Kimberly Washkowiak Md

Do amazing things for people
by Adama Dyoniziak, Executive Director, Champions for Health


For seven years, Nancy had been battling severe anemia, uncontrolled hemorrhaging, exhaustion and indescribable pain. She was in the hospital twice for blood transfusions, once with a three-day hospital stay. Nancy lost her job cleaning hotels and private homes due to frequent and uncontrolled bleeding and weakness. She was always afraid of leaving her home for too long in case she had an episode while out. She had years of feelings of anger, frustration and hopelessness as she dealt with her severe medical condition.

When Nancy was connected to Project Access (PASD) at Champions for Health, she saw the hope and possibility she had lost. Dr. Kimberly Washkowiak was the PASD volunteer and OB/GYN at Scripps Clinic La Jolla and Nancy’s physician. Nancy describes her meetings with the doctor as informative, warm and assuring. “My doctor is a beautiful human being. I felt her warmth, her appreciation, her concern for me.” After an initial consultation and imaging, there was a discussion about the possibility of surgery. “The doctor explained everything so well to me. She told me the advantages and disadvantages. Of course, I was scared, but she gave me options.” Dr. Washkowiak added, “It gives me great pride to volunteer for Project Access. I am so happy to provide patients with relief from their pain, which affects their quality of life so greatly. They would not have access to medical care otherwise. I would wholeheartedly recommend volunteering because it grounds you and brings you back to why you started in medicine. You can do amazing things for people.”

Nancy happily recalls the surgery day and the days of care afterward. “I felt important and cared for when Dr. W checked on me.” Nancy says sometimes she cannot believe where she is now adding, “now here I am, sharing my story and I would love to have the magical power to share my feelings of being grateful directly to the doctors, to give them my gratitude, to share this feeling I have in my chest because I am alive, I am here… I am here.”

Dr. Washkowiak spoke about her career and family. “No one in my family is in medicine – I am the first doctor. Educating women about their bodies is very rewarding. The best part about being a physician is the long-term relationships developed with patients, like Nancy.” Since 2008, Champions for Health’s Project Access has facilitated $27 million in care for 9,600 uninsured patients just like Nancy by providing free consultations and surgeries.

Donations cover the cost of transportation, medical interpreting, diagnostic tests and medication – all free to the patients and priceless to their families. There are so many ways to help your neighbors, choose the way that works best for you! You can donate once or join our monthly giving program for ongoing support. Stocks and securities can be transferred to Champions for Health. Direct charitable distributions of IRA funds can be contributed up to $100,000.

When you support Champions for Health, you contribute to the health and wellbeing of thousands of individuals in San Diego. Each of these people show their gratitude with a smile and a hug because their prayers were answered by helpful angels such as yourself, stepping up in their time of need

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Esteban Villanueva