We thank our 165 guests, sponsors and in-kind donors for collectively raising $93,600 to help strike down barriers to health care. Read on for highlights of the night, an inspirational video and a fun photo gallery.

by Gary Renville, Executive Director

If you were not among the 165 people who attended our STRIKE! Down Barriers to Health Care event on October 9, know that we missed you! With tremendous thanks to all of our donors, including top King Pin sponsor, Cellnetix Pathology & Laboratories, we raised $93,600!

Our evening was made special by our deputy executive director extraordinaire Melissa Johnson, celebrity emcee Pat Cashman, board president Terri Rambosek and our mission moment speakers Jean MacKinnon and Lloyd Joynt— both patients and friends of Project Access Northwest.

You can view our patient video or see photos from the event.

For more information or to donate (yes, there is still time to give!), please call, email or give online.

For those unable to attend our event, my opening remarks are below:

The biggest honor I have as executive director of Project Access Northwest is working with an amazing group of volunteers and donors, a visionary board of directors and our team of 23 talented, committed and expert staff.

Because of their work, which each of you are supporting by your presence, more than 45,000 people served since our founding in 2006—roughly enough to fill every seat in Safeco Field—have already received access to health care.

Even with such an impressive number of people already reached, there is still much to be done to eliminate barriers to health care in our region.

In my 10-block walk to and from work, I interact with at least a dozen people each day that I believe to be homeless—people who I know are desperately asking and searching for the basic necessities, including—among other things—food, clothing, shelter and appropriate health care services.

That walk to and from work each day reminds me of growing up in Oregon and the struggles of poverty and homelessness that I experienced with my own family for the first 16 years of my life.

Fast forward to six years ago this month, my mother, still living in poverty, passed away after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. A year prior to her diagnosis, she felt something was wrong, but for many reasons, including a distrust of the health care system and lack of care coordination, didn’t receive the help she needed in finding appropriate services that could have slowed her disease or even saved her life.

So, for those who are living in poverty, or who are on the edge of homelessness, or for those who for whatever reason may not be working or able to work, who have lost their insurance or not have access to the health care they need, this work that we do is personal.

Project Access Northwest is part of the critical safety net in the communities we serve that strives to ensure that unmet health needs aren’t leaving people vulnerable to long-term issues, hunger or homelessness.

In short, we strike down barriers that people in King, Kitsap and Snohomish counties face accessing health care.

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Patient Jean MacKinnon shares her story and demonstrates how Project Access Northwest makes a critical difference for so many. This video was first shown at our Strike Down Barriers to Health Care event in October 2018. We thank freelance motion graphics artist Charlie Bartlett, of Tread, LLC, who volunteered his time and expertise to help us create this compelling video about our work.