Ardmore Elementary School held a pop-up vaccination clinic for students and families on Wednesday, March 16, made possible through a partnership with International Community Health Services (ICHS). Ardmore school nurse, Amy Borberg, worked with staff from ICHS to provide access to not only COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters but to a wide range of childhood immunizations including measles-mumps-rubella. Forty students were registered for Ardmore’s afternoon session, and a team of school volunteers and ICHS staff walked everyone through the vaccination process. Similar clinics have been held throughout the past year at Newport Heights and Stevenson elementary schools.
For Forty Years ICHS Has Been a Trusted Community Resource
In 1973, a group of committed advocates brought culturally responsive community medicine to the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle. Until then, low-income immigrant families, many of whom lived in Seattle’s Chinatown neighborhood, had few options to receive health care from providers who spoke their home language. The Asian Community Health Clinic, staffed by volunteer doctors, interpreters, and mental health staff moved to Chinatown two years later and became known as the International District Community Health Center.
As locations throughout the Seattle area were added, and the diversity of patients grew, the clinic took its current name, International Community Health Service (ICHS). Each year, the number of patients served by ICHS has grown and it has expanded its range of health services to include medical, dental, vision behavioral health, pharmacy, outreach and living assistance – and provided these services in more than 50 languages and dialects.
In 2014, ICHS established the Bellevue Medical and Dental Clinic, located in the Crossroads neighborhood and provides residents on the Eastside with medical and dental services and nutrition counseling. Language supports at the Eastside location include: Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Spanish, Farsi and English.
ICHS Provides BSD with School-Based Health Center
ICHS staffs two school-based health centers including a location at Highland Middle School. These school-based centers provide students with access to primary care and behavioral health services. They also serve to connect families with other community resources. The Highland Health Center began to service students in 2018 and provides a safe and confidential space for access to care without leaving school or missing class. Students from across the district can receive services such as immunizations, sports physicals, dental exams, substance abuse counseling and exercise and nutritional counseling to name just a few.
“Health does not only take place in the doctor’s office.” -Theo Bickel, ICHS Communications and Events Specialist
From its inception, ICHS has sought to provide students and families with quality healthcare and treat all patients with dignity and respect. In addition to clinics located throughout King County and their two school-based health center, ICHS provides dental services through ICHS Mobile Dental Clinic. The mobile clinic can be found at various school locations to provide students with easy access to dental care that is both preventative and restorative. The mobile clinic travels throughout the community to provide a safe, accessible opportunity for care that literally meets patients where they are in their journey to health and well-being.