ICHS raises $280,000 at 2019 Bloom Gala fundraiser

International Community Health Services (ICHS) Foundation raised a record-breaking $280,000 at its annual Bloom Gala, held on April 27 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. Approximately 400 guests attended to help ICHS guarantee health services for uninsured patients. Last year, ICHS provided over $1 million in uncompensated care.

“Our thanks to our sponsors and supporters for giving from the heart to help us put health and wellness within everyone’s reach,” said ICHS Foundation Director Ron Chew. “When people and families are healthy, they can live more fully and contribute more so our families, communities and cities thrive.”

Among the major gifts was a $10,750 check Revered Derek Nakano presented to Chew. The gift came from proceeds from the Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church’s 2019 Sukiyaki Dinner.

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, Sam Wan, former CEO of Kin On Health Care Center, and the Seattle Chinatown-International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda), a longtime non-profit partner, were recognized with the 2019 Bamboo Awards for Health.

ICHS CEO Teresita Batayola called for all present to extend their support beyond the event and into their communities. She asked guests to join her in honoring the legacy left by Jan Ko Fisher, ICHS’s longest serving board member, who passed away in late 2018.

“Show up and act in all kinds of ways to fight injustice and assure basic human rights,” said Batayola. “Showing up honors the fierce commitment of Jan Ko Fisher, the hundreds of volunteers like her, and the hundreds of ICHS staff who treat, counsel and support our patients and families in the region, regardless of status. ICHS is here to keep access to quality health care alive for generations.”

Anh Ta, ICHS nurse practitioner resident, made remarks that brought home the enduring value of the ICHS mission. She described how her family emigrated from Vietnam in 2002. Unable to speak English and afraid, Anh described being welcomed at ICHS, no questions asked, by staff who “spoke my language.” One day, she vowed, she would come back to work at ICHS and give back to her community.