2014 ICHS in the News

Still uninsured? It’s not too late, ICHS can help with ‘Obamacare’
The International Examiner, February 3, 2014

While Washington has a higher number of enrollees in its state exchange program compared to other states, many people have reported issues accessing and navigating the online marketplace known as Healthplanfinder (wahealthplanfinder.org). For many Asian Pacific Americans in Seattle’s International District, the challenges have been magnified due to language barriers and unfamiliarity with the new system.
Get full story

Nakano named to Washington Health Benefit Exchange board
Northwest Asian Weekly, February 3, 2014

As a member of the board, Hiroshi Nakano said in a statement that he wants “to make sure that the Exchange stays responsive to the consumer and provides the broadest possible access to the public, especially to vulnerable and underserved populations and those who have difficulty accessing the website.”
Get full story

Asian Pacific Islander Coalition outlines legislative agenda
The International Examiner, February 1, 2014

Members of the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) have taken the stance on several pressing issues which included API related interests pertaining to minimum wage, education, paid sick leave, and healthcare.
Get full story

2013 ICHS in the News


Immigrant service providers frustrated with Healthplanfinder site
The Seattle Globalist, December 17, 2013

ICHS unveils mobile dental clinic this December
The Capitol Hill Times, December 11, 2013

District gives Seattle World School a permanent home
Northwest Asian Weekly, November 29, 2013

‘Obamacare’: Organizations help Washington state APIs overcome language barriers, indecision
The International Examiner, November 7, 2013

Time to Talk: APIs comprise half of all people with Hepatitis B in the U.S.
International Examiner, October 18, 2013

ICHS to help Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese speakers with health care enrollment
Northwest Asian Weekly, October 11, 2013


Message from the International District Clinic Site Director

2014 Annual Report Cover web fileThank you for your interest in becoming a family medicine resident and a part of our family at International Community Health Services (ICHS).  As the most recent addition to the five clinic sites of the Swedish Family Medicine Residency/Cherry Hill, we are excited to match our first residents in 2016. ICHS and the Swedish Family Medicine Residency/Cherry Hill share the same goal: to train and inspire medical providers to provide evidence-based, quality healthcare to underserved, economically disadvantaged, culturally diverse, and disenfranchised communities.

The ICHS Family Medicine Site is in the heart of downtown Seattle’s historic International District. We like to say ICHS is a place where you can practice international medicine without leaving the center of Seattle.

In 1973, a small group of community members and medical students created a free health clinic for low-income retired Chinese and Filipino elders living in Seattle’s International District.  Its mission: to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate health services to improve the health of Asian Pacific Islanders and the broader community. Today, ICHS is a Federally Qualified Health Center, is recognized as a premier healthcare provider, and is the largest provider of health care to Asian Pacific Islanders in Washington State.  Our mission has not changed, and our reach has grown from one small storefront clinic in the International District, to seven clinics throughout the Seattle metropolitan area, including a school based clinic and mobile dental unit.

The family medicine residency is located at our founding clinic in the International District, one of Seattle’s oldest and most vibrant neighborhoods.  At the International District Clinic, you will see a diversity of patients: 90% are persons of color, 75% have limited English and need interpretation services, with over 40 languages served, 44% are at or below the Federal Poverty Level, 5% are homeless. Your patients will be your greatest teachers.

The high-volume obstetrics at ICHS provides you the opportunity to care for continuity OB patients and their newborns. And your care for these families will often expand to include other family members, spanning multiple generations. As part of your OB training, you will be trained in using our in-house ultrasound.

You will also see a great deal of medical complexity in our adult and geriatric patients. Twenty-five percent of our patients are over the age of 65. We have a close partnership with Legacy House, an assisted living facility located next door. All of their clients have primary care providers at our clinic. You will have several opportunities to learn and practice outpatient procedures including joint injections, skin lesion excisions, colposcopy, and using ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms.

At ICHS you and your patients will be part of a multidisciplinary team that may include interpretation, pharmacy, dentistry, nutrition, psychology, social work, health education, community advocacy, acupuncture, and Chinese traditional medicine. In addition, you will collaborate with other learners in our organization, including ARNP residents, pharmacy students, dental residents, psychology interns, and medical students. At ICHS, collaboration and teamwork are essential elements of providing quality care for our patients.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions. I may be reached at (206) 788-3745 or by email at chrisy@ichs.com.  I look forward to meeting you and discussing how your passion for community health will make a difference in our community.


Christopher Yee, MD


ICHS welcomes new AmeriCorps Patient Navigators

ICHS AmeriCorps 2015

By Pia B. Sampaga-Khim, ICHS Health Education Supervisor
Please welcome our new group of AmeriCorps Patient Navigators (Left to Right: Linhchi Pham, Veronica Yu, Mike Nguy, and Dicken Leung).  They are an enthusiastic bunch who are excited to get started. Patient Navigation services will begin September 22!

Community HealthCorps is the largest health-focused, national AmeriCorps program that promotes health care for America’s underserved.  Because of this program, ICHS is able to provide services that we would otherwise refer out.  They assist our patients in accessing social resources, medical equipment, and help provide financial counseling.

They also are the faces behind our Reach Out and Read program, our waiting room literacy project, and our monthly community kitchens.  Our AmeriCorps Patient Navigators help contribute to our overall mission in improving the health of Asian/Pacific Islanders and the broader community.

Here’s some more information about our new AmeriCorps Patient Navigators:

Name: Veronica Yu

Hometown: Boston, MA

Language: Mandarin / Spanish

What do you look forward to most during your 10 months at ICHS?  I most look forward to working with an inspirational group of people – both at ICHS and in the community – and learning from them how holistic, culturally sensitive healthcare is best delivered.

Name: Linhchi Pham

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Language: Vietnamese

What do you look forward to most during your 10 months at ICHS?  I am excited to learn in a community health center while working with patients to solve problems.

Name: Dicken Leung

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Language: Cantonese

What do you look forward to most during your 10 months at ICHS?  Interacting with patients in the clinic and building relationships within the community.

Name: Mike Nguy

Hometown: Sacramento,CA

Language: Vietnamese and Spanish

What do you look forward to most during your 10 months at ICHS?  I look forward to trying all the food places surrounding ICHS. In addition, I look forward to meeting the staff and working alongside with you all.

If you see them around the clinics, be sure to give them an ICHS welcome!

ICHS Video Pays Tribute to Longtime Nurse Practitioner Pam Roney

Remembering Pamela Roney web graphic

A little over a year ago, longtime ICHS Nurse Practitioner Pam Roney passed away.

This week, ICHS staff viewed a video giving tribute to their much beloved and missed colleague. A special guest at the video screening was Mr. Bob Roney, Pam’s husband, who shared some words about Pam and how she found a home in ICHS.

The short video, produced by Khanh Ho and Herbert Atienza, features interviews that tell of how Pam impacted ICHS and how her legacy and inspiration continues. Pam died Aug. 19, 2014. Here’s an excerpt from the obituary notice that ran in the Seattle Times:

“Pam was a Nurse Practitioner at the International Community Health Services in Seattle for over 13 years. She worked until being forced to retire by her illness. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Texas Women’s University, Denton, TX and her Master’s degree from Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA. She was a member since her undergraduate days of Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing. The CEO at ICHS had described her as “one of the fiercest women I know” and “such an appreciated truth-teller and guide as she raised concerns about our patients and how we care for them”. She was also remembered as “a big part of who ICHS is”. A Medical Director at ICHS described her as “a big person in a small frame. She leaves a big shadow”. A memorial was held at ICHS on Friday, September 19th [2014], at which friends and colleagues remembered her kind heart, generosity of spirit, and exceptional patient care. What more beautiful gift could Pam have given the world than a lifetime filled with caring and kindness.”

You may view the video by clicking here.

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.

ICHS Board Supports King County Prop 1 — Best Starts for Kids

Best Starts for Kids

The ICHS Board of Directors has expressed support for King County Prop 1 — Best Starts for Kids, an initiative that will improve the health and well-being of the community by investing in prevention and early intervention for King County’s children, youth, families, and communities.

In order to assure that children are healthy, safe, and ready to learn, we have to strengthen families and communities by investing in early interventions that set kids up for success!

Click here to read a letter to the editor of Shoreline Area News from ICHS Board President Gildas Cheung outlining the need to support Best Starts for Kids.