Registration now open: Run, walk or howl into the Year of the Dog with ICHS Lunar 5K in Shoreline

Local runners and walkers of both the four- and two-legged variety are invited to get with their pack to bring in the Lunar New Year in an effort to help local families who cannot afford medical care. International Community Health Services’ (ICHS) will be holding its 3rd annual Lunar New Year 5K walk and run fundraiser, on Sunday, Feb. 25, in Shoreline.

Online registration for humans is now open at: www.ichs.com/5k, while on-leash canines are welcome to join for free. The event commemorates the lunar calendar Year of the Dog in 2018, inviting participants to roam the environs of Shoreline’s Interurban Trail while doing good.

Each year, ICHS organizes the 5K to raise money to support uncompensated patient care and provides almost $1 million to the Puget Sound region’s most vulnerable communities — about 90% are persons of color and about 55% have limited English speaking skills and need interpretation help.

“Facing challenges in federal funding, ICHS rely on events such as the 5K Walk and Run to serve the needs of our community,” said Ron Chew, ICHS Foundation executive director.

About the event:

  • WHAT: International Community Health Services’ Lunar New Year 5K walk and run fundraising event will support uncompensated health care for families throughout the region. Participants will receive a time chip, bib, t-shirt and promotional giveaways from vendors. The first 250 participants that check-in will also receive an ICHS fanny pack
  • WHERE: The walk and run route will start at City of Shoreline City Hall – 7500 Midvale Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133
  • COST: Prices ranges from $10-$40 based on age and increases by $5 per month
  • HOW: Online registration is open now until 24 hours before the race
  • Questions? Please contact: foundation@ichs.com

Lunar New Year 5K sponsors include: East West Bank, Coordinated Care, Amerigroup, Aurora Rents, Community Health Plan of Washington, One Cup Coffee, Shoreline Rotary, Sam’s Club, Uwajimaya, Miller Hayashi Architects, City of Shoreline, HomeSight, Mei-Ling Woo State Farm Agency, Merchants Parking Association, Molina Healthcare, SCIDpda, Shoreline Community College, Viet-Wah Group, Recology, and WPI Real Estate Services.

Remembering Jon Sonoda’s Aloha Spirit

Jon Sonoda, ICHS pharmacy manager, will be greatly missed.

In Hawaiian culture “Aloha” means more than hello and goodbye. Aloha is the island way of life based on love, compassion and friendship.

ICHS pharmacy manager Jon Sonoda passed away on Dec. 23, leaving family, friends, co-workers and patients saddened by the loss of his warm Aloha spirit. Jon led three full service pharmacies at ICHS’s Chinatown, Shoreline and Holly Park locations, pharmacy education, and pharmacy services at ACRS and Seattle World School.

Jon had a lot of plans to improve services to ICHS patients. He was the cheerleader, with always an upbeat word for others. While he felt embarrassed about any spotlight, he enjoyed it and always gave credit to his pharmacy team. He was extremely proud and protective of them and believed that his team was capable of anything. Jon’s love had no boundaries. Work or home, Jon’s generous nature was to reach out to and support whoever needed it, however they might need it.

Jon Sonada and members of the pharmacy team.

 

ICHS Foundation director Ron Chew said Jon’s generosity extended into the realm of charitable giving. “During our year-end fundraising campaign, he would come by my office and say, ‘Ron, give me a form. Who should I made a check out to?’ I never even had to ask. That’s the kind of person he was.”

Jon is survived by his wife, Zoe Sonoda, who has asked that charitable donations in Jon’s memory go to the ICHS Foundation. Please click here for instructions on how to designate a gift in Jon’s name.

Jon’s positive outlook, his passion for the ICHS vision and mission, and his service to others will be carried forward by all who knew him.

 

 

ICHS receives top national award for HPV cancer prevention

International Community Health Services (ICHS) is one of 10 awardees to be selected nationwide for outstanding achievements promoting the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as a defense against several types of cancers, including cervical and oral cancers. ICHS clinics achieved a 84% success rate vaccinating all patients 13 to 15 years of age.

ICHS was chosen as the Region X winner of the HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award for Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska, which is given in partnership by the Association of American Cancer Institutes, American Cancer Society and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As the nominating agency, the Washington State Department of Health, announced ICHS’ achievement and singled out attending staff for recognition at the Washington Immunization Summit on Oct. 27.

“ICHS makes a consistent commitment to do all we can to protect young people against developing HPV-related cancers, including making sure the whole care team coordinates their efforts for maximum impact,” said Rayburn Lewis, ICHS chief medical officer. “We use every tool in our arsenal to track, reach, remind and educate parents and patients about the ‘who, what, where, when’s and why’s’ of HPV immunization. Our multicultural and multilingual staff play a key role in helping us overcome language and cultural barriers so we may best reach and assist the diverse communities we serve.”

The HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award Program recognizes clinicians, clinics, practices, groups and health systems that are effectively working to protect their adolescent patients against HPV cancers with high HPV vaccination rates. This year, the award program honored one Champion from each of the 10 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regions. Award nominations were accepted from all 50 U.S. states, eight U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States and the District of Columbia.

More details about ICHS’ success in HPV cancer prevention is included in a profile on the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/champions/winner-spotlights.html.

About one in nine American men is infected with the oral form of HPV, according to a new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, the fastest growing cause of throat and tongue cancer, and the single greatest risk factor for cervical cancer.

International Community Health Services opens new vision clinic

ICHS Vision Clinic ribbon cutting ceremony.

International Community Health Services (ICHS), the largest neighborhood-based health care provider for Asian Pacific Islander and immigrant communities in Washington State, held a ribbon-cutting service on Nov. 6, to celebrate the opening of its new vision clinic in the Chinatown-International District.

The 1,200-square-foot clinic, located in a storefront across the plaza from the ICHS medical-dental building in International District Village Square, was built with support from a $350,000 grant from the City of Seattle. Design began in October 2016, and the clinic was completed last month. The clinic includes two exam rooms and is expected to handle approximately 900 visits by its second year of operation.

Dr. Andrea Liem, optometrist for the new clinic, says she’s excited to start serving ICHS patients. She said the emphasis of the clinic will be providing primary eye care.

She pointed out that she herself has been going to see an optometrist since middle school. “I’ve worn contact lenses and eyeglasses in the past, and eventually had laser surgery to correct my myopia,” Dr. Liem said. “Based on my personal experience and my family’s need for vision care, I am able to empathize with and better serve my patients.”

ICHS currently provides primary care to nearly 29,000 patients in over 50 different languages at its seven clinic locations in Seattle, Shoreline and Bellevue.

The vision clinic concept arose out of discovery that only half of ICHS patients completed their referrals for eye care. Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO, said, “Vision problems in the United States are the most prevalent disability among children and youth, and is one of the top disabilities for adults.”

Batayola noted that next year will be the 45th anniversary of ICHS. “It’s nice to finally have this sorely needed service in place as we celebrate our agency’s milestone,” she said.

Amanda Chin, a Beacon Hill resident, had strongly advocated for the vision clinic as a member of the ICHS patient advisory council several years ago. “For me to be able to voice this and now actually seeing it happen is amazing,” said Chin. She and her family—including her mother, father, two brothers and sister—are longtime ICHS patients. Members of the Chin family attended the ribbon-cutting.

Former Seattle City Council member Jean Godden, who helped secure the $350,000 grant from the City during the 2015 budget process, was also at the ceremony. The grant was one of Godden’s last pieces of legislation before she retired.

View pictures from the event: https://flic.kr/s/aHskwKqfnp

ICHS boosts work to level health disparities with chief medical officer appointment

International Community Health Services (ICHS) today announced that Rayburn Lewis, MD has been named chief medical officer after serving in an interim capacity since July. Dr. Lewis retired as CEO of Swedish Issaquah in 2016.

“We look forward to Dr. Lewis’ leadership as we continue to champion health equity, care and coverage for the most fragile populations who need affordable care – those who are low-income, uninsured and underinsured,” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO. “We are deeply honored that Dr. Lewis has chosen to bring his leadership acumen to ICHS and to continue his passion for service in our communities.”

Dr. Lewis brings valuable knowledge and perspective as a physician-leader and an active member of the African American community, who has worked at creating social impact. Dr. Lewis’ tenure of success at the Swedish Medical Centers is expected to fortify ICHS’ growth in meeting the needs of the communities around ICHS clinics, especially the underserved, Asian Pacific Islanders, immigrants and refugees.

Dr. Lewis’ focus on helping the medically underserved started early. While still a medical student, he served on the board of the Yesler Terrace clinic, which saw patients from the Yesler Terrace housing project and nearby neighborhood. He was also a board member for Puget Sound Neighborhood Health Centers, now Neighborcare Health. He was an active leader of area school and sports programs that encouraged young men of color to experience the outdoors.

“I believe in providing the health safety net to people – regardless of ethnic and racial background, nation of origin, language, gender or gender preference,” said Dr. Lewis. “My entire career, whether through work in the community or at Swedish and Providence has been built on this commitment. The work of community health centers reduces the need for many hospital visits. The prospect of serving our communities on such a deep and transformative level was an irresistible lure out of retirement. I’m excited about the opportunity to learn as well as contribute.”

Prior to his role as CEO of Swedish Issaquah, Dr. Lewis served as executive director and vice president of medical affairs at Swedish Ballard, and as COO at Swedish Cherry Hill. Dr. Lewis is a graduate of the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, where he completed his internal medicine residency and served as chief medical resident from 1982 to 1983. He also completed an assignment as a general medical officer in orthopedics with the U.S. Public Health Service in Seattle. Dr. Lewis joined the medical staff at Swedish Health Services and Providence Seattle Medical Center in 1984, while starting a medical practice in Columbia City. He joined the Minor & James Medical Group in 1987, practicing there till 1996, and subsequently maintained a practice at the Swedish Family Medicine/Cherry Hill campus residency clinic until 2008.

As the elected chief of staff at Providence Seattle Medical Center in 1995, Dr. Lewis was recruited as medical director for quality and medical affairs. Serving in this capacity from 1995 to 2002, he became Swedish’s vice president for medical affairs from 2002 to 2007, after the two hospitals merged. He also served as medical director of the Mother Joseph Clinic at Swedish Cherry Hill for specialty care of community patients.

2018 open enrollment – things to know

The open enrollment period to enroll, renew or change health plans for 2018 starts on Nov. 1 through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. This year’s open enrollment period is shorter than past years, so act sooner rather than later! If you miss the Jan. 15, 2018 deadline, you and your family may be unable to make changes or sign up for benefits until the next enrollment period in fall of 2018.

Important dates:

  • Nov 1, 2017 – Open enrollment begins
  • Dec 15, 2017 – Deadline to enroll for coverage to begin by Jan. 1, 2018
  • Jan 15, 2018 – Open enrollment ends

FREE help from ICHS
ICHS provides free help for patients and for anyone seeking to enroll or renew health insurance. Plan ahead and schedule an appointment with an expert, multilingual outreach and enrollment coordinator, who can explain options and assist with sign up. Together, ICHS staff speak eight languages including: Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Vietnamese, Korean, Spanish, Somali, Tagalog, Russian and Punjabi. Call 206-788-3700 and ask for a 2018 health insurance enrollment appointment.

Walk-in appointments available
ICHS offers open enrollment walk-in appointments on Saturdays at the ICHS International District Clinic (2nd floor) from 9 am to 3 pm. Come in on one of these Saturdays for help and answers:

  • Nov 18, 2017
  • Dec 2, 2017
  • Dec 16, 2017
  • Dec 30, 2017
  • Jan 6, 2018
  • Jan 13,2018

 

For more information
Call ICHS at: 206-788-3700, find enrollment information online at: https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org, or download the mobile app “WAPlanfinder.”

ICHS hosts U.S. Sen Maria Cantwell in support of Medicaid and the ACA

On Sept. 22, ICHS Holly Park Clinic and ICHS CEO Teresita Batayola were honored to host a press conference for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell as she spoke out against the Graham Cassidy bill, the latest attack on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.

The bill would block grants supporting Medicaid and redistributes funds to all states, hurting Washington state and the many who have benefited Medicaid expansion. The bill will also eliminate insurance subsidies for working individuals and families who are low income but don’t qualify for Medicaid.

In illustrating the bill’s harmful effects, Sen. Cantwell was joined by two patients — a mom who spoke of her 7-year-old child with a rare medical condition and a woman who is a four-time survivor of different cancers.

“Our state is fortunate to have Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray lead the fight for affordable, quality health care.  We all need to contact our friends, families and networks in other states, especially Alaska, to contact their own U.S. senators to defeat the Graham Cassidy proposal and to focus on bipartisan solutions to stabilize community health centers before our funding expires on September 30,” said Batayola.

View pictures from the event: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm5yVpNL

Only you can save our nation’s health centers

Thank you to International Community Health Services staff, patients and friends for the emails, calls and social media posts that put pressure on Congress to extend federal funding supporting health centers before Sept. 30. Although our Congressional leaders delivered a huge disappointment by failing to authorize funding before the deadline, your voices and stories are making a difference.

For the moment, we have a reprieve. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the agency that administers our funds, has developed a plan to keep the grant funding steady through the end of December. This gives all health centers breathing room until Congress passes our bill.

Until then, we must continue to advocate. Congressional action is crucial to avoid actual cuts happening in 2018.

There has never been a more urgent need for all ICHS staff, patients and friends to help ensure the health of our future and of those we serve. If you have not already, please sign up today to become a health center advocate at: http://www.hcadvocacy.org.

Thank you!

See facts about the health center funding cliff from the National Association of Community Health Centers here

What’s at stake? A video from ICHS’ Advanced Resident Nurse Practitioners advocates for those we serve here.

Federal government awards ICHS $224,765 for quality

International Community Health Services (ICHS) today announced it is among community health centers nationally selected for federal awards from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This year, Quality Improvement Awards worth nearly $105 million were given to 1,333 health centers nationwide to help invest in improvement efforts. HRSA-funded health centers provide affordable, accessible primary health care for approximately one in 12 U.S. residents, including one in three people living in poverty.

ICHS’ exceptional performance results and standards in seven categories out of eight led to an award of $224,765. ICHS will use the funds to further improve its quality of care.

“ICHS is one of only two health centers in the state to be named a National Quality Leader among health centers nationwide. Being a National Quality Leader means we exceeded national quality benchmarks, including Healthy People 2020 goals, for chronic disease management, preventive care, and perinatal and prenatal care,” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO. “In addition, ICHS was named a Health Center Quality Leader for achieving the best overall clinical performance among all health centers.”

ICHS also received dollar awards for the use of electronic reporting for all clinical quality measures; demonstrating notable improvement in one or more clinical quality measures between 2014 and 2015; increasing the number of patients served and the number of patients receiving comprehensive services between 2014 and 2015; being a recognized Patient Centered Medical Home; and meeting or exceeding, or making marked advances in moving each race/ethnic group towards the Healthy People 2020 goals.

The announcement follows ICHS’ recent re-accreditation through September 2020 from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) after an intensive on-site clinical survey focused on delivery of clinical care and administration. All seven ICHS sites were accredited as an ambulatory care site, a medical home and a dental home. AAAHC accreditation requires strict credentialing and privileging practices, peer review and education to continuously improve care and services and ongoing self-evaluation, among other requirements.

For a list of FY 2017 Quality Improvement Awards recipients, visit: https://bphc.hrsa.gov/programopportunities/fundingopportunities/qualityimprovement/index.html.