Reza Hessabi

Hessabi_Reza.Access California Services

Honoree: Reza Hessabi

Honored by: Access California Services

Cause Area: Human Services

A common belief at Access California Services (AccessCal) is that Reza Hessabi is a staff member. The expression “above and beyond” is an understatement when highlighting the volunteer work of Reza. For just under a year, Reza has been driving 60 miles three times per week from his home in Upland to our office in Anaheim to volunteer. Always walking in with a smile and an eagerness to help, Reza has taken on multiple roles within the organization. What stands out is his dedicated service with AccessCal’s Refugee Health Assessment Program (RHAP). With his educational background in neuroscience from UCLA and his passion for medicine, the RHAP fits Reza like a glHessabi_Reza.Access California Services2ove. Reza’s role with the RHAP uplifted the department and provided extensive support that enriched the program for our clients. With 600 refugees annually requiring health assessments upon their arrival to Orange County, the department needed dedicated support that went beyond staff commitment. Reza fills this gap with a great deal of energy and dedicated work that is always aimed for perfection. Reza’s specific activities include scheduling clinic appointments, conducting intake assessments, accompanying clients to the clinic to help them navigate through the process, and working with physicians in reviewing clients’ health assessment charts. Reza provides unique support through his language and cultural capacity. As an Afghan-American, Reza speaks with a significant number of our clients in the Farsi language, which breaks down multiple barriers for our Iranian and Afghan clients when they are seeking support. Reza’s compassionate and meticulous service within the RHAP has helped this program receive state recognition and become a model for other service providers within the state of California. Reza’s volunteer work does not end with the RHAP. He helped the AccessCal team with the organizing of the UN World Refugee Day event, hosted by the Refugee Forum of Orange County, to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of refugees worldwide. Reza was the main coordinator for 50 volunteers. He also stepped up as a volunteer coordinator during AccessCal’s annual fundraising gala where he supervised 40 staff and volunteers. Reza demonstrates exemplary volunteerism and his energy spreads throughout the entire staff, who is impressed with his leadership performance. Even in between Reza’s own paid position as an instructor with Kaplan and his travels to attend medical school interviews, Reza makes it a priority to volunteer for AccessCal. Reza will always be part of our team, and when casually asked by staff if he will help AccessCal establish a health clinic once he completes medical school, he confidently responded with his usual phrase “Please, let me help you.”



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