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Nominee #2:

Integrative Care Outreach

I am nominating Integrative Care Outreach (ICO) because no other organization in the region thus far offers the services that we do. Integrative Care Outreach is a 501(c)3 medical non-profit that was initially formed in August 1999 by a small group of medical students and homeless advocates who were concerned that the benefits of alternative health care were becoming exclusively available to the wealthier segments of society. ICO’s current mission is to bring quality holistic and integrative health care to people experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty in King County by circumventing barriers to access such as income, location, disability, race, and housing inequalities. ICO is the county’s only team-based, mobile clinical approach to increase health equity by offering 100% free naturopathic care, acupuncture and massage therapy services to those at homeless shelters, youth shelters, and low-income housing buildings. ICO offers a medical team consisting of licensed naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and Bastyr naturopathic medical students.

As the Dispensary Manager for ICO, I constantly see how much heart and soul everyone gives to keep ICO running as an organization. Being entirely 100% volunteer driven, everyone on the board, staff and medical team are unpaid, reflecting ICO's generous time and energy in providing 100% free services to those in need. All of ICO’s dispensary supplements and nutraceuticals given to patients are donated by practitioners, clinics and supplement companies, keeping our operational costs low. I’ve seen how passionate this organization is to make Seattle a more equitable, inclusive, and compassionate place to live by addressing barriers to care and fostering social determinants of health. They are truly committed to building a community where everyone feels cared for and where quality health care is a human right for all.
In 2017, ICO celebrated providing over 4,000 patient visits, and by increasing the health and well-being of these individuals, ICO helps them get back on their feet to become engaged, self-sufficient members of the community. Moreover, ICO hopes their community-driven solution to increasing health equity informs and shapes civic priorities by bringing awareness of the underserved.

ICO seeks the Generation Hope grant to fund expansion of their medical services to the YWCA of Seattle. Due to the current political and social climate and the increasing rates of homelessness and poverty in Seattle, ICO’s free healthcare services are in high demand at this location. ICO is excited to partner with the YWCA because they are equally driven to champion social justice, empower women, and eliminate racism. Their services include an emergency shelter, affordable housing, economic empowerment, domestic violence support, and youth programs.

The expansion to the YWCA will mark ICO’s sixth pop-up clinic location complementing their five other free clinics located at Peace For The Streets by Kids From The Streets (PSKS), Country Doctor Homeless Youth Clinic, ROOTS Young Adult Shelter, Tent City 3, and the Frye Apartment Building. The grant funds will go toward ICO’s operational costs, roughly around $6000, to operate one pop-up clinic twice a month for a year at this location. The expenses include medical equipment, office supplies, first aid supplies, acupuncture needles, and malpractice coverage.
With grant funding, ICO can offer an estimated 360 more 100% free patient visits annually. Each visit consists of at least one naturopathic doctor, one licensed acupuncturist, and two medical students that cohesively treat acute and chronic conditions in a wellness-focused, whole-person, patient-centered, and community-empowered manner. In 30 to 60 minute patient visits, the patient’s physical, nutritional, mental and emotional health, exercise, sleep hygiene and current medications are reviewed with decisions made in collaboration with the patient. Unlike conventional medical options, ICO emphasizes food and nutrition education, natural remedies, chronic disease prevention and the integration of physical and behavioral health. Their therapies help address high rates of substance abuse, chronic pain, chronic health conditions, mental illness, and communicable diseases commonly seen in this subset of the population. The funding ensures that volunteering practitioners are properly equipped and 100% of ICO’s services, including holistic therapies, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, remain 100% free to the patient.

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