An interview with Jennie Leslie, MD

By July 22, 2020 No Comments
This week, we are proud to feature an interview with Dr. Jennie Leslie, incoming Board Chair at Project Access NOW. Thank you, Jennie, for your leadership and commitment to our community!


Virginia (Jennie) C. Leslie, MD – Incoming Board Chair FY21


Could you tell me a little about yourself?  
I am an ObGyn committed to underserved care and teaching. I began my practice in Washington D.C., after working abroad in New Zealand and Guatemala. I moved to Portland to teach medicine at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).


I am passionate about working within and serving the Latino community and currently practice at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, as well as Providence and OHSU.


My entire career has been dedicated to women’s health and reaching those that are underserved by our healthcare system. Project Access NOW is the “glue” holding our broken medical system together. Until our country and culture are in a place that recognizes the interconnectedness of all – we will continue to need these creative solutions to piece together quality health care, especially for those most in need.


When did you join the Project Access NOW board and why did you choose to serve?
I joined in 2017. This year, in FY21, I am proud to serve as incoming Board Chair.
I was born and raised in Georgia and did my residency training in Asheville, North Carolina. The Project Access concept was actually founded by doctors in North Carolina in the 90s. Doctors saw that certain physicians and clinics were taking on more of the cost and responsibility for seeing patients with low-incomes or without insurance. They got together to share this work and their idea spread across the country. I was so pleased to find Project Access NOW when I came to Portland. Project Access NOW has been able to do this work in a much larger city than Asheville. It is impressive what they have accomplished with creative and large-scale solutions.


What keeps you motivated, especially during this tough year?
I come from a family that is dedicated to service. My parents instilled the importance of public service early on and my father (a teacher) took me to Nicaragua when I was a teen. I also spent time working in Latin America and working for Habitat for Humanity. Social justice has always been a central part of my life. I try to keep that passion for service central to everything I do.


Tell me about an accomplishment of Project Access NOW you are most proud? What would you like to accomplish in the future?
I am so proud of what the organization has done over the last decades. As a physician, I see my role to bring together the different medical providers I work with and help them become more efficient. The more efficiency and collaboration we can create, the more we can benefit underserved patients and create a better healthcare system for all.


In our state and our country, we need to have universal access to care. We are just one of the many organizations doing this work – we need the larger system of healthcare providers and many organizations working together towards this goal. Oregonians are really passionate about equality, and I believe the state is on the right track. We need healthcare for all in Oregon.



All of us at Project Access NOW

p.s. Fight COVID-19! Please remember to wear a mask!



Bill Nye demonstrates why wearing masks protects people from COVID-19

(CBS This Morning)

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