The founding of Anchorage Project Access (APA) was initiated by the Anchorage Access to Health Care Coalition and brought to fruition through the collaborative efforts of a group of local physicians and numerous community stakeholders, including the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Providence Health Systems Alaska Community Benefit Program, Rasmuson Foundation, United Way of Anchorage, Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center, The Foraker Group, Christian Health Associates, Municipality of Anchorage DHHS, Alaska Primary Care Association, State of Alaska DHSS, and Alaska Health Fair.
The Anchorage Access to Health Care Coalition was formed in 1998 with the mission of improving access to health care for medically underserved community members in Anchorage. In 2001-2002, the coalition held a series of meetings among Anchorage physicians, representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, Anchorage health care leaders, and key stakeholders that resulted in the selection of Project Access in Buncombe County, North Carolina as the model for its local efforts.
In February 2004, the Coalition selected Christian Health Associates (CHA) as the lead agency to run the project’s Volunteer Network. CHA serves as the project’s administrator and is the recipient and manager of project funding. Anchorage Project Access is one of six entities to reside within the administrative structure of CHA. Each entity maintains its own Board of Directors, Executive Directors, by-laws, and mission statements separately from those of CHA.
In September 2004, the American Project Access Network met with CHA, Anchorage physicians, and other interested parties. A group of physicians stepped forward and agreed to lead the project, forming the Anchorage Project Access Physician Leadership Team. The Physician Leadership Team, with the support of CHA, provided the design and policy oversight for Anchorage Project Access.
In December 2005, the Anchorage Project Access Board of Directors was formed, composed largely of members of the Physician Leadership Team. That same month, APA and its network of volunteer providers saw its first client.