ICHS announces medical and operations leaders

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