In January, I had the honor of speaking at the Washington State of Reform Health Policy Conference. Led by moderator Paul Hollie, director of social impact for Premera Blue Cross, my peers and I spent almost an hour talking specifically about how we build ties between health care and homelessness.

It was inspiring to see so many of our friends in attendance, including Virginia Mason, CHI Franciscan Health, Kaiser Permanente, Community Health Plan of Washington, Molina Healthcare, UW Medicine, Pacific Hospital Preservation & Development Authority and others. Each organization and more than 700 people gave their days to build collaboration and social capital.

DJ Wilson, president and CEO of State of Reform, wrote in his welcome to attendees that, “their work is to break down the silos of health care and to bridge the gap between health care and health policy.”

Through our dedicated volunteers and talented staff, Project Access Northwest is also focused on boldly breaking down silos with expertise in bridging gaps to appropriate health care services. Our measurable results in 2018 alone include:

  • Creating life-changing and sometimes life-saving Health Action Plans with 246 individuals who chose to work with us through an option offered to all under Medicaid. These plans were written and are being tracked after completing 1,700 face-to-face visits and placing more than 2,000 phone calls through our Health Home program.
  • Logging almost 30,000 appointments and/or calls for specialty medical care. In doing so, we dramatically reduced health care costs for providers and for our partner hospitals and medical systems. As a result, thousands of people are able to regain health and the ability to give back to their local communities.

With funding secured in 2018, this year so far our Premium Assistance program purchased health insurance on the exchange for 70 members through five different insurance carriers and partnerships with CHI Franciscan, UW/Harborview, Multicare, Providence and Swedish hospitals.

We look forward to providing our full annual report and highlighting even more accomplishments in the coming months. For now, we are also turning our attention to the road ahead.

Clear strategy yielding measurable results

Thanks to the wisdom of our board of directors, we have a new and powerful strategic framework to guide our effort over the course of the next two years. In a time of political unpredictability and health care debate, it is empowering to have a solid and flexible strategy to meet the demands ahead. One of our treasured board members, Shirley Bishop, writes more on this topic in this story.

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