A local community health organization that has, for decades, specialized in providing medical and dental care to King County’s Asian & Pacific Islander community is hoping to build an on-campus health clinic providing physical and mental health services to Bellevue College students, staff and families.
International Community Health Services (ICHS), in partnership with BC, has marked off a section of the N building to build the clinic, with a possible opening in Fall 2025. The clinic would have a reception room, pharmacy, several exam rooms and a dedicated “Procedure room,” as well as a conference and break room for staff.
“As soon as I heard about it, I thought it was a good idea,” Student Assistant Jett Guymer said. “We’ll get a better opportunity to train our nursing students as well as a way to better serve our student body…”
Guymer, who has worked on the project since Spring 2022, spoke of mental health services as an important part of what the clinic is planned to offer. “Two-thirds of adults seeking an associate degree have considered taking a break from college due to emotional stress,” he said. “We want to help them where they are so everyone has the space and opportunity to learn and graduate.”
Guymer also stated that another benefit of the clinic was that it would serve international students who may not have a relationship with other medical services in the area.
A planning document about the project listed various physical health services that the clinic would offer. These include vaccinations, physical exams and sports physicals, pharmacy services, reproductive health services, Sexually Transmitted Infections treatment, and medical referrals.
Although not set in stone, it is currently planned that payment for these services will be driven by a “sliding scale,” where students of lower income will pay progressively less the lower income they are, and vice versa. There is also a cut-off where a student with high enough wealth will have to pay in full.
The clinic would be accessible to as many people as possible. ICHS clinics offer their services in 16 languages other than English, such as Spanish and Mandarin. They also offer ASL interpreters. The standard policy of ICHS is that they must be informed 24 hours or more in advance if someone will need an interpreter.
As for hours, the clinic would be open Monday-Friday from noon to 7:00 p.m. Additionally, the staff and equipment will all be from ICHS.
Although currently scheduled to open in Fall 2025, there has been some uncertainty with the project schedule. According to ICHS, although BC presidents Dave Rule, Jerry Weber and Gary Locke have all supported the project, the planning has been severely disrupted each time the old president left and the new one assumed office. They, therefore, hope to make as much progress with Dr. David May as possible.
The current construction timeline has the goals of reaching a construction agreement between BC and ICHS, followed by permit approval from the city of Bellevue, followed by construction, test runs and the official opening. They believe that the construction will take from six to nine months. ICHS plans to have an on-campus presence by Spring 2025.
Another challenge the clinic is facing is construction costs. ICHS, therefore, wishes to move along as quickly as possible to mitigate the increasing costs the clinic is projected to have as time goes on.