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.
Our Mobile Dental Program team is preparing for the new school year, with their first visit scheduled for September 26. Unity Care NW’s Mobile Dental Program offers preventive dental services to students across Whatcom County, including dental exams, sealants, fluoride, and oral health education. Last year, the program served 1,530 students at 50 schools and 19 daycare centers. We will visit all Head Start sites and all elementary and middle schools in Whatcom County in 2017-18.
We’re looking forward to another year of helping kids have healthy teeth and beautiful smiles!
Sunday, October 15th, 6pm to 8pm
Ciao Thyme Commons
207 Unity Street, Bellingham
We invite you to support affordable medical, dental, behavioral health, and pharmacy services for everyone and improved access to health care throughout our community. More details to follow. Contact our Development Office at email@example.com to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.
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!
Unity Care NW would like to thank Senator Maria Cantwell for visiting our Bellingham health center on Saturday, June 24. Senator Cantwell held a roundtable with community stakeholders at UCNW to discuss the impact of proposed Medicaid cuts on veterans, and all patients. Following the roundtable, our Medical Director, Dr. Barb Clure, gave the Senator a tour of our new Adult Dental and Behavioral Health facilities.
In honor of National Community Health Center Week, Unity Care NW & Sea Mar are sponsoring an informative evening to discuss and raise awareness of the opioid crisis sweeping the nation and affecting our community. This event occurs on Tuesday, August 15th.
Frontline and PBS (the makers of the documentary) describe the film as a searing, two-hour investigation that places America’s heroin crisis in a fresh and provocative light. It tells the stories of individual addicts, but also illuminates the epidemic’s years-in-the-making social context, deeply examining shifts in the U.S. drug policy, and exploring what happens when addiction is treated like a public health issue, not a crime.
Tickets are FREE for this sponsored event but must be obtained prior to the film in order to secure your spot. Stop by the Pickford Film Center at 1318 Bay St. to get tickets.
5:00 – Join Unity Care NW and Sea Mar for a reception before the film
5:30pm – 7:30 pm – Film viewing
7:30pm – Panel discussion with local experts
This month at Unity Care NW, we’re talking about hepatitis. World Hepatitis Day is July 28, a day to raise awareness about viral hepatitis. There are several types of hepatitis, the most common being A, B, and C. Each type of viral hepatitis is spread in different ways, but they all affect the liver and can cause serious health problems. The good news is that hepatitis A and B are preventable with a vaccine, and hepatitis C is treatable thanks to several different medications that have been developed in recent years.
Here’s what we know about Hepatitis C:
- The majority of people with Hepatitis C don’t know they have it.
- In the United States, more people die every year from Hepatitis C than from HIV.
- Baby boomers, those born between 1945 and 1965, account for approximately 75 percent of all hepatitis C infections in the United States.
- One in 30 baby boomers is infected with Hepatitis C.
- Hepatitis C increases the risk of death from other diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends hepatitis C testing for anyone who:
- Was born between 1945 and 1965
- Received donated blood or organs before 1992
- Have ever injected drugs, even if it was just once many years ago
- Have certain medical conditions, such as chronic liver disease, HIV, or AIDS
- A full list of hepatitis C risk factors can be found here.
Learn more about hepatitis here.