Author: Mary Huselid

Make Your Contribution Today

 

Unity Care NW goes beyond the exam room to provide whole person care, your support makes it possible.

I know what some of our patients are going through because I have personally experienced homelessness. One thing that many don’t realize about homelessness is how easy it is to slip through the cracks of multiple systems. Back then, I needed extra help, a hand up. Now, being in a role where I get to help those most in need in our community is truly rewarding.

I started my position at Unity Care NW as Population Health Manager during the height of COVID-19. Population Health addresses factors that affect overall health of people and communities. During the pandemic, needs in our community increased: a record-breaking number of individuals experiencing homelessness, families struggling to make ends meet due to increased costs, and additional needs not covered by insurance. So, our team increased too. Increased our efforts to get individuals enrolled in insurance, more outreach to unhoused populations, and new programs to fill crucial gaps.

One new program, Hand-Up for Health, covers costs of items or short-term services that our patients can’t afford but insurance won’t cover. It’s the last stop after all other options have been explored. A patient living in poverty who was struggling with painful swelling in their legs couldn’t get up and down their stairs. Insurance covered a lift mechanism but was unable to pay for a chair. With our new program we were able to say yes to this patient’s request. We purchased a chair and got her back to independent living.

Unity Care NW provides health care for the mind and body, but we also work with patients outside the exam room to reduce barriers to living a healthy life. In addition to Hand-Up for Health, we provide mobile dental services to all the school districts in Whatcom County. We have a pharmacy program that covers costs for prescriptions when patients can’t afford their medications. Our dietitian provides one on one services and healthy cooking demos. Community Health Workers
connect unhoused patients to a variety of services. All these programs, and more, are made possible through donations.

I invite you to make a donation and help ensure that everyone in our community has the tools and support they need to live their healthiest life. Warm wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season,

Nicole Fields 
Population Health Manager
Unity Care NW

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Happy mom jokes with her kid at home and playing together.COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are still be available free of charge at Unity Care NW’s North Whatcom Health Center in Ferndale at 6060 Portal Way.

Need a rode? Ask our schedulers about options for helping you get to your appointment.

Call 360-676-6177 for appointments, available Monday – Thursday.

Currently, patients over age of 5 can receive a vaccine at Unity Care NW.

The latest COVID-19 information is available here.

The state’s vaccine locator can be used by anyone to find an available vaccination appointment locally.

 

Boosters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup now recommend everyone 5 and older receive COVID-19 booster doses at the recommended interval.

Refer to your vaccination card for the type and date of COVID-19 vaccine administration. You can also get personal vaccination records through the Washington State Immunization Information System (WAIIS) at wa.myir.net.

 

Why get vaccinated against COVID-19?

For most people, the best choice is to get the vaccine. Getting vaccinated will help keep you and your family healthy and safe. The vaccines are extraordinarily effective at protecting you from hospitalization and death from the virus.

Go to our COVID-19 News page to find the latest information from America’s medical experts or talk to your provider to make a decision that’s right for you.

You can help our efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic!

 

 

Immigrant Relief Fund

The Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund was created during the coronavirus pandemic to support people who are ineligible for unemployment benefits or federal stimulus money. Funding was included in the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and approved by the Washington Legislature in the early action bill. Applications for this one-time grant of $1,000 per person will begin on April 21 and run up until May 21, 2021. They will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis, and the funds will be distributed in June.
To be eligible, individuals must demonstrate that they:
  • Are a Washington state resident.
  • Are at least 18 years of age.
  • Have been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Are ineligible for the federal stimulus payment or for unemployment insurance benefits due to their immigration status.
  • Have an income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.
If you or someone you know meets these criteria, to apply please go to www.immigrantreliefwa.org or call the hotline 844-724-373 available daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Information in Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Swahili and Garifuna available here https://bit.ly/32p9J9Q

Spring Wellness Classes

Prevention is at the heart of Unity Care NW’s approach to health care. Eating well, staying active, and self-care can make a big difference in your health and quality of life. The following online wellness classes are being offered this spring. Contact Megan Stephenson for information about any of the following at (360) 296-7185.

        Diabetes Prevention Program:  Day and Evening Classes – Begins April 13

 

         YMCA’s Actively Changing Together Designed for kids ages 8-14 , parents and/or guardians.

 

          Dietitian Kitchen: With Unity Care NW Dietitian Nutritionist Antrim Caskey, RDN. – Begins April 13th.

 

      Chronic Disease Self-Management Class: This class is open to all and begins on April 8th.

 

Unity Care NW Participating in the “Point in Time Count”

Unity Care NW is supporting this year’s Point-in-Time count by hosting a survey station in front of our 220 Unity Street facility, now through February 5th. The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness and represents a snapshot of persons experiencing homelessness in Whatcom County.

Participation in the survey helps our community advocate for funding from the federal government to support housing and homelessness programs right here in Whatcom County.

Patients with appointments who are experiencing homelessness can stop by to be included in this year’s count!

Wellness Classes for the New Year!

New virtual classes to help address your health goals in the new year!

  • Freedom From Smoking is a 7-week on-line class to help you quit and stay tobacco free. We’ll talk about the science and emotion behind addiction, strategies for quitting, and focus on your own reasons for going tobacco free. Call Megan at 360-296-7185 for more info and to register. Class starts Jan. 19th, 2-4pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Lose to Win is a sustainable nutrition and physical activity program led by a YMCA coach. The one-hour classes provide a supportive network to work on similar goals when the going gets tough and to celebrate successes along the way! Must be 18 or older. $35/YMCA members; $50 non-members; scholarships available. Register with Tara at tmarshall@whatcomymca.org. Wednesdays Jan. 20 – April 7, 12:15-1:15 pm
  • Better Bones & Balance is a program to help improve balance and strength to avoid falls and maintain independence. Class includes a short talk and learning and practicing specific exercise.
    $35 program fee, scholarships available. Register online whatcomymca.org or at the Welcome Desk. Tuesdays and Thursdays,  Jan. 19-28, 11am – noon.
  • Diabetes Prevention Program is a year-long supportive class for adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Must be 18 or older, and qualify via risk assessment or diagnosis of pre-diabetes.
    $420 year program fee; Unity Care NW patient discount available, email megan.stephenson@ucnw.org to apply.
  • LIVESTRONG is a physical activity and well-being program for adult cancer survivors to reclaim their total health. Must be 18 or older, in remission, and with medical clearance for participation.
    Free to new survivors, $25/month for LIVESTRONG alumni; scholarships available. Register with Tammy at tbennett@whatcomymca.org or (360) 733-8630 Mondays and Wednesdays, Jan. 11-March 31 11am – noon.
     

Bellingham Food Bank Drive-Up Food Distribution

Beginning Tuesday, December 1, Bellingham Food Bank will offer pre-packed food boxes at the updated drive-up locations.

How It Works

Folks may visit twice per week and may choose among all locations which they visit. They will join a car queue and when it’s their turn, volunteers will offer pre-packed food boxes without requiring person to person contact. There will be a bike and walk-up option as well. Each household represented in a vehicle may pick up for up to 2 families. Menstrual products, baby formula and diapers will be added to distributed items as availability allows.

Starting December 1
Tuesdays & Thursdays | 1-4 pm
Drive-Up Distribution, 1175 Jersey St

Ongoing
Wednesdays | 3-6 pm
Christ the King Church Parking Lot, 4173 Meridian St

2018 Annual Gala: Friday, Sept. 28th

We are partnering with Sustainable Connections and Ciao Thyme for this year’s gala!  Celebrate Eat Local Month with local foods from Whatcom farms and vendors, highlighted in a variety of amazing appetizers from exceptional chef Mataio! Learn more and order tickets here.

 

Healthy Kids Art Contest!

Unity Care NW would like to thank all the young artists who entered in our first “Healthy Kids Art Contest”.  We received a number of creative entries from local kids whose assignment was to create a picture of what good health looks like or what being healthy means to them.  Congratulations to our four winners, who each received a $25 gift card to Village Books and Paper Dreams!