ICHS Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

On June 24, 2020, International Community Health Services (ICHS) released the following statement of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, outlining our 10 demands for police reform and our commitments to fighting systemic racism.


We are outraged and saddened by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and Rayshard Brooks. Their deaths are endemic to the crisis of police brutality and structural racism in this country. We also remember and honor the lives of our Black neighbors and community members who were killed by police here in Washington: Charleena Lyles, Manuel Ellis, Che Taylor, Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens and many others.

As public health advocates and as a health center dedicated to serving our communities and promoting health equity for all, we are committed to challenging racism and the system that upholds it. We stand in solidarity with those calling for racial justice, police accountability and criminal justice reform. We stand in solidarity with our Black family members, colleagues, friends and communities to say enough is enough. Black Lives Matter.

ICHS reaffirms its birthright as an organization founded to assure access to quality health care for those who need it. We recommit ourselves to dismantling systemic racism that manifests as health inequities and police violence as well as anti-Blackness in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in which we are rooted.


“In recent weeks, the U.S. has seen nationwide protests demanding justice and the end of police killings of Black Americans. These protests have further illuminated the long standing systemic racism that exists in America. But we know that racism is deeply embedded. As a community health center, we see firsthand its impact on the health of our communities. As an organization dedicated to health equity, we commit to challenging racism in our police departments and working with our community partners on bold steps forward.”

– Teresita Batayola
ICHS President and CEO

 

Asqual Getanek, medical director and physician, ICHS International District Clinic

“The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the well documented health disparities that stem from systemic racism and the implicit and explicit biases in testing and delivery of care. As health care workers, we embrace justice as one of the four pillars of biomedical ethics – the others being autonomy, non-maleficence and beneficence. We all have a responsibility to look introspectively into our own implicit biases.”

– Dr. Asqual Getaneh
ICHS Chief Medical Officer

Congressman Adam Smith visits ICHS to hear API community concerns following the Covid-19 epidemic

Group Photo
L-R: Michael Byun, executive director at Asian Counseling & Referral Service, Teresita Batayola, CEO and President at ICHS, Maiko Winkler-Chin, executive director at Seattle Chinatown-International District Preservation and Development Authority, Congressman Adam Smith, Ron Chew, foundation executive director at ICHS, Nigel Lo, CEO at KinOn, and Dr. Asqual Getaneh, ICHS chief medical officer. Photo by Rick Wong.

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9) visited the International Community Health Services (ICHS) medical-dental clinic in the Chinatown-International District on March 6, to address the impacts Covid-19, also known as the coronavirus, is having on the local Asian Pacific Islander community. The congressman joined Teresita Batayola. ICHS CEO, Dr. Asqual Getaneh, ICHS chief medical officer, and leaders from several neighboring nonprofits, including Maiko Winkler-Chin, executive director at Seattle Chinatown-International District Preservation and Development Authority, Michael Byun, executive director at Asian Counseling & Referral Service, and Nigel Lo, CEO at KinOn.

One of the key topics of discussion was how community health service providers are faring amid the outbreak. ICHS has been proactively working with public health officials in Public Health — Seattle & King County and staff of the County Executive and Seattle Mayor’s office to coordinate its response and to educate the public on personal hygiene and social distancing to decrease the risk of transmission.

“Local and state health workers across Washington are working around the clock to combat the coronavirus outbreak and I thank them for their lifesaving efforts,” said Rep. Smith.

Photo of Meeting
Community members discuss efforts to address Covid-19 with Rep. Adam Smith. Photo by Rick Wong.

Community leaders also discussed concerns regarding the impact on Asian-owned businesses and workers, as well as more vulnerable members of the community, such as the elderly. They reported an increase in anti-Asian bias and xenophobia, and shared suggestions on how the congressman and others in government could offer their support and additional resources.

“It is critical that members of the community follow guidance of health experts and avoid misinformation about coronavirus,” said. Rep. Smith. “Misinformation has led to the stigmatization of those of Asian descent based on fear and xenophobia – this is a danger to the wellbeing of our communities and to public health. We must remain unified and vigilant at this critical time to combat this epidemic and to uphold our resilient and diverse communities. I applaud ICHS, ACRS, Kin On, and other community partners for their dedication to protecting the health and wellbeing of all of our community members.”

“We appreciate Congressman Adam Smith’s longtime support – he is a strong ally as we work to address the challenges of the Covid-19 outbreak together,” said Batayola. “His visit today offered a valuable chance to discuss his impact and how we can work collectively to keep our local community members safe and healthy, and help reduce the misinformed racist stigma against Asian Americans.”

City of Seattle joins AiPACE to help elders age in place

AiPACE team with Mayor Durkan
(From left) Mika Kurose Rothmann, Senior Deputy Mayor Michael Fong, Tagoipah Mathno, Ruthann Kurose, Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, Ron Chew, Heidi Wong

The Seattle City Council approved $1 million to construct a new senior care facility on North Beacon Hill. This is a major milestone adding to the $4.5 million state appropriations towards the $20 million goal for Aging in PACE Washington (AiPACE), a joint partnership between International Community Health Services (ICHS) and Kin On Health Care Center (Kin On).

A successful campaign will result in a 25,000-square-foot senior care facility built on the vacant north parking lot of the Pacific Medical Center as part of a larger development to include 262 units of affordable housing and an early childhood center.

“We’re grateful that the city has come on board in helping seniors age with dignity in their community,” said Paul Mar, AiPACE capital campaign co-chair. “Having the option to age at home is something we want for every senior, myself included!”

AiPACE will provide integrated health care to allow seniors to “age in place” while delaying or preventing the need for institutional care. Participants and their caregivers receive easy access to preventive, primary, long-term care, and support services. Studies have shown that participants in this care model report being happier, healthier and more independent than their counterparts in nursing homes.

“As our city continues to address the challenge of affordability, it’s crucial that we make investments that allow our senior neighbors to remain in the communities they’ve known,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “Our elders enhance the vibrancy of our community and help to impart the deep cultural knowledge of our neighborhoods and region. I’m delighted that we can support this vital program.”

The $1 million city award towards creating home and community-based senior services is especially timely as our region faces a crisis in elder care. The latest statistics show that over 19 nursing homes in Washington have either closed or announced closure within the last three years.

“With partnership from public and private funders, AiPACE aims to lead the way in revitalizing elder care for our region and beyond,” commented Martha Choe, AiPACE capital campaign co-chair.

For more information about AiPACE, please contact Heidi Wong at 206.788.3585 or heidiw@aipace.org.

ICHS announces medical and operations leaders

Photos
On left, Rachel Koh, ICHS chief operating officer and on right, Dr. Asqual Getaneh, ICHS chief medical officer.

 

International Community Health Services (ICHS) announces leadership promotions that reflect an up-and-coming generation of community health leaders from within the organization. Dr. Asqual Getaneh, ICHS medical director, is named chief medical officer in charge of all of ICHS medical care. Rachel Koh, vice president of pharmacy and business development, is the new chief operating officer.

“Dr. Asqual Getaneh and Rachel Koh are strong leaders steeped in community health,” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS president and CEO. “We are excited that their vision, energy and knowledge will help us sustain patient-centered care that meet the needs of the diverse communities we serve.”

Dr. Getaneh has served as ICHS medical director since 2018. Prior to her position with ICHS, she was a medical director at Unity Health Care, the largest community health system in Washington, D.C. An expert in global health and research to improve health equity among minority populations, Dr. Getaneh was previously an associate clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and practiced internal medicine for more than 20 years for organizations including New York Presbyterian Hospital, MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Health Research Institute.  

Dr. Getaneh was specifically recruited by Dr. Rayburn Lewis, ICHS chief medical officer, to succeed him. Dr. Lewis will take on a new assignment as medical leader for the ICHS Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a Medicaid/Medicare program to help those who are nursing-home-eligible to age in place with a comprehensive suite of health care, socialization and transportation services.

Since 2018, Koh has overseen the operation of three ICHS pharmacies, including the successful rollout of advanced technology applications and the delivery of services to boost patient access to high quality treatments and medication. Previously, she served as vice president of clinical product strategy for ZeOmega, where she helped develop new product and market strategies. Prior to that, Koh was the associate vice president of pharmacy services for Community Health Plan of Washington. Koh has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical and health care leadership experience.  

Federal Government Names ICHS ‘National Quality Leader’

 

International Community Health Services (ICHS) was recently awarded $84,169 in Affordable Care Act funding by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to recognize and expand quality improvement efforts among the top health centers in the nation.

 

ICHS is the only community health center in Seattle-King County and one of only four in the state of Washington to be cited by the federal government as a “National Quality Leader” for exceeding national clinical benchmarks for chronic disease management, preventive care, and perinatal/prenatal services. By recognizing the top community health centers, the federal government wants to demonstrate the critical role they play in promoting higher quality health care nationwide.

 

The Seattle-based health center also was recognized for being among the top health centers that achieved the best overall clinical outcomes; and for showing significant improvement in clinical quality measures between 2012 and 2013.

 

“We are very proud and gratified to receive this award and recognition because these are merit based and only given to health centers that meet the rigorous standards set by the federal government for improving patient care,” ICHS CEO Teresita Batayola said.

 

She said the funds will be used to further improve the quality of care given to ICHS patients and clients.

 

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced on Tuesday (Dec. 9) the award of $36.3 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 1,113 health centers throughout the U.S. to recognize health center quality improvement achievements and invest in ongoing quality improvement activities.

 

“This funding rewards health centers that have a proven track record in clinical quality improvement, which translates to better patient care,” Secretary Burwell said.

 

ICHS is a non-profit federally qualified community health center that offers culturally and linguistically appropriate affordable health care services to Seattle and King County’s Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and other underserved communities for 40 years. ICHS operates medical and dental centers in Seattle’s International District and Holly Park neighborhoods, as well as in the cities of Bellevue and Shoreline; a school-based health center at the Seattle World School, and a primary care clinic at ACRS, a social and mental health services agency in Seattle.

 

Click here to read the press release from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

 

Click here for a list of FY 2015 Quality Improvement Awards recipients.

 

About ICHS
Founded in 1973, ICHS is a non-profit community health center offering affordable primary medical and dental care, acupuncture, laboratory, pharmacy, behavioral health WIC, and health education services. ICHS’ four full-service medical and dental clinics — located in Seattle’s International District and Holly Park neighborhoods; and in the cities of Bellevue and Shoreline — serve over 20,000 patients each year. As the only community health center in Washington primarily serving Asians and Pacific Islanders, ICHS provides care in over 50 languages and dialects annually. ICHS is committed to improving the health of medically-underserved communities by providing affordable and in-language health care. For more information, please visit: www.ichs.com