Individuals at Six Community Health Centers Recognized for Their Achievements

Portland, OR (September 27)– The Oregon Primary Care Association (OPCA) announced the recipients for the 2022-2023 Awards of Excellence. Every year, individuals and teams are nominated by their peers for outstanding work achieved in support of underserved and marginalized patients and communities in Oregon.

A full description of the work these recipients do to improve access to healthcare, and how they positively impact their community can be found on our blog. Awardees were unveiled at OPCA’s All Peer Group Gathering on September 19, 2023.

OPCA received 26 nominations and presented six Annual Awards of Excellence honors and one Lifetime Achievement Award to the following recipients.

Health Equity and Social Justice Award

Penny Pritchard and Jason Villaneuva, from Mosaic Community Health, received the Health Equity and Social Justice Award, for leading the cause to improve health equity for Oregonians and being grounded in the roots and mission of community health centers.

“Jason Villanueva, Mosaic Spanish Communications Coordinator and Penny Pritchard, Mosaic Grants Program Manager, are integral members of the Mosaic administrative staff whose combined efforts underpin the mission of Mosaic as a community health center. For the last year Jason and Penny have spearheaded a unique Central Oregon partnership to inform Central Oregon’s Latino immigrant community about the Healthier Oregon program. Jason and Penny have taken lead roles representing Mosaic in a ground-breaking partnership with two other Central Oregon nonprofits: the Latino Community Association, the premier organization for Central Oregon Latino community support, and Volunteers in Medicine of the Cascades, a free clinic providing care to uninsured working adults.”

– Elaine Knobbs-Seasholtz, Director of Strategy and Development, Mosaic Community Health

CHC Advocacy Award

Shanta Frisbee, from Northwest Human Services received the CHC Advocacy Award for outstanding efforts in advocacy on behalf of health centers and the patients she serves.

“Over the past year, I had the pleasure of witnessing Shanta’s tireless efforts in action. From her monthly Manager Meet Up meeting, where she facilitates discussion and provides guidance, to the constant sponsorship events she organizes to connect the community with valuable resources about our Federally Qualified Health Center and Transitional Programs. Shanta consistently goes above and beyond to serve those in need. Her genuine care and compassion for each individual she interacts with are evident in her work.”

– Trina Henderson, Communications Manager, Northwest Human Services

Innovation and Leadership in Transformation Award

Arsalan Shah, from Central City Concern (CCC), received the Innovation and Leadership in Transformation Award for leading the effort to establish CHCs as centers of excellence through innovative community partnerships, clinical, operational, and administrative practices.

“Dr. Shah and the hepatitis C team (…) were first in the nation to use (dry blood spot) testing method for opioid treatment patients, (and) they practically applied and shared that technology with community partners and achieved real results. They were so successful that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has indicated that CCC’s efforts will be included as an example of best practices in future publication. (…) Dr. Shah and the hepatitis C team clearly led a unique effort to establish our clinics and outreach teams as centers of excellence through innovative community partnerships, clinical, operational, and administrative practices.”

– Barbara Martin MS, PA-C, Medical Director of Health Informatics, Central City Concern

Innovation and Leadership in Transformation Award

KC Bolton from Aviva Health also received the Innovation and Leadership in Transformation Award for leading the effort to establish CHCs as centers of excellence through innovative community partnerships, clinical, operational, and administrative practices.

“KC’s servant leadership and innovative strategy of ‘going places others won’t go and doing things others won’t do’ has greatly enhanced access to important services for underserved Douglas County residents while at the same time building a positive organizational culture that continues to attract employees whose heart is focused on the mission of Aviva Health, transformative accomplishments that position the organization for continued success.”

– Mike Durbin, Deputy Chief of Clinical Operations, Aviva Health

CHC Value Award

Angie Amundson, from Clackamas County received the CHC Value Award for extraordinary efforts in striving towards the achievement of the CHC value through data, measurement, and research.

“Under Angie’s tenure as Deputy Medical Director for Clinical Quality, we have advanced significantly as an organization that values and prioritizes data-driven decision making and working from a place of common understanding around the evolving payment and quality landscape we work in here in Oregon. She has linked CCHC with the Southcentral Foundation to help build a model for effective data stewardship and data access that will allow leadership and end users to access information we need more nimbly and with better understanding of what the data represents and how we get it.”

– Erin De Armond-Reid, Primary Care Operations Manager, Clackamas Health Centers

Access & Sustainability Award

Silver Marquez from One Community Heath received the Access & Sustainability Award for ensuring Oregon’s CHCs can support ongoing and evolving needs for their services and communities.

“Silver is a Registered Dental Hygienist and our Dental Preventative Health Manager who leads OCH’s School Dental Services Program, providing free oral health services to all students in the Hood River County School District. Silver Marquez has been leading this program since 2017, and it has more than quadrupled in size.”

– Gladys Rivera, Preventative Health Manager, One Community Health

Lifetime Achievement Award

Ruth Anne McGovern from NARA Northwest received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her hard work and dedication to Oregon Health Centers. Ruth Anne dedicated 24 years to NARA Northwest as a primary care provider, ensuring medically underserved populations had access to the services they needed prior to her recent and well-deserved retirement.

“Long before social determinants of health were labeled as such, she was mobilizing teams of people to remove the many barriers our patients had to getting the care they needed to live their best lives. She worked evenings and weekends to make sure our patients had access to care. She connected patients to resources for transportation. She acknowledged past trauma and built trust with those she served. She found free and low-cost resources to provide patients with the tools they needed to be successful in the self-management groups she lead – pill boxes, measuring cups, food journals, blood sugar logbooks, diabetes alert necklaces, exercise equipment, and gym memberships. She also knitted hats and made quilts to be used as raffle prizes in these groups. Patients came for health education, but they also wanted a chance to win one of the many beautiful handmade items she donated.”

– Alison Goerl, RD, LD, NARA Northwest

OPCA offers congratulations to all the 2022-2023 Annual Awards of Excellence winners, and we thank all those who nominated colleagues this year.

About Oregon’s CHCs

Oregon’s community health centers deliver integrated medical, dental, and behavioral health services to many of the state’s most vulnerable communities through over 270 locations statewide. Over 430,000 Oregonians receive their care at a community health center, including one in four people on the Oregon Health Plan. More than 60% of patients live below the poverty line, and 13% live at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Over 75% of community health centers have clinic sites serving rural communities, 30% of Oregon’s community health centers are federally recognized as Health Care for the Homeless locations, and 33% are designated as Migrant Health Centers. Find out more about Oregon’s CHCs here.

About OPCA:

The Oregon Primary Care Association (OPCA) is a non-profit membership association for the state’s 32 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), and two FQHC look-alikes. We generate data-driven insights into operational challenges, shape evolving health policy, and provide technical assistance to community health centers to achieve health equity for Oregonians.

Our members deliver integrated primary care, including dental and behavioral health services, to over 430,000 Oregonians. In addition to providing integrated primary care, health centers work to help patients improve the circumstances of their lives and develop healthy behaviors, through services like job training, literacy education, and connection to resources for affordable housing and healthy food.

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