District clinic; not to mention the jobs it will create to staff the additional dental chairs.

WDSF awarded a separate grant to ICHS in 2012 amounting to $150,000 to fund the 10-chair dental clinic in the ICHS Shoreline clinic slated to open in the fall of 2014.

Additionally, ICHS launched its own mobile dental clinic this month, and is scheduled to move from Aki Kurose Middle School, Cleveland High School, Franklin High School, Ingraham High School, Nathan Hale High School, Nova High School, Rainier Beach High School, Seattle World School, South Lake High School, to Washington Middle School throughout the school year. ICHS will work closely with these schools to develop a service delivery system that maximizes the clinic’s ability to serve those students with the greatest need.

For more than four decades, ICHS has been at the forefront in providing affordable and accessible health services to a broad range of vulnerable and neglected Asian-Pacific islanders, refugees and immigrants. ICHS continues to expand its services to meet the evolving and growing demands of the community it serves. Two more clinics are slated to open in 2014 in Bellevue and Shoreline,Washington.

Big smiles for new ICHS Mobile Dental Clinic

Seattle-area students now have a new and convenient option for dental care, right in their own schools. International Community Health Services (ICHS), a community health center based in Seattle, recently added mobile dental care to its growing list of services and will begin offering the option at several middle- and high-schools in Seattle this fall.

The fully-equipped ICHS Mobile Dental Clinic travels to schools during the week, providing convenient on-site services to students in need of dental care. ICHS also offers affordable and comprehensive dental care at its two full-service clinic locations in the International District and Holly Park. In 2014, ICHS will open two additional clinics in Bellevue and Shoreline, which will offer dental services as well.

“We are really excited to work with the schools to provide this service. Teachers, principals, and school nurses understand that if someone has a tooth ache it can be harder to pay attention in classes and it can make learning more difficult. An added value is that the time away from school is reduced when the services are provided on site,” noted Michael McKee, ICHS’s Director of Health Services and Community Partnerships. He continued, “Ultimately it’s about the students. We’ve seen shy students who rarely smile, gain confidence and blossom when their teeth were cleaner and healthier.”

Working in partnership with Seattle Public Schools, as well as Seattle-King County Public Health and Group Health, ICHS and the school-based health centers at each school help the students set up appointments, get necessary approvals from their parents or guardians, and apply for free or low-cost dental coverage.

“We are so fortunate to have this partnership with ICHS to provide dental care to our students. Our school based clinics provide preventive and primary health care and emotional-mental health care. Finding dental care has been a challenge. This partnership will provide a missing link in the total health care of our students, says Jean Gorecki, ARNP with Group Health at Washington Middle School.

On December 9, 2013 at 4:00pm, ICHS will host an “open house” to celebrate the addition of the new Mobile Dental Clinic. Guests will be able to tour the interior of the Mobile Dental Clinic and meet the ICHS Mobile Dental Clinic team. For more information, contact Maria Campanaro at mariaca@ichs.com or 206-788-4475.

Get a list of the Seattle-area schools served by the Mobile Dental Clinic.
Learn more about dental services at ICHS.
Find a dental provider at ICHS.

ICHS Achieves Highest Level Recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home

International Community Health Services (ICHS) was recently recognized with the highest recognition, Level 3 status, as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) through the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality.

ICHS’s International District and Holly Park clinics were both awarded with Level 3 Recognition after undergoing, extensive review of patient access, teamwork and technology operating standards. The PCMH model emphasizes team-led primary care, patient feedback and prevention.

“The top priority at ICHS is to work as a team with patients and offer the best care possible in an effective and efficient manner,” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO. “As a community health center, our goal has always been to provide comprehensive, affordable and culturally-competent care to anyone in need, and the PCMH approach makes sense for us.”

Under the PCMH model, ICHS patients receive care from a team of dedicated health care professionals. The health care team includes medical assistants, pharmacy staff, nurses, nutritionists, health educators, interpreters, eligibility experts, and referral coordinators who all coordinate their efforts to deliver best possible care for the patient.

Another component of the PCMH model is the use of electronic health records to enable team members, including outside specialists, to work together efficiently.

Dr. Grace Wang, ICHS Medical Director, adds, “This achievement is the result of an interdisciplinary effort by ICHS staff from several departments. The Holly Park pilot team led the way with developing, testing, and implementing methods to improve the care we provide to our patients. Thanks to everyone’s efforts, ICHS is one of the few community health centers in Washington State to achieve NCQA PCMH Level 3 Recognition.”

Learn more about NCQA
Learn more about PCMH Recognition

 

Federal Grant Will Aid in Holly Park Renovations

U.S. Grant of $500,000 to Support Renovations at Holly Park Clinic

International Community Health Services (ICHS) has received $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make improvements at its Holly Park clinic, including new dental chairs, cabinetry and equipment and a redesign of the pharmacy. The grant from the Department’s Health Resources and Services Administration will help ICHS cover an estimated $920,173 for renovations at its South Seattle clinic, which has seen more patients in recent years.

“We are excited to receive this grant,” Teresita Batayola, ICHS chief executive said. “The Holly Park clinic has overcrowded conditions and needs renovations. ICHS will begin the much-needed work this year so we can continue to provide quality and affordable medical, dental and other health care services in one of the most diverse areas in the country.”

The grant comes as visits to the Holly Park clinic have increased since 2005. In 2010, Holly Park had 10,946 dental visits, or a 47 percent increase compared to 2005. During the same years, medical visits soared by 40 percent to 21,048.

The Holly Park clinic occupies 13,350 square feet on two floors of the Othello Building, located at 3815 S. Othello St. While renovations occur, ICHS will do all it can to continue to accommodate its patients.

As part of the ICHS improvement plan, the dental area will receive two new operatories, medical and dental flooring will be replaced and the clinics repainted. The pharmacy at Holly Park will have new workspace, windows and a confidential patient consultation area. The waiting room will gain new seats after the conversion of a storage area. The Women, Infants and Children area on the first floor will get an automatic door opener for better access.

The $500,000 grant is being awarded as part of the Affordable Care Act. The improvement project will use $420,173 in private funding. The investment of $920,173 in renovation work also will support jobs in the Seattle area.

END

About ICHS

Founded in 1973, ICHS is a non-profit community health center offering affordable primary medical and dental care, acupuncture, laboratory, pharmacy, behavioral health and health education services. ICHS’ Seattle-area clinics serve over 18,000 patients each year. As the only community health center in Washington primarily serving Asians and Pacific Islanders, ICHS provides care in over 50 languages and dialects annually. ICHS is committed to improving the health of medically-underserved communities by providing affordable and in-language health care. For more information, please visit: www.ichs.com.

Contact: Brad Wong

P: 206.788.3672

E: bradw@ichs.com

Release Date: May 17, 2012

ICHS Receives Patient-Centered Medical Home Status

International Community Health Services Receives

Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition From National Group

International Community Health Services (ICHS) of Seattle has received national recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), joining a growing health care-industry movement that experts hope will save money and provide preventive, coordinated and quality care to people when and where they need it.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) of Washington, D.C. issued the recognition to ICHS based on an extensive review of the International District and Holly Park clinics. The PCMH model emphasizes team-led primary care, patient feedback and prevention. It differs from an uncoordinated health care approach, which can be more piecemeal.

“The PCMH approach makes sense. The No. 1 priority at ICHS is to work as a team with patients and offer the best care possible in an effective and efficient manner,” Teresita Batayola, chief executive of ICHS, said. “As a community health center, our goal has always been to provide comprehensive, affordable and culturally-competent care to anyone in need.”

ICHS is one of the few community health centers in Washington state to achieve NCQA PCMH status. ICHS, a federally-qualified health center, opened in 1973 to offer multilingual care, especially to elderly Asian Pacific Islanders.

Under the PCMH model, ICHS patients can receive care from medical, behavioral health and dental providers. A health care team also has medical and dental assistants, pharmacy staff, nurses, interpreters, eligibility experts and referral coordinators. Nutritionists and health educators are available for patient consultations.

The team members coordinate their efforts in pursuit of patient health and quality of life. For example, a patient might receive care from a medical doctor but also speak with a nutritionist or health educator to learn more about dealing with a specific condition.

ICHS has electronic medical and dental records, which are part of the PCMH model. Electronic records enable health care team members, including outside specialists, to receive patient information in a timely manner.

“The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of 21st century primary care that combines access, teamwork and technology to deliver quality care and improve health,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “NCQA’s PCMH 2011 recognition shows that ICHS has the tools, systems and resources to provide their patients with the right care at the right time.”

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA issued the PCMH status to ICHS under its 2011 standards, which are more comprehensive.

 END

 

About ICHS
Founded in 1973, ICHS is a non-profit community health center offering affordableprimary medical and dental care, acupuncture, laboratory, pharmacy, behavioral health and health education services. ICHS’ two Seattle-area clinics serve over 18,000 patients each year. As the only community health center in Washington primarily serving Asians and Pacific Islanders, ICHS provides care in over 50 languages and dialects annually. ICHS is committed to improving the health of medically-underserved communities by providing affordable and in-language health care. For more information, please visit: www.ichs.com.

Contact: Brad Wong

P: 206.788.3672

E: bradw@ichs.com

Release Date: May 7, 2012