We had our own electoral nailbiter, but we have a winner!
In the midst of one of the most surreal elections to ever take place in America we were quietly conducting our own little experiment with Democracy here at the shop. In our Referral Reward Program we make donations to the non-profit group of your choice for every client referral you make. We don’t just donate once though; each group is also eligible for quarterly and yearly awards as well. We picked the quarterlies and yearlies ourselves at first, but opened the yearly award to voting last year and started doing the same with the quarterly this year. This first election was a four way tie until the very last minute, when one vote determined the winner of the $200 award. We’re proud to say our winner is…
We’d announced this voting well in advance and promoted it on Facebook, through our client-only emails, here at the shop, and at every event we attended for the last month. While most of the eligible groups got at least one vote, the four early and clear leaders were Oregon Food Bank, Oregon Humane Society, KBOO Radio, and Planned Parenthood. They jockeyed for number one throughout the voting but at the very end all four groups were tied with five votes. Not having an Electoral College of our own we were prepared to draw a name out of a hat to break the tie, but then, with less than a half hour to go before voting officially ended, one client called to cast the tiebreaking vote. Thanks to them democracy remains intact, and it is with a clear conscience that we can officially announce the Tom Dwyer Automotive Services Referral Reward Quarterly Award Winner is…
Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette (PPCW) is the largest non-profit family planning and reproductive rights organization in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Since 1963 their mission has been to provide, promote, and protect access to sexual and reproductive health care. PPCW has provided a broad range of sexual and reproductive health care, family planning and other medical services; trained and educated community members on issues of sexuality; and advocated for the protection of reproductive rights and freedom in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Each year, more than 58,000 women, men and teens visit one of PPCW’s seven health centers. PPCW provides a wide range of education programs and health care services, including low-cost birth control, emergency contraception, gynecological exams, breast cancer screenings, cervical cancer detection and treatment, sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing and treatment, vasectomy, and pregnancy testing and options counseling. Less than five percent of PPCW services are for early abortion care.
Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette is an affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). While Planned Parenthood as a national movement began in 1916, PPCW was founded in 1963 as Planned Parenthood Association of Portland. The Ethical Study Society, a branch of the American Humanists, called the first meeting to organize a Planned Parenthood affiliate in November of 1962. A steering committee was formed, and a Board of Directors elected in May of 1963. Jesalee Fosterling was the first President of the Board.
Our first health center opened its doors in October of 1963 in space sublet from the Interfaith Counseling Center in downtown Portland. From 1963 through 1965, the health center was staffed entirely by volunteers, with services, counseling and education all under supervision of the volunteer health center director, Jeanne Radow. In the fall of 1965, Dr. Jessie Laird Brodie became Executive Director and our first paid staff member.
In January of 1966 we moved to a renovated storefront at NE 6th and Broadway, and Jesalee Fosterling became Executive Director in 1968. From 1966 to 1969 we secured new funding for services to low income people from the Office of Economic Opportunity, Health Education and Welfare, Oregon State Health Division and United Way, increasing our base of support to include government contracts, including Title X funding. This additional support made it possible to expand programs and hire additional staff. During this time we established several satellite health centers in the Portland neighborhoods of Albina, Brooklyn and Columbia Villa; eventually these health centers closed or were turned over to the Multnomah Health Division.
In September 1971 we moved to larger, more efficient space at SE 12th and Morrison. We added pregnancy testing and colposcopy services, and the number of clients we served increased. We hired our first full-time Medical Director, Dr. Tom Britton. In 1978 PPCW became the first family planning health center in the country to install in-house computerized data for patient services. Because we were the first to use in-house computerized patient tracking, Federal Region X of the Department of Health and Human Services eventually contracted with PPCW to manage all Title X data until 2000.
The decade of the 1980s saw geographic expansion outside of the city of Portland. We opened health centers in Vancouver in 1981 and in Beaverton in 1984. The Portland health center and administrative offices moved in 1983 to 3231 SE 50th, a building given to us by Cascade Health Plan. Along with the purchase of the Vancouver site in 1984, these buildings provided PPCW with a sense of permanence in the community.
In March of 1990 we opened a new site in a shopping center in Gresham and purchased the Beaverton health center site, which we had been leasing. In July of 1992, we opened a new health center in Northeast Portland and in June of 1993 a health center in Salem. The Salem health center became the first PPCW center to offer abortion services. In October of 1998 we expanded services to Central Oregon, opening a new health center in Bend.
PPCW entered a time of unprecedented growth in 2000. As a result, more than twice as many low-income women, men and teens now rely on Planned Parenthood, accessing a wider range of reproductive and sexual health care options and medically accurate sex education and outreach.
From 2002-2005, PPCW opened four new health centers and completed significant renovations on the remaining five facilities. In October 2003, PPCW completed our most ambitious capital project to date, the Charla Richards-Kreitzberg Health Center in Salem, replacing our formerly leased. This center was PPCW’s first from-the-ground-up construction project.
In November 2002, PPCW established a “virtual” Online Health Center with the launch of our Nurse Advice Line. Current services offered by the Online Health Center include information and appointment setting for all services at all health centers, Contraception Online and Emergency Contraception Online described below.
In December 2003, PPCW opened a second southwest Washington health center, the Salmon Creek Express Center. Express Centers are smaller satellites to our larger health centers, providing a limited range of basic services (contraceptive care, pregnancy testing, HIV and other sexually transmitted infection testing) right in the neighborhoods where they are needed.
In June 2004, PPCW moved the Gresham health center to a new, 50 percent larger location in a medical office building in the historic Old Town area. In October 2004, we opened our second express center, in Clackamas County, serving our patients southeast of Portland.PPCW opened its tenth health center in McMinnville, OR in October 2007.
In January 2010, PPCW moved into its new Elizabeth Flanagan Regional Service Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in NE Portland. The new building serves as the administrative headquarters for the organization and is home to a new, upgraded NE Portland health center. The new NE Portland health center doubled the capacity of the previous space, allowing PPCW to serve more patients in NE Portland than ever before.
PPCW is committed to leading other Planned Parenthood affiliates and family planning providers in reproductive health care technology. We’ve demonstrated that commitment over the past several years by launching several new family planning services many of which had never been offered by Planned Parenthood affiliates before.
Congratulations to Planned Parenthood, our newest Referral Reward Quarterly winner. We’re sure they’ll spend their $200 award well, we wish them the best of luck on their continuing and important work, and our sympathies in what looks to be a rough road ahead for the next few years!