International Community Health Services (ICHS) leadership was in Olympia on Feb. 1, for Joint Legislative Days. They joined 82 CEOs, board members and senior staff representing 20 community health centers, at the state capital to advocate for a shared legislative agenda, as organized by the Washington Association of Community & Migrant Health Centers and Community Health Network Washington.
This was a chance for health centers to advocate directly to legislators on behalf of patients.Teresita Batayola, ICHS president and CEO, and ICHS board members Gildas Cheung, Hiroshi Nakano, Kelli Nomura and Lee Marchisio participated in 18 meetings with state legislators and their staff, representing the key districts where ICHS patients live.
In these meetings, Batayola and ICHS board members thanked legislators for their leadership in passing the state’s capital budget, which will fuel the ICHS Shoreline Clinic’s dental care expansion and new AiPACE senior care program. They reiterated the importance of protecting the health safety net, and reminded lawmakers that Washington Apple Health and the Children’s Health Insurance Program keep people healthy, productive and employed. Most importantly, they made sure those in Olympia heard the stories of ICHS — our patients and their families, our providers and our communities.