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Wrong Hillary Rossi?

Hillary Rossi

Outreach Coordinator

Washington Assistive Technology Foundation

HQ Phone: (206) 328-5116

Washington Assistive Technology Foundation

100 South King Street Suite 280

Seattle, Washington 98104

United States

Company Description

WATF's mission is to promote access to technology and economic opportunity for individuals with disabilities in Washington state. What does WATF do? WATF provides: Low interest loans for assistive technology and home and vehicle access modifications ( ... more

Find other employees at this company (2)

Background Information


The Evergreen State College

Web References (2 Total References)

Washington Access Fund [ Stenbeck ]

www.watf.org [cached]

By, Hillary Rossi

Needed: Portable health plan

seattlepi.nwsource.com [cached]

Hillary Rossi kept her health insurance through six heart surgeries, several strokes and diabetes.She only ran into trouble when she tried to carry it from job to job.

Rossi was born with a rare heart defect that paralyzed her left side by the time she was 10.That left her with two unwanted labels: a disability and a pre-existing medical condition.She graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1998 with little idea how those labels would slow her career.
Hillary Rossi
Hillary Rossi checks her screen for more information at her job as an outreach coordinator at the Washington Assistive Technology Foundation in Wallingford recently.
Four years after leaving school, Rossi found herself stuck behind a cash register at the University Village Barnes & Noble, scared to leave for fear she would have to pay thousands of dollars if her new employer made her wait months for health coverage.Or worse, she could wind up with a plan that did not cover critical drugs and treatment.She stayed at the bookseller for another two years.
"She (Rossi) is always going to have to be careful her whole life (about) where she is" going to work, Pollitz said.
"I would ... say that medical coverage will always be in the back of my mind," said Rossi, 28."Always."
Starting and stalling
Rossi and her family worried about health coverage from the day she was born in 1975 with tricuspid atresia, a disorder that destroyed one of the four chambers of her heart.
The delivery was not even covered because Rossi's mother secured benefits after she became pregnant, which made the pregnancy an uncovered pre-existing condition.Rossi has been dealing with pre-existing conditions ever since.
Rossi survived childhood, despite warnings from some doctors that she should not even fix her teeth or attend college because she would not live that long.Thanks to medical advances, there are no longer such timetables on her life.
Nevertheless, Rossi said: "I grew up knowing I needed health care."
Rossi went to public schools in Des Moines and joined the Camp Fire Girls.She began building a résumé by earning two scholarships to attend The Evergreen State College and an internship at the Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment.Throughout these years, she managed to maintain health coverage.

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