Author: Jennifer Moon

Project Homeless Connect – July 19th

2018 Event photo.  Credit: Edye Collelo-Morton

Unity Care NW is proud to participate again in Project Homeless Connect, on Friday July 19th from 8am to 4pm at the Bellingham High School.This one-day, one-stop event provides a wide range of free services with respectful and generous hospitality for people in Whatcom County experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis. Local Project Homeless Connect events began in 2007 and have continued as part of the Whatcom County Plan to End Homelessness. Recent Project Homeless Connect events have included:

  • dental services
  • general medical services
  • haircuts
  • vision and hearing screenings
  • housing intakes
  • Department of Licensing photo ID’s
  • foot care
  • counseling/behavioral health care
  • employment screenings
  • health insurance assistance
  • legal and dispute resolution counsel
  • General Assistance Unemployable (GAU) and Social Security benefit assistance (SSA)
  • massage and chiropractic treatment
  • literacy and library assistance
  • pet care

Interested in volunteering?  Learn more here.

UCNW Launches Parkscription Program

Bellingham Careers Mt. Baker

Unity Care NW has teamed up with Recreation NW to bring our patients “Parkscriptions.”

What’s a Parkscription? It’s a prescription from your health care provider for quality outdoor time and activity that can improve mental and physical health and promote healthier lifestyles. With a referral to the Parkscriptions.org website, patients can find conveniently located parks and outdoor recreation opportunities with the amenities they want and need.

This program is open to all Unity Care NW patients free of charge. For more information, talk to your health care provider or contact our Outreach and Enrollment staff at enrollment@ucnw.org.

UCNW and July Parades

 

We’re proud to be participating in two upcoming festivals, by marching in parades at:

Bellingham Pride (Sunday, July 14th) – This is the second largest pride event in Washington State.  The goal at Bellingham Pride is to cultivate and preserve a safe and healthy community for LGBTQ+ folks and their families to live, work, grow, and thrive.  Pride celebrates the diversity of human life, promotes equal rights, and increases the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community.   Parade starts at noon.

Whatcom Old Settlers’ Picnic at Pioneer Park (Saturday, July 26th) – A Whatcom County tradition for over a century, the Picnic at Pioneer Park is the summer highlight for many residents. Celebrating the rich history of the area and the great people that call it home, the Picnic also features events like Live Music, a Fun Run/Walk, a Classic Car Show, and local Food/Craft vendors.  Parade starts at 11am.

Watch for our colorful marchers and mascots Toothy and Flossy – cruising alongside the UCNW mobile dental van!

 

Flu Vaccines Now Available

Flu season is here. Now is the time to protect yourself and those around you. A flu shot today will protect you throughout the flu season. (Inactivated flu vaccine does not contain live flu virus, so getting the flu from this vaccine is not possible.)

Each year, thousands of people in the United States die from flu, and many more are hospitalized. Flu vaccine is the best protection we have from flu and its complications. Flu vaccine also helps prevent spreading flu from person to person.

Unity Care NW is now offering flu vaccinations with expanded appointment hours. Getting vaccinated is easy.

  • Bellingham patients: Flu vaccines are available by appointment or on a walk-in basis. Appointments recommended. Call (360) 676-6177 to make an appointment. Convenient Saturday hours are available.
  • Ferndale patients: Call (360) 676-6177 to make an appointment to get vaccinated.

Protect yourself and others from the flu this season!

North Whatcom Health Center Groundbreaking Event, June 7

Thank you to all of you who attended the groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, June 7 for our new North Whatcom Health Center in Ferndale. It was wonderful to be joined by so many local dignitaries, and a big thanks to KAFE 104.1 and Scotty VanDryver for broadcasting live from the event.

We’re excited to see construction start. The North Whatcom Health Center will expand access to primary medical, dental, behavioral health, and pharmacy services in north Whatcom County. The new 23,000 sq. ft. health center will serve 9,500 patients. It will include 12 dental operatories, expanding access to adult dental care in our community. The facility will also have the most comprehensive behavioral health services in Whatcom County, outside of Bellingham. It will bring on-site pharmacy services to our Ferndale location, and it will employ 60 full-time staff and will contribute to the revitalization of Ferndale’s Portal Way corridor.

We expect the health center to be open to patients by the summer of 2019. Watch for updates on our progress in the coming months!

Second Annual Healthy Kids Art Contest in May

The Second Annual “Healthy Kids Art Contest” is now underway! The contest will run from May 1 through May 31 and is open to kids up to age 10 who are Unity Care NW patients, the children of our patients, or the children of our staff. Four artists will win a $25 gift card to Village Books and Paper Dreams. Entry sheets can be found in the waiting rooms of our Unity Street, Ferndale, and Point Roberts health centers or here. Completed artwork should be placed in the envelopes that are posted on the waiting room bulletin boards.

Thanks to Village Books and Paper Dreams for supporting our young artists!

Children’s Art Walk at UCNW

The 18th Annual Children’s Art Walk was held Friday, May 4th in downtown Bellingham. Sponsored by Allied Arts, the event exhibits the art work of local students. Unity Care NW is pleased to host Birchwood Elementary again this year.

If you weren’t able to make it on May 4th, the art work will be posted throughout the month. Learn more about the event here.

 

Unity Care NW Dedicates Moldver Plaza

Two and ½ years ago we lost Eric Moldver, DDS to a hiking accident. He had been with us for 10 years and was an amazingly talented dentist, friendly, and supportive colleague. Eric was a source of inspiration for our dental program. On March 24, Unity Care NW officially opened “Moldver Plaza” at a dedication ceremony. Located on the lower level of our health center at 220 Unity St. in Bellingham, the plaza honors Eric’s memory with an outdoor area for staff and patients to enjoy. It also includes a commissioned art piece that we think embodies Eric’s spirit. Thanks to Architectural Elements, Molly Maguire Landscape Architecture, and Mike Ennen for their creative work to honor Eric. You can watch a video of how the art piece for the plaza was made hereWe invite you to visit the plaza in remembrance of Eric’s life and work.

Patient Pointers

The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare,” did more than expand access to health insurance for 27,000 Whatcom County residents and millions across our country. It changed the way we deliver care. It challenged us to focus on prevention and improved health outcomes. It charged non-profit community health centers like Unity Care with finding new ways of coordinating care to address the health needs of the whole person, the whole family, and the whole community. It reduced financial barriers to quality health care. It put many in our community on the road to wellness after years of neglected health. It saved money in the Washington State budget which can be re-invested to improve the education of our children.

At Unity Care NW, we see 5,340 more patients than we did in 2013. Only 8 percent of our patients are uninsured today, compared to 23 percent in 2013. The Affordable Care Act also provided the funding to expand our services, including the construction of new adult dental and behavioral health facilities in Bellingham.

Learn more about the patient protections brought about by the Affordable Care Act by watching the new video below. And check out the other informational videos available on our YouTube page.