Beloved International District activist and medic Donnie Chin, who provided emergency medical services for over four decades before his tragic murder last July, will be honored along with the Washington Dental Service Foundation (WDSF), a funder that has provided several large grants to support the expansion of dental services for low-income immigrant populations at International Community Health Services (ICHS).
Chin and WDSF have been named recipients of the 2016 Bamboo Award for Health by the ICHS Foundation. The Foundation will present the awards at its annual Bloom Gala on Saturday, May 21 at the Westin Seattle Hotel.
Each year, ICHS honors one individual and one organization whose service has improved the lives of ICHS target populations of disadvantaged and underserved residents. The gala brings together approximately 400 of the agency’s closest supporters in a fundraising effort to support the costs of uncompensated care. Last year, ICHS provided over $1 million in charity care to low-income patients who could not afford to pay for services.
“We take special pride in presenting the 2016 Bamboo Award for Health to Donnie Chin and Washington Dental Service Foundation because they both exemplify the best in selfless support for the ICHS mission of providing culturally and linguistically appropriate health services to improve the health of Asian Pacific Islanders and the broader community,” ICHS Foundation Executive Director Ron Chew said.
Chin, 59 at the time of his murder, was killed in the International District on July 23, 2015 in what police believe to have been a crossfire between rival groups. To date, the perpetrators have not been apprehended. Chin founded the International District Emergency Center (IDEC) in 1968 in an effort to provide emergency medical services to low-income residents living in the area, especially the frail elderly and immigrant families living in the hotels. Over the years, Chin worked closely with ICHS staff and medical providers in serving both the ID as well as the broader Asian Pacific American community.
Chin’s sister, Connie, will accept the Bamboo Health Award on behalf of her late brother. Connie herself served as executive director of the Denise Louie Education Center during the agency’s formative early years.
“Donnie had a very special relationship with ICHS,” Connie Chin recalled. “Donnie had started up IDEC a few years before ICHS was established. This was a symbiotic relationship that lasted for a long time. Donnie would take care of the emergency medical situations that would come up and ICHS was able to take it to the next level of providing regular ongoing medical services. He saw the staff on a daily basis and was very close to them. Donnie knew some of the staff most of his life.”
The organizational recipient of the 2016 Bamboo Health Award, WDSF, is a non-profit funded by Delta Dental of Washington. It has an outstanding track record of supporting community efforts to improve the oral health of local residents, especially among low-income and immigrant populations, providing grants and educating policymakers about the importance of oral health.
“Washington Dental Service Foundation is honored to be one of the recipients of the 2016 Bamboo Award,” stated Diane Oakes, president and CEO of Washington Dental Service Foundation. “Our partnership with ICHS has resulted in thousands of individuals being able to access needed dental care which is essential to their overall health.”
The Bloom Gala will take place on May 21 at the Westin Seattle, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and the program starting at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the 2016 Bloom Gala are available at www.ichs.com/bloom. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 788-3672.