Category: Uncategorized

Need Help with Tax Preparation?

Tax Day is coming on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the tax filing date remains April 15.  For those who are required to make a payment, however, you will still need to file by April 15, but, for most Americans, the payment will be extended for 90 days

Need help with tax preparation? If your household makes less than $66,000 a year, you are eligible for free tax preparation and filing assistance from the Opportunity Council. To learn more, visit the Whatcom Asset Building Coalition website.

By now, you have probably received either Form 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C in the mail. You may have received one, two, or all three of these forms, depending on your health insurance coverage in 2019.

Form 1095-A, also known as the “Health Insurance Marketplace Statement,” is sent to everyone who had a Qualified Health Plan in 2019. It is mailed out by Washington Health Plan Finder. You can find an electronic copy on your Washington Health Plan Finder account dashboard. Use this form to fill out IRS Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, which needs to be included in your federal income tax return when you file. This information determines if you received the right amount of tax credits to help you pay your plan’s premium.

Form 1095-B shows proof of health insurance coverage for 2019. If you had Washington Apple Health insurance coverage last year, you will receive this form. This form may also be mailed out by your private health insurance company or your employer. Form 1095-B is not needed to file your federal tax return, but it is important to keep for your records.

Form 1095-C is called the “Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage.” This form will be mailed out by your employer to show proof of coverage in 2019. Form 1095-C is not needed to file your federal tax return, but is important to keep for your records.

Have You Been Screened for Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a serious disease that harms the liver. It is caused by a virus and spreads from person to person through contact with blood. Without treatment, Hepatitis C can lead to scarring of the liver, liver cancer, and liver failure. But most people don’t even know they have Hepatitis C. Most people with Hepatitis C don’t have any symptoms.

The good news is that screening for Hepatitis C is as easy as a blood test, and new drugs can treat Hepatitis C quite effectively.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you be tested for Hepatitis C if you:

  • Were born from 1945 – 1965
  • Received donated blood or organs before 1992
  • Have ever injected drugs, even just once many years ago

If you fall into any of these categories and have never been screened for Hepatitis C, get screened! Call (360) 676-6177 to make an appointment today. Learn more here.

Jodi Joyce Selected as Unity Care NW CEO

Unity Care NW is excited to announce that our Board of Directors has selected Jodi Joyce as Unity Care NW’s next Chief Executive Officer. Joyce, who currently serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Quality & Patient Safety and Chief Quality Officer at University of Illinois Hospital & Clinics, will succeed Desmond Skubi, the agency’s current CEO, at the end of January 2020.

“I am honored to accept this role and am inspired by the vision, passion, and expertise of the individuals who make up Unity Care NW,” said Joyce. “This organization has thrived under Mr. Skubi’s leadership, and I look forward to helping lead the next chapter as we continue to serve Whatcom County’s residents and communities in pursuing our healthiest possible lives.” 

Jodi has been at the University of Illinois in Chicago since October 2012. UI Hospital and its network of 12 federally qualified health centers provide access and care for many of Chicago’s most underserved communities. During her time at UI Health, Jodi and her colleagues have led a large “improvement journey” that has resulted in substantial improvements in quality and patient safety. She also teaches courses on quality, safety, leadership, and change management at several of UIC’s health sciences schools. Jodi’s former roles include Vice President for Quality & Patient Safety at Legacy Health, a six-hospital system based in Portland, Oregon, and co-founder and Chief Operating Officer for Kaiser Permanente’s Care Management Institute.

Jodi has prior experience in health care consulting and hospital management and began her career as a neonatal ICU nurse. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Wheaton College (IL), her BSN at Northwestern University, and her MBA at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Jodi is currently nearing the completion of a PhD at UIC.


Return Your Unused Medications

Do you have medications you’d like to clean out of our medicine cabinet? You can now safely dispose of unwanted, expired, and unused medications at both our 218 Unity St. pharmacy in Bellingham and at our North Whatcom Health Center location at 6060 Portal Way in Ferndale. Look for the secure return kiosks in the lobbies of our pharmacies.

Other secure return sites are located throughout Whatcom County. Learn more about the Whatcom Med Return program here. And watch a short video from about safe disposal here.

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 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

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!

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.