ICHS staff with a resident at Legacy House • Courtesy photo

On March 1, International Community Health Services (ICHS) officially took over the operation of Legacy House from the Seattle Chinatown/International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda). Legacy House is the only assisted-living facility in Seattle with an emphasis on serving multi-Asian clientele, drawing residents and participants from beyond the neighborhood.

Located within the same complex as the ICHS International District Clinic, the non-profit community health center will now provide all Legacy House services – including assisted living with 75 units, adult day care and a congregate meal program – as part of a comprehensive Healthy Aging and Wellness Program (HAWP).

“We understand the health needs of our older community members from long experience, starting with our founding over four decades ago as a volunteer-run clinic serving elderly Chinese and Filipino immigrants in the neighborhood,” said Teresita Batayola, ICHS CEO. “We are building on that heritage by ensuring our elders have access to services and resources that allow them to thrive within our community. We welcome our new staff members from Legacy House and appreciate their work to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of care as we become one ICHS family.”

“The leadership and expertise of ICHS convinced us that ICHS would be an excellent partner and the right organization to take over Legacy House,” said Maiko Winkler-Chin, SCIDpda executive director.

Legacy House was first established by SCIDpda in 1998 in response to the need for affordable, culturally-responsive services for aging and low-income neighborhood residents, but its origins go back even further to the creation of the meal program in the basement of the Bush Hotel in the 1980’s. That program was one of the first to arise out of a Chinatown-International District community, newly united around a vision for neighborhood revitalization. The space was specifically designed to serve as an area community center and gathering place.

“The daily meal program for seniors has been a lifeline for Asian seniors since its inception in the early 1980s,”said Ron Chew, ICHS foundation director. “Back then, the remodel of the Bush Hotel into a community center included a kitchen in the basement, specifically so that the elders could have a place to socialize and enjoy foods that suited their palate. It’s wonderful that ICHS is now taking on management of the meal program, Legacy House and other programs that will allow our frail seniors to maintain a high quality of life.”

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