The Access Project, which was founded in 1998, is a resource center for local communities working to improve health and healthcare access. We are a program of Third Sector New England, a nonprofit with more than 40 years of experience in public and community health projects.
The Access Project is a research affiliate of the Schneider Institute for Health Policy at Brandeis University. The Schneider Institute is part of Brandeis' Heller School for Social Policy and Management. The work of The Access Project embodies the Heller School motto, "Knowledge Advancing Social Justice."
Our mission is to strengthen community action, promote social change, and improve health, especially for those who are most vulnerable. By supporting local initiatives and community leaders, we are dedicated to strengthening the voice of the underserved in policy discussions that directly affect them.
The Access Project is a not-for-organization funded through a combination of individual contributions, foundation grants and contracs with public agencies and private organizations. Some of the foundations we have received funding from within the past several years include The California Endowment, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and the Quantum Foundation.
The Access Project works with consumer, low-income membership, and advocacy organizations; hospitals and health systems; faith-based initiatives; local foundations; public health departments; and other groups engaged in efforts to improve health in their communities. All of our partner organizations have in common an approach that values the involvement of community members in their improvement efforts and a record of providing leadership in their communities.
The Access Project also collaborates closely with a number of national organizations such as ACORN, The Association for Community Health Improvement, Community Catalyst, the Health Research and Educational Trust, the Health Resources and Services Administration, National Consumer Law Center, and the National Health Law Program. In addition, we work with academic experts around the country who are interested in sharing their knowledge with, and learning from, our partners in their communities.
The Access Project collaborates with numerous local organizations. Our recent local partners include, but are not limited to, the following organizations:
- Florida- Florida Rural Legal Services, The Glades Initiative, Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County Community Health Alliance, People Engaged in Active Community Efforts in West Palm Beach (PEACE), United Way of Palm Beach County
- Iowa- HOME Inc., Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, The Institute for Social and Economic Development, Making Connections Des Moines, Neighborhood Health Initiatives
- Kansas- Flint Hills Community Health Center, Grace Med Clinic, Hunter Health Care, United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries, Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, Kansas Health Consumers Coalition, Kansas Farmers Union
- Massachusetts-Massachusetts Oral Health Advocacy Task Force
- Missouri- St. Louis University School of Law Center for Health Law Studies, St. Louis Area Jobs with Justice, Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition, SEIU Missouri State Council
- Oklahoma - The Community Action Program of Tulsa County
In developing collaborations, The Access Project favors efforts and partners that:
- Demonstrate the potential to improve health through community-based research and/or social action.
- Actively involve affected community members.
- Reflect the diversity of their community.
- Have the potential to achieve policy change.
- Generate knowledge of use to all participants.
Support our work
We are pleased to have foundation grant support, however, individual donations are essential to our work as we seek to broaden our base of support and reach our fund-raising goals.
Your tax-deductible contribution will help us to:
- Continue to study the adequacy and cost of health insurance and present the findings to interested stakeholders;
- Provide direct technical assistance to groups in states where health reform discussions are taking place;
- Increase our staff and our capacity to assist more families with crushing medical debt;
- Sponsor trainings for more than 120 organizational and community leaders in six new locations; and
- Develop new strategies to address the issue of ever-spiraling out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Please consider joining us in our quest to improve health care policy throughout the nation. On behalf of all those whose lives are improved by our work, our heartfelt thanks.
Ways to donate:
- Mail in this form along with your check, or
- Donate securely online by clicking on the "Donate Now" button below:
Please note that all donations are fully tax deductible to the amount allowed by law.
Thank you for your support!
Cathy Dunham, President
Cathy directs all policy initiatives for the Project. She fomerly headed the Community Health Leadership Program, which is supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Mark Rukavina, Executive Director
Mark oversees all programs designed to assist communities in their efforts to address the healthcare access issue. He is responsible for developing strategies and community linkages with state and national health policy administrators.
Carol Pryor, Senior Policy Analyst
Carol works with the Policy Director on research and policy analysis activities, with a focus on the issue of medical debt. Her work includes research, data analysis, and the development of publications that discuss relevant health policy issues and present findings from research projects conducted with local partner organizations.
Jeffrey Prottas, Senior Research Advisor
Jeff is responsible for strategy development and is team leader for the design, testing, assessment and the implementation of the Project's case-study work. He oversees and reviews protocols, community assessment tools, site reports, and their relationship to the policy process. Currently a research professor at the Schneider Institute of Health Policy, Jeff also coordinates the Heller-Access Project connection.
Nancy Kohn, Field Coordinator
Nancy supports local organizations with technical assistance related to information gathering through both qualitative and quantitative research methods. She also assists in the design of community research projects, provides guidance on report dissemination and assessment of language services in the medical setting.
Bill Lottero, Field Director
Bill supports selected sites with consulting services related to information dissemination, community assessments, sustainability strategies, and the design and implementation of strategic plans at the site level.
Andrew Cohen, Community Research Coordinator
Andrew coordinates a medical debt negotiation and monitoring program that works one-on-one with clients who have unaffordable medical bills. He also assists staff in conducting community research around medical debt issues and coordinates collection of consumer stories that illustrate research findings and enhance the media work related to the release of reports.
The Access Project
89 South Street, Suite 202
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 654-9911; (617) 654-9922 fax
Our offices are located in Lincoln Plaza, one block north of South Station, in the NonProfit Center. The NonProfit Center of Boston is the first mission-based, multi-tenant center in Massachusetts created exclusively to house progressive social change organizations.
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