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Laura Brennan (M.S.W. '96)
Laura Brennan (M.S.W. '96)

Laura Brennan  holds a position that many would describe as a dream job. In her role with PacificSource Health Plans, a non-profit commercial health insurer, Laura puts together three critical activities - community development, public policy, and philanthropy - to make a real difference in increasing access to health care.

On the community development side, Laura works with coalitions in 15 Oregon counties, including the 100% Access Coalition in Lane County, Project Access NOW, and the Central Oregon Health Collaborative, to inform and support their efforts. She provides a framework of eight critical activities based on best practices in health care and works with communities to adapt and adopt the models that make sense for them. For example, in Central Oregon Laura is working with the coalition to create a coverage product for those who are uninsured and creating "medical homes" that provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

Public policy is another large part of Laura's work. She plays an active role in a statewide coalition that includes Oregon's Department of Human Services, Northwest Health Foundation, the National Policy Consensus Center, and Communities Joined in Action, that is working to create and advocate for a common public health agenda for Oregon. In the 2007 Legislative session, the coalition advanced HB 3097, a bill to allow communities to create local solutions that improve access and the health of all. While the bill did not pass, it had broad support from the business community, labor unions, consumer advocacy, and organizations around the state.

The last and critical piece of Laura's work is her role as the Executive Director of PacificSource Charitable Foundation. Here, Laura supports the Board of Directors in order to award incentive grants to public health and community health care organizations to advance their work.