AAPI Week of Action Assister Spotlight


Join the Department of Health and Human services (HHS), and community leaders across the county during the week of January 18, 2016 for National AAPI Enrollment Week of Action! #Getcovered

Name: Stacey Ortman
Position: Affordable Care Act Program Coordinator/Navigator
Organization: Asian Services In Action, Inc.
Years in public health/health services: 1 Year

What inspired you to get involved with this line of work?
I was inspired to get involved in this line of work because health is so crucial, and health coverage is the key to accessing health care and maintaining good health. Sometimes navigating the world of health coverage can be confusing and frustrating, especially if English is not one’s primary language or if health coverage was never accessible before. Knowing that I can take something that can be complex and hard to understand and make it simpler so other can understand and access the health care they need, makes everything worth it.

How many years of experience do you have? 1 year

Describe an experience that made an impact in your line of work:
About six months prior, I assisted a community member apply for Medicaid for herself and her son. The mother expressed that before we met she tried to apply for Medicaid by herself, but the process was hard to understand and she was very frustrated. Through the intake process and conversation, it became evident that not only did her and her son need health coverage so they could access the health care that they needed, but they also needed a variety of other resources that our organization was able to provide. The mother was amazed that we would go out of our way to assist her in so many ways and positively impact her and her son’s overall well being that she was almost in tears. It was then that I realized that the work I do is more than connecting community members to health insurance, but rather connecting them to the tools needed to positively impact their overall health and well-being.

What language barriers, if any, did you experience while providing assistance? How did you handle these situations?
Our organization provides enrollment assistance to individuals from a variety of different ethnic communities, with different levels of language readiness, resulting in language barriers during enrollment assistance, both big and small. To overcome the larger language barriers, with the permission of community members, I oftentimes will schedule an interpreter to interpret during the appointment, or we will call the Marketplace Call Center for application assistance and speak with an interpreter over the phone.