ICHS lights up National Health Center Week

Lots to celebrate at an Aug. 10 staff appreciation event at the ICHS International District clinic.

 

International Community Health Services (ICHS) helped highlight the value of the nation’s health centers during National Health Center Week, an annual national celebration to raise public awareness and legislative support, held from Aug. 9 to 15.

Staff, patients and state lawmakers joined ICHS to observe this year’s theme, “Lighting the Way for Healthier Communities Today and in the Future,” which honored frontline providers, staff and patients who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a series of virtual meetings with Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA9), Rep. Kim Schrier (D-WA8) and Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA1), ICHS CEO Teresita Batayola shared the innovative steps ICHS has taken to address the needs of the community in the face of extraordinary challenges. She underscored the urgent call for Congress to act to secure reauthorization of mandatory funding for community health centers by October.

“Our sustainability is being threatened as we bring great value,” said Batayola. “Community health centers are critical in ensuring access to health care and information, outreach and engagement. The pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but especially for people who have low incomes or have lost their jobs or health insurance.”

After King County emerged as an early epicenter of the health crisis in March, ICHS quickly responded with new models of care, including telehealth and in-home visits, prescription deliveries, drive-thru testing sites and testing targeted to specific populations. ICHS has also served as a strong voice in advocating against anti-Asian stigma and bias.

ICHS has struggled with PPE shortages and decreased demand for primary care and preventative services, as patients shelter at home and avoid in-person health visits out of fear. This has led to reduced revenue. An infusion of federal funding – both emergency and long-term – is critical if ICHS and the nation’s community health centers are to continue to meet need and demand.

“It’s a really important thing to have health care access for everyone,” said Beth Weitensteiner, assistant medical director at the ICHS Holly Park Clinic. Weitensteiner joined other ICHS staff members, patients and board members to express gratitude for ICHS and its promise of affordable health care in a series of YouTube videos celebrating National Health Center Week. “Clinics like ours are the clinics that are on the front line, making sure that everyone has affordable, good access to health care.”

An Aug. 10 panel discussion with Rep. Kim Schrier centered on keeping kids healthy during COVID-19 and the work of ICHS’s school-based health centers.
The ICHS leadership team showed its appreciation during an Aug. 12 virtual visit and discussion with Rep. Suzan DelBene.
On Aug. 12, Rep. Adam Smith joined ICHS CEO Teresita Batayola and other local health center leaders for a roundtable discussion of pandemic-related concerns.

 

National Health Center Week festivities also included staff appreciation lunches and patient appreciation events at ICHS’s full-service clinics in the International District, Holly Park, Bellevue and Shoreline. Check out highlights here on Flickr.

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

ICHS Foundation raises over $270,000 for patient care during unprecedented times

Banner

The International Community Health Services Foundation raised over $270,000 during the first-ever Bloom Online Fundraiser, surpassing an initial goal of $200,000. Hundreds contributed as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a virtual fundraising strategy in light of new uncertainties and social distancing.

All donations directly serve over 32,000 ICHS patients across King County to provide discounted and free health services in over 50 languages. The funds will help mitigate the impacts of a pandemic that has taken a financial toll on many families in the region, making vital health services out of reach.

“I want to thank our generous sponsors and donors, whose support for ICHS never wavered amidst the uncertainties that this pandemic brought,” writes Leeching Tran, ICHS Foundation Board president. “When we realized that our in-person luncheon originally scheduled for April 25th could no longer take place, we worried about how it would affect our fundraising efforts. I’m relieved and touched that our supporters came out stronger than ever to continue to give to ICHS.”

ICHS continues to adapt and respond to the changing health needs of the diverse communities it serves, including hosting COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites, rolling out telehealth services and working with community partners to bolster wellness through food and meal programs, at-home visits and other means of support.

 


2020 Sponsors

A message from our interim chief dental officer

To our esteemed patients,

Let me be the first to welcome you back! ICHS has reopened our dental clinics following Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement on Monday, May 18 that dental services can resume. We are taking every possible precaution to ensure the safety and well-being of you and your loved ones so you can get the preventative care you deserve. In addition to in-person appointments, we have telemedicine options available for virtual visits.

Over the past few weeks, our dental teams have received training on safety policies and procedures to deliver care during this unprecedented time. We have also made all necessary changes to meet Washington state public health criteria for reopening.

While things may be different at our clinics, one thing hasn’t changed: our commitment to your health.

International District Dental Clinic
Monday to Friday, 9 am-5 pm

Holly Park Dental Clinic
Tuesday to Saturday, 9 am-5 pm

Bellevue Dental Clinic
Monday to Friday, 9 am-5 pm

Shoreline Dental Clinic
Monday to Friday, 9 am-5 pm

ICHS Dental Safety Protocols

  • Screening: All patients, visitors and staff are screened and have their temperatures checked before entering ICHS facilities. Staff are trained to identify COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Masking: We are following universal masking procedures.
  • Safety Equipment: Dental providers are fully equipped with masks, face shields and other safety equipment during all appointments to ensure staff and patient safety.
  • Waiting times: We have updated appointment scheduling to expedite patient visits.
  • Layout: We have modified ICHS facilities to support physical distancing.
  • Cleaning: We are thoroughly cleaning all surfaces and sanitizing equipment before and after each patient.

Call us today at 206.788.3700 to schedule an appointment. We are also here to address your concerns via telephone triage services and care coordination by phone.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to caring for you!


Samantha Lee-Chiu, DDS
Interim Chief Dental Officer

International Community Health Services to Receive $100K from Siemens Foundation to Support COVID-19 Response

Seattle-Based Community Health Center is one of 12 Receiving Financial Support from the Non-Profit Organization

The Siemens Foundation today announced it is providing $100,000 to International Community Health Services (ICHS) to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The community health center is one of 12 receiving financial support from the non-profit organization established by Siemens USA. Aligning with its dedication to social equity, the Siemens Foundation, including funding provided to it by Siemens Healthineers, is committing a total of $1.5 million to support these critical healthcare providers so they can continue serving their communities when they are needed most.

“We are grateful to the Siemens Foundation and its support of ICHS’ essential role in maintaining the health of our communities,” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO. “ICHS is needed now, more than ever and these funds support our viability and strength. This generous gift helps us meet the challenge of ensuring health care for all, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. It supports ICHS efforts to deliver new remote models of care and bolsters our partnership in state efforts to reduce transmission through increased testing.”

This grant will help ICHS continue to provide services to vulnerable populations amid pandemic-related funding challenges and unanticipated financial burdens. Since its founding in the early 1970s, ICHS has been a primary source of affordable, in-language health care for the region’s diverse residents. Last year, ICHS served over 32,000 patients at its 11 locations, 69 percent of whom were low income and about 7 percent uninsured.

“Community Health Centers are the backbone of health care for low-income and vulnerable communities,” Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA). “The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly strained CHC personnel and resources, who are already underfunded. This generous donation to International Community Health Services will help them to continue their incredible work protecting and improving the health and safety of patients at a time when support for health care providers is desperately needed.”

“International Community Health Services is tirelessly working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, ensuring that historically marginalized and vulnerable communities receive the resources and care they need during this pandemic,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “I’m heartened to learn that their deep commitment to health and equity continues to be recognized, and grateful for their longstanding investment in the health of wellness of our community.”

ICHS was selected using equity criteria developed by the Siemens Foundation in consultation with the National Association of Community Health Centers, the Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers, and Siemens. The center is free to use the funding as it deems necessary in response to the crisis.

“As the COVID-19 crisis disproportionately threatens lower-income and medically underserved communities, it’s important for us to support the institutions that sustain our social compact,” said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. “Community health centers and their staff are on the front lines providing primary care every day and they now play an especially critical role in our medical services infrastructure when emergency services and hospital settings are overwhelmed. Vital services like these are paramount to supporting equity across America.”

The $1.5 million total commitment is funded, in part, by the Siemens Healthineers Fund of the Siemens Foundation, supported by Siemens Healthineers business in the United States.

“It is a critical time to ensure all patients and families are able to access the care they need,” said Dave Pacitti, Siemens Foundation Board of Directors member; President of Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.; and Head of the Americas for Siemens Healthineers. “The nation’s community health centers are a vital safety net for millions of patients, and these investments will help them to continue providing affordable care that strengthens the entire U.S. healthcare system in combatting the pandemic.”

Free Rx delivery


ICHS has added a free pharmacy home delivery service for your safety and convenience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, there is no need to wait in a pharmacy line or make an extra trip. Your prescriptions* and over-the-counter medications will be delivered, hassle-free within two business days.

New prescriptions

Getting a new prescription? Simply tell your ICHS provider you would like to sign up for home delivery.

Refills and transfers

Just call us to arrange home delivery for your next refill or after transferring your prescription from another pharmacy to ICHS.

For more information

Call your ICHS pharmacy location for help and questions about our Rx home delivery service:

International District Clinic: 206.788.3770
Holly Park Clinic: 206.788.3563
Shoreline Clinic: 206.533.2720

*Prescriptions must meet 340B eligibility. Excluding all controlled prescriptions. For ICHS patients within King County.

ICHS telehealth visits

Now you can see your doctor, dentist or mental health counselor through telehealth.

A telehealth visit is just like an in-person visit, but allows you to continue to receive primary and behavioral health care, or a dental consultation, while limiting person-to-person contact. It helps us all do our part to limit community transmission of COVID-19. You can schedule either a telephone visit or a virtual visit.

  • A telephone visit lets you share a conversation with your provider over a phone line.
  • A virtual visit takes place face-to-face through live video with your primary care clinician, dentist or behavioral health provider. A virtual visit requires an internet connection and a computer, tablet or smartphone equipped with a camera, microphone and speaker.

Sometimes, it may be necessary for you to be seen in the clinic. If your care team determines this is the best way to address your care, they will let you know. If you need language assistance, please let us know when you schedule your appointment.

Make a Telehealth Appointment

For more information, please call: 206.788.3700

Call 911 for medical emergencies
Telehealth is not for emergencies or potentially life-threatening medical conditions such as chest pain, severe shortness of breath, severe abdominal pain or headache. If you experience these symptoms call 911.

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 well-being 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 well-being 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.”

Governor Inslee visits ICHS clinic, urges vigilance against COVID-19

From left: Sharissa Tjok, Outreach & Enrollment Coordinator; Rachel Koh, Chief Operations Officer; Asqual Getaneh, Chief Medical Officer; Gildas Cheung, ICHS Board President; Hermes Shahbazian, Chief Financial Officer; Gov. Jay Inslee; Ron Chew, ICHS Foundation Director; Teresita Batayola, President and CEO.

Governor Jay Inslee visited the International District clinic of International Community Health Services on Tuesday, March 3, to meet with ICHS leadership and held a press conference on the state’s efforts to address the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

During the press conference, Governor Inslee and State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy reiterated the importance of being vigilant about washing hands and staying home if you become sick. “We are all in this together,” he said. “We are all potential subjects and we all got to pull together on this issue.”

Inslee’s tour, scheduled before the spread of COVID-19, was originally planned to discuss barriers to health care coverage and the state’s efforts to expand coverage with Cascade Care, the nation’s first public option for health insurance. ICHS CEO Teresita Batayola and her leadership team discussed with Inslee concerns about ICHS patients’ health care access in the wake of federal rules targeting immigrants and refugees.