PANOW staff were grateful for the invitation to join Governor Kate Brown at the Oregon Reopening Ceremony on June 30th. At Project Access NOW, we have been proud to support over 1,197 vaccinations in the community reaching those most disproportionality impacted by COVID-19!
PANOW provides expertise on Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace Virtual Town Hall
Our very own Linzay Shirahama, Premium Assistance Program Manager, joined other experts at the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace Virtual Town Hall to answer questions about the open enrollment period, which ends August 15th. Don’t miss the chance to enroll in health insurance!
C3 Community Assistance Program (C3CAP) helps regional hospital systems avoid unnecessary stays
“I really appreciate all your hard work to get people into recovery. If it wasn’t for projects like this I wouldn’t have a family and be in long-term recovery.”
Troy McChesney, Director of Admissions and Community Outreach, Sober Living Oregon Recovery Center
Our C3 Community Assistance Program supports community needs, whatever they may be. Beyond aiding with just hospital discharge, the program also provides assistance to a broad range of vulnerable individuals needing support to get and stay healthy. In 2020, the program also helped to distribute $1.1 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds directly to the community.
We could not do this work without our partners and clients – the heart of our work at Project Access NOW!
Premium Assistance staff support health care re-enrollment for more than 400 individuals
The American Rescue Plan (ARP), which took effect in March 2021, was a federal, $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill aimed at restarting the U.S. economy and building upon previous COVID-19 stimulus bills (passed in March and December of 2020). While the ARP was focused on national recovery from the economic and health effects of the pandemic, a little-known provision of the bill impacted the health insurance of millions of Americans. Under the bill, individuals can receive more help paying for health insurance, and many not previously eligible for tax credits became eligible for aid. However, to access these monthly savings, those currently enrolled in a Marketplace plan needed to re-enroll (opt back in) to their plan. Luckily, Project Access NOW has a diverse and experienced staff with the range of skills needed to complete complex projects and those requiring quick action.
Spotlight: Sooly Vasquez, Premium Assistance Program Coordinator
Our staff and Board members have worked hard, especially over the past year, to improve the well-being of our community and to provide support for those most underserved by our regional health care system.
As part of a big THANK YOU to our hardworking team, we are highlighting another key individual this month.
What brought you to Project Access NOW?
I am a first-generation immigrant and the oldest child in my family. My family comes from Mexico, from the state of Hidalgo. I attended Westview High School and then Portland Community College. During school, I became interested in student leaderships and especially the concept of “servant leadership.” Through this work, I met someone from Project Access NOW. When I heard about the organization’s work, I knew I wanted to be involved. Project Access NOW truly embodies the concept of servant leadership, an important value of mine.
Where did you do before coming to Project Access NOW? What skills have you brought to the organization that help with your work currently?
Originally, I thought I wanted to be a teacher and studied child development. In fact, I was pursuing a dual degree in child development and the culinary arts. I never considered the health field but, when I saw the work going on a Project Access NOW, I knew I wanted to be involved. Everyone at Project Access NOW truly cares about helping others, and they also care about each other. I always knew I wanted to do something to help the community and, through my work at Project Access NOW, I am able to do that on a larger scale.
Can you remember a time when your work felt particularly meaningful? Why is the Premium Assistance Program so important?
A particularly striking situation recently was a parent who was seeking asylum, fleeing violence in their home country. They were forced to leave some of their children behind and do not know if they are ok. With the stress of that situation, it is even more difficult for them to navigate a new country and new health systems. I was honored to help this person navigate the insurance system and access the best care possible. Our services, because they are so comprehensive, follow an individual through all of life’s changes. Project Access NOW is an important support system that helps to keep vulnerable community members well.
What is something most people might not know about you?
I recently started working with a personal trainer and have been really enjoying it. At work, I am pushed mentally and emotionally. Physical exercise helps me stay balanced and, in turn, be of better service to my community.
Congratulations to Erin Fair Taylor, Project Access NOW Board Chair
Congratulations to Erin Fair Taylor on her new position as Vice President of Medicaid Programs at PacificSource Health Plans. Erin has served on the Project Access NOW Board since 2017 and brings a deep knowledge of Medicaid policy, investments that promote equity, and community health strategies to improve access to care. We are honored to have her serve as our Board Chair in 2022.
Thank you, Erin, for your service to our region!
Get Involved: Help us spread the word about FREE, upcoming vaccine clinics
Project Access NOW’s outreach efforts work in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority, Multnomah County, Oregon, Clackamas County, Oregon, and Washington County Health and Human Services as well as partner community-based organizations to address inequities in vaccination rates across populations, support education, and better understand vaccine hesitancy.
We are proud to partner with IRCO Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, Kaiser Permanente, and Beaverton Resource Center to host nine more vaccine clinics in July, August, and September.
Beaverton Resource Center – 13565 SW Walker Rd, Beaverton, OR 97005
July 16th, 9am – 1pm
August 6th, 9am – 1pm
August 13th, 3pm – 7pm
August 20th, 9am – 1pm
August 27th, 9am – 1pm
September 3rd, 9am – 1pm
September 10th, 3pm – 7pm
September 17th, 9am – 1pm
September 24th, 9am – 1pm
We are proud to represent a diverse client population and promote equitable vaccine distribution and access through these events.
Project Access NOW Holds Celebration to Recognize Achievements over the Past Year
Summer is in full swing! Project Access NOW recently held a picnic with its staff and their families to celebrate the organization’s achievements over the past year. Pictured is Project Access NOW’s staff (most of whom have not seen each other since the Project Access NOW office closed in March 2020). Despite working remotely, these individuals have continued to support diverse communities from across the state, acting as a bridge between health systems, community clinics, social service providers, and insurance by filling care gaps for those most underserved.
We look forward to continuing this work and serving our community in the coming year!