News

In memory of ICHS’s Duane Wald: 1953-2018

Since his hire in 2012, Duane Wald, ICHS construction representative, played an important role in all International Community Health Services’ (ICHS) construction and expansion projects. Wald, in particular, was instrumental in successfully building and launching the organization’s Bellevue, Shoreline and vision clinics, overseeing contractors and builders, from initial groundbreaking to opening day and beyond.

Wald passed away on July 12, leaving behind many colleagues and community members who will miss his resourceful and constant presence, and his dedicated work to keep the facilities at ICHS’s eight clinic locations in excellent condition and repair.

“Duane was hard to miss, the tallest guy at ICHS,” said Tim McDade, ICHS facilities supervisor. “If you saw him walking down the corridor of your clinic it usually meant something was getting fixed. He was extremely dedicated in his willingness to show up for work at any hour, day or night. During power outages he would help transfer vaccines between clinics. When a pipe froze and burst early in the morning, Duane was the first to show up.”

“Duane leaves behind many at ICHS who will miss him,” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO. “Duane worked construction in Seattle for many years. He was with a large construction firm when he supervised the International District remodel in 2009. He was skeptical of community clinics but became curious about our impact on people. Then he came out of retirement to help ICHS build the Shoreline and Bellevue clinics. He loved ICHS and was fiercely protective of our sites. He was a huge part of the facility department.”

Wald is survived by his wife Zola, son Jerome and daughter Helki. Among his requests to friends and family was that they refrain from a memorial or donations, and remember him for his donation of his body to UW Medicine for research.

ICHS appoints Asqual Getaneh, MD as medical director

Minority health expert will address disparities among King County’s increasingly diverse residents

International Community Health Services (ICHS) today announced Asqual Getaneh, MD has been hired as medical director. Dr. Getaneh will oversee medical staff to ensure the continuous delivery of high quality, high impact care at ICHS’s eight medical clinics, located in Seattle, Bellevue and Shoreline.

Dr. Getaneh, who is Ethiopian American, speaks English, Spanish and Amharic, broadening her accessibility for ICHS patients and staff, who reflect a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. She has focused her career and research on improving health outcomes among minority, immigrant and refugee communities. Prior to her position with ICHS, Dr. Getaneh served as a medical director of a health center at Unity Health Care, the largest community health system in Washington, D.C.

“Dr. Getaneh’s background in global and community health, combined with research and success improving health outcomes among minority and underserved populations will strengthen ICHS’s capacity to connect area residents to language accessible and culturally sensitive health services.” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO. “Her appointment reflects ICHS’s ongoing work to build greater health equity. I’m pleased to welcome her back to Seattle as we welcome her to ICHS.”

“I look forward to Dr. Getaneh’s impact as ICHS continues to add health services and grow capacity to reflect the area’s changing needs. Through her past work and research, she has insight, in particular, that will allow us to better evaluate and meet the needs of King County’s emerging East African and Latino populations,” said Rayburn Lewis, ICHS chief medical officer. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in working with diverse communities.”

Previously Dr. Getaneh served as an associate clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and as an attending physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She continued her work in Washington, D.C., as an attending physician in internal medicine at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and a research physician for MedStar Health Research Institute, where she focused on diabetes and hypertension research. Dr. Getaneh’s work, on topics ranging from the prevalence of diabetes, obesity and hypertension; diabetes control in Hispanics; and weight loss attempts among new immigrants, has been published in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of General Internal Medicine and the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. She is a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Diabetes Association, the National Medical Association and the Society of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Getaneh has a medical degree and masters of public health from the University of Washington. She completed an internship in internal medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City, where she also completed a residency in primary care internal medicine. While in New York, she studied nutrition at the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.