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Northwest Regional Primary Care Association is a member organization that strengthens community and migrant health centers by leveraging regional power and resources on their behalf.
Michael McKee, director of health services and community partnerships at International Community Health Services (ICHS), has overseen leadership of ICHS' outreach and enrollment efforts since its inception in 2013. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was made law and implemented, ICHS staffs have enrolled more than 14,000 patients/community members with health insurance, with approximately 5,000 people assisted with enrollment in 2015. In collaboration with the clinic operations team, ICHS has trained more than 35 staffs as in-person assisters/navigators and offered both clinic- and community- based enrollment options.
As a Community Health Center (CHC) that serves a high number of Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants who do not meet the 5 year residency requirement for Medicaid, ICHS has routinely enrolled higher numbers of people into qualified health plans, which make up about 40 percent of ICHS' enrollment. In early 2014, ICHS was recognized by the White House as a Champion for Change for the ACA because of their enrollment success. "The truth is that our ICHS staff care deeply about health care coverage for our patients and communities and convinced them of the value of health care insurance," Michael said. "They really understood that this was a human rights issue and that the ACA could play a role in addressing health disparities."
ICHS staff produced a digital story in English, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean to inform the communities predominantly served by ICHS about this, https://vimeo.com/channels/ichs/103739546. Michael also advocates for language access and equity on the Outreach Technical Advisory Committee for the Washington Health Benefits Exchange (HBE) and has presented with other CHC colleagues to the Health Benefits Exchange Board about the value of CHCs' navigator programs and the unique needs of Asian and Pacific Islander, as well as immigrant communities.
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