Community HealthCorps Makes a Difference for Low-Income Puget Sound Residents

Sea Mar Community Health Centers strives to serve low-income, underserved, and uninsured people and communities with an emphasis on the Latino population. SeaMar has locations throughout western Washington and offers many ways to get involved:

Community HealthCorps (AmeriCorps)

You've gained a lifetime of experience and you can put your skills and talents to good use by volunteering as a Community HealthCorps navigator. Sea Mar is currently hiring for its 2013-2014 HealthCorps Team. Volunteers receive a living stipend.

Community HealthCorps—a branch of AmeriCorps—is intended to promote health care for America's underserved populations, and helps to develop tomorrow's health-care workforce. Community HealthCorps navigators provide direct service to Sea Mar Community Health Centers clients, drawing from their past skills and developing new ones. Each navigator's experience is fostered through a highly supportive, challenging and educational team environment.

When you volunteer, you're not just helping others—you're helping yourself. Volunteering leads to new discoveries and new friends. Plus, studies show that volunteering helps you live longer and promotes a positive outlook on life.

The HealthCorps positions are all 11-month commitments (August 19, 2013–July 3, 2014). All positions are full-time commitments (minimum of 30 hours/week, Monday through Friday). A total of 1700 service hours is required by the end of the service term. Benefits include:

  • Trainings on health-related topics
  • Annual living stipend of $12,100 ($850–$900 net per month)
  • Educational award of $5,550 to help pay educational loans (Community HealthCorps navigators age 55+ can transfer their education award to a child, grandchild, or foster child when enrolled in service)
  • Health insurance
  • Child care (if eligible)
  • Food assistance (up to $200/month) through the Washington Basic Food Program
  • Student loan deferment

To be eligible for this program, an applicant must be between the ages of 17 and 77, and have a high school diploma. Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, US national or permanent legal resident at the time of application. Applicant must also possess a strong interest in serving the community within the health and human services fields.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis beginning February 15 each year. Open positions for the 2013-2014 Service Year include:

  • Patient Navigators—link patients to community resources
  • Volunteer Coordinator—coordinate community volunteers
  • Reach Out and Read Coordinator—coordinate early childhood literacy program activities
  • Intergenerational Program Coordinator—create interactive encounters between children and our elders from our Care Center

For more information, visit the Sea Mar Community Health Centers Community HealthCorps webpage.

Other volunteer opportunities

The Sea Mar Community Health Centers Volunteer Program webpage lists current volunteer opportunities, which include activities assistant, administrative support, care coordination, childcare assistant, ESL teacher, fitness instructor, grounds maintenance, interpretation, kitchen helper, literacy advocate, music performance, patient greeter, and technology assistant. You can apply online or contact the Sea Mar Volunteer Coordinator at or 206-764-8040. All volunteers must pass a Washington State Patrol background check.

Author Ismenia Gaviria is an AmeriCorps Volunteer Program and Reach Out & Read program manager at Sea Mar Community Health Centers. Sea Mar's network includes more than 50 medical, dental, and behavioral health clinics and centers, and a wide variety of nutritional, social, and educational services.

AmeriCorps Experience Valuable for Adults of All Ages

Read "A 'Mature' AmeriCorps Volunteer's Experience," by Patti-lyn Bell, Seattle Mayor's Office of Senior Citizens (April 2008). Ms. Bell contributed an article about Seniors Training Seniors computer classes to this issue—the next article, "'Seniors Training Seniors' Volunteers and Students Enjoy Learning, Connecting and Sharing."