Health systems pledge an additional $7.85 million to address health inequities

By August 17, 2021 No Comments

Major health care providers – Adventist Health, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, Oregon Health and Science University, and Providence Health & Services – recently announced a renewed collective investment in Project Access NOW, a non-profit with a mission to improve community health and well-being by creating access to care, services, and resources for those in need. Since 2007, the regional health systems have invested more than $35 million to date to support health promoting services for the un-and-underinsured in our communities and have continued this commitment throughout the pandemic. Uniquely nestled amongst primary care, health systems and community partners, Project Access NOW has become a critical access point for health education and access, particularly for underserved communities. Across the suite of programs offered, Project Access NOW clients are largely low-income, non-native English speaking, and identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color.

Over the next three years, partners have pledged to contribute a total of $7.85 million, increasing their annual investment by over 55%.

Thank you to our partners for your long-term support!

Ninety-Nine Girlfriends Semi-Finalist

Project Access NOW is one of 22 semi-finalists, chosen by the organization Ninety-Nine Girlfriends, from among 151 grant applications submitted this year. We are proud to be joined by 21 other exceptional organizations working to make real change in our region. Thank you, Girlfriends, for your investment in addressing a range of local issues!

Transition in Board Leadership Spotlight: Jennie Leslie and Lauren Foote Christensen, Board Leadership

A new fiscal year means new leadership on the hardworking board of Project Access NOW. Dr. Jennie Leslie, Outgoing Chair, recently sat down with Lauren Foote Christensen, Incoming Chair.

JENNIE: How long have you served and what brought you to the PANOW board?

LAUREN: I have served on the PANOW Board of Directors for 3 years. I originally represented Legacy Health with a board seat as I was employed there for 22 years and oversaw Community Benefit as part of my scope of responsibilities. Legacy’s investment in PANOW over the past 13+ years, was one of the largest investments the health system made and in my role, I felt it was imperative to get involved with PANOW and learn more about how PANOW was serving our community. I have learned a lot about PANOW over the past 3 years and am very honored to serve as board chair for 2021-2022.

JENNIE: If you could share one thing about PANOW with partners who don’t know us, what would it be?

LAUREN: One thing? That’s hard to do as PANOW is one of the most incredible and multi-faceted organizations in our state! PANOW is the most adept organization I am aware of at resourcing and delivering key services focused on addressing social needs. A great example of that is the way that PANOW responded to the wildfire needs last fall. When the counties impacted by wildfires called and asked PANOW to deliver needed services, PANOW used its nimble but powerful access to resources and provided numerous houseless Oregonians with such services as hotel vouchers. PANOW serves our community members with what they need, when they need it – improving the health and wellbeing of thousands every year.

JENNIE: What was our greatest challenge or success this past year as a board?

LAUREN: It has been a challenging year for the PANOW Board – just like it has been for all of us personally and professionally. Despite the pandemic and virtual environment, our board worked cohesively to recruit and hire Carly Hood-Ronick as our new ED, AND we initiated and collaborated with the PANOW team to develop a refreshed Strategic Plan to guide us over the next 3 years. These are two significant accomplishments for any board to achieve – pandemic or not – while providing leadership and a roadmap for PANOW’s future.

JENNIE: What are you looking forward to as incoming board chair?

LAUREN: PANOW never ceases to amaze me with innovative approaches and focused solutions to support health systems and our community members. It gives me great satisfaction to work along side the PANOW team in collaboration with our highly experienced board members to deliver critical support and services for our community members. We have a refreshed Strategic Plan to guide us and we will welcome 7 new members to the board at our annual meeting in September. This is a very exciting time.

JENNIE: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

LAUREN: This past year due to pandemic travel limitations, I took a few road trips around the western states while camping with my two Labrador pups. We hiked throughout Montana, Colorado and Utah. This was a safe and healthy way to explore parts of our country which I had never seen before.

LAUREN: Let me spin it around to you! What advice do you have for me as incoming chair after your year of service?

JENNIE: Just be present with the staff, the community, and the board. It’s a great path that we’re on together at Project Access NOW. Our success has come from truly being a part of the communities we serve and listening to the needs our neighbors have every day. I know you’ll carry on that tradition!

PANOW appointed to Oregon’s Health Information Technology Oversight Council (HITOC)

Carly Hood-Ronick, PANOW’s Executive Director, was recently appointed to the Health Information Technology Oversight Council (HITOC). The council is tasked with setting goals and developing a strategic health information technology plan for the state, as well as monitoring progress in achieving those goals and providing oversight for the implementation of the plan. HITOC is currently coordinating Oregon’s public and private statewide efforts in electronic health records adoption and the development of a statewide system for electronic health information exchange, inclusive of how social and medical information is exchanged through Community Information Exchanges (CIEs). PANOW has been at the forefront of sharing social information with health system partners and will bring a strong CIE voice to the table!

PANOW’s Premium Assistance program ensures health care coverage – beyond Medicaid!

The Premium Assistance program pays the monthly insurance premium for participants. The program also works with participants and providers to help lower additional out-of-pocket expenses and continues to seek ways to add benefits to participants. Last year, Premium Assistance paid $963,098 in medical premiums, insuring 737 individuals from 550 households.

Read more about how Premium Assistance helped Sam and their family.

Get Vaccinated!

Project Access NOW is hosting six upcoming COVID-19 vaccine events at Beaverton Resource Center (13565 SW Walker Rd. Beaverton, OR 97005). For information and registration: call 503-345-7031 or click the link below.

Sign up online for any of the following dates:
August 20
August 27
September 3
September 10
September 17
September 24





Carly Hood-Ronick MPA, MPH

Executive Director

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