Letter from the Board Chair: Executive Transition at Project Access NOW

By October 28, 2019 One Comment

Dear Partners and Supporters,

After thirteen years as founding Executive Director of Project Access NOW, Linda Nilsen will step down and move on to the next phase of her career, effective December 31, 2019.

Project Access NOW would not exist as it does today without Linda’s leadership and vision. I speak for the Board of Directors when I say that we are grateful to Linda for her many years of service and the solid foundation she has helped establish at Project Access NOW.

Since its inception in 2007, Project Access NOW has partnered with health systems in the Tri-County Portland Metro region, including Adventist Health Portland, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, OHSU, Providence Health & Services, and private and community clinics, to ensure access to care and services to people who have the greatest need.

Under Linda’s leadership, with a talented team of dedicated, mission-driven staff and health system partners, Project Access NOW has:

  • Coordinated more than $50 million in donated health care services for nearly 25,000 patients;
  • Provided more than 79,000 prescriptions at low or no cost to patients;
  • Assisted more than 70,000 Oregonians in enrolling in health care coverage;
  • Enrolled 800 individuals annually in premium and out-of-pocket assistance programs;
  • Connected more than 54,000 patients to support services after discharge from Providence and Kaiser hospitals; and
  • Promoted improved health outcomes and trauma-informed care by connecting 550 people to community-based services that meet their health and culturally-specific needs.

Over the last several months, Linda and the Project Access NOW board and staff have been developing a plan to ensure that the organization will continue to thrive under new leadership.

To facilitate the transition, Project Access NOW will contract with an interim executive director in January 2020, with the goal of hiring a permanent executive director by July of 2020.

Linda has graciously agreed to continue working with Project Access NOW in 2020 to assist with succession planning, transitioning, and onboarding new leadership.

We are proud of all Project Access NOW has accomplished and we share Linda’s enthusiasm for Project Access NOW’s role in improving community health and equity by expanding access to care and connecting people to coverage and services.

The Board’s primary goals are to ensure that Project Access NOW’s leadership closely reflects the populations it serves and continues to make connections that bridge the gaps in services for those most in need.

We will actively engage our community partners in the succession planning process, and we encourage you to reach out to Janet Hamilton, Deputy Director, if you would like to participate or offer input.


Timothy Hatfield
Board Chair

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Nellie Achieng says:

    Thank you very much Linda for your VISION I’m one of the patients benefiting from this program. I’m blessed by it. Since I’m an immigrant I this country things like health care is not easy when you have no insurance. THANK YOU. I just want you to know that your hard work is not in vain. I’m diabetic and I’m now 8months cancer free just because of you and your team. God bless you as you move to greater heights

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