OPCA Annual Awards of Excellence: CHC Advocacy

Shanta’ Frisbee (she/her), Program Manager, NW Human Services

In November 2022, The Northwest Human Service HOST program hosted the “Light the Night” event. The national event is held in recognition of November’s National Runaway Prevention month. This was one of my first interactions with my new colleague, Shanta Frisbee, HOST Program Manager. At the event, Shanta invited all attendees to fill out a bright green colored 3X5 postcard with the question, how will you help? I vividly recall one young adult client, who jotted down three simple words on his postcard: “Just showing up.” These words resonated with me and served as a daily reminder of the impact we can make by being present and supportive.

Shanta Frisbee accepts her CHC Advocacy Award ruing OPCA's Annual Awards CeremonyThe City of Salem recognized the importance of this cause and reached out to Shanta Frisbee, NWHS, HOST Program Manager to read a proclamation at the City of Salem Council meeting. I was new to the company and didn’t know much information about the event. Shanta invited me to attend the meeting to see her present the read the document (and she was only given a 3-day notice.) Her eloquent reading of the proclamation effectively raised awareness about the issue, and as a symbolic gesture, the Marion Bridge was lit in green that night. The same proclamation was later shared with our staff, clients, and community members on a very cold night outside in front of the HOST night while holding candles.

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.

Furthermore, Shanta’s advocacy work extends far beyond local efforts. She was recently invited to speak at the Nations Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., where she fearlessly represented our organization and advocated for homeless young adults aged 18-24. Shanta highlighted the unique challenges faced by these individuals, who may be legally adults but are not yet equipped to navigate life independently. Her impactful speech brought attention to the issue and emphasized the importance of providing resources to this population.

In addition to her remarkable advocacy work, Shanta has faced personal challenges with her child’s medical struggles. As a fellow parent, I can only imagine the immense strength and determination it takes to show up every day when one’s child’s health is uncertain. Despite these challenges, Shanta remains steadfast in her commitment to improving the lives of others, serving as a true inspiration to all those around her.

Her unwavering dedication, passion and exceptional advocacy efforts have made a tangible difference in the lives of the individuals she serves and the community as a whole.

OPCA's Annual Award winner for 2022-2023 pose together with OPCA Executive Director, Joan Watson-Patko and By-Laws and Nominating Committee Chair, Andrew Suchocki

From left to right: Joan Watson-Patko, Shanta Frisbee, Silver Marquez, Jason Villanueva, Penny Pritchard, Ruth Ann McGovern, Angie Amundson, and Andrew Suchocki

Submission written by Trina Henderson, Communications Project Manager, NW Human Services