ICHS Breaks Ground on Shoreline Medical
and Dental Clinic, Expanding Beyond Seattle
Seattle-based International Community Health Services (ICHS) launched the start of its Shoreline health clinic on Monday, Aug. 6 with construction crews knocking down a vacant restaurant to make way for a 20,000-square-foot medical and dental building.
The Shoreline clinic marks a regional expansion for ICHS, which started in Seattle in 1973. The estimated $12 million project, scheduled to open in 2014, will be the first community health center in that city. The $12 million estimate includes purchase of the site.
The full-service clinic will open on one-acre at 16549 Aurora Ave. N., a central location in the North King County city. It will offer medical, dental, behavioral health, language interpretation, financial screening and insurance enrollment help to residents in Shoreline and the Puget Sound region.
“We have been planning this project for five years but the economy slowed things down. The timing is now right,” Teresita Batayola, ICHS chief executive officer said. “As a health center open to everyone, ICHS is committed to providing quality, affordable and multilingual health services where people need them.”
Based on studies, ICHS has identified North King County as an area with a high need for affordable health care and timely access to services.
ICHS has been briefing Shoreline city officials about the new clinic. On Monday, Shoreline Mayor Keith McGlashan, City Manager Julie Underwood and other senior city officials visited the site to observe the demolition.
“We’re excited that ICHS is coming to Shoreline,” McGlashan said, adding that some Shoreline residents have had to leave the city for medical help. “We’re excited they will be able to stay in Shoreline to get those services.”
The Shoreline clinic will have 16 medical exam rooms, two procedure rooms, a laboratory, waiting areas and support space. The clinic’s dental area will start with 10 dental chairs to treat patients, as well as waiting areas and work space.
In addition to in-clinic services provided by health care teams, ICHS uses a unique approach as a community health center. It has bilingual outreach and education staff members who attend community events to answer health questions and raise awareness. Also, each year, ICHS provides health care in more than 50 languages and dialects.
ICHS leaders are working with Miller Hayashi Architects, LLC to design the Shoreline building. ICHS already operates four clinics in Seattle.
With the Shoreline clinic, ICHS is positioning itself to meet the needs of newly-insured patients who will receive coverage in 2014 because of the Affordable Care Act. ICHS also is working on opening a clinic in Bellevue.
In 2010, the city of Shoreline had 53,007 residents. Of that population, 15.5 percent are Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. Many of the city’s Asian Pacific Islander population live off Aurora Avenue North, which is also known as Highway 99.
The Shoreline clinic project also started in a timely way – during National Health Center Week, which runs through Saturday, Aug. 11.