On May 6, hundreds of supporters showed up to ‘Raise the Paddle’ and give health care to those who need it most. The International Community Health Services (ICHS) Foundation raised more than $218,000 at its annual Bloom Gala at the downtown Seattle Sheraton to support uncompensated patient care delivered within ICHS clinics.
Last year, ICHS provided $1.3 million in care to low-income patients who could not afford to pay for services.
“As ICHS marks its 44th year and looks toward its 45th anniversary, we have been fortunate to have the support of people passionate about ensuring health care to the community and equally committed to our longevity and success, “said ICHS Foundation director Ron Chew. “I thank all ICHS supporters and friends for giving us so many reasons to celebrate tonight.”
ICHS annually honors one individual and one organization for their service and contributions to the health and well-being of Asian Pacific Islander and immigrant communities. This year, Allen Muramoto, MD and Country Doctor Community Health Centers were recognized with the 2017 Bamboo Awards for Health.
The Bloom Gala took place just four days after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and passed the American Health Care Act, a bill that threatens millions of Americans’ access to affordable health care. ICHS CEO Teresita Batayola was passionate and straightforward in calling for a defense of health care coverage for low-income immigrants and communities of color. Her remarks brought a standing ovation as she referenced ICHS’ roots in offering hope to those who had little, and a safe harbor for those who might otherwise be turned away.
Batayola challenged attendees to join her in the fight ahead.
“We are fortunate to be in a state that believes in taking care of its low income, uninsured and under-insured residents. But the state will potentially lose $1.4 billion a year if the U.S. Senate adopts what the House passed,’ she said. “We need our entire community to reach out to their friends and families in other states to make sure that the U.S. Senate does not pass the AHCA.”