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Our Team

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

Board of Directors

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Matt Howard

Board Member & Program Coordinator

Matt joined the Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection board in January 2019. He sustained a T-10 spinal cord injury in 2006 and it changed the trajectory of his life. He works as a research coordinator for Oregon Health and Science University in the Oregon Rural Practice Based Research Network. He is also in the final year of a graduate program at OHSU for Clinical Informatics. When Matt isn’t working he enjoys coaching CrossFit, fishing, kayaking, or exploring all the great places Oregon has to offer with his dog Cash.

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Jennine Smart

Board Member

Jennine joined the Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection Board of Directors in 2019. She is the Executive Director of the Oregon Community Health Workers Association and was formerly the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Portfolio Manager at Health Share of Oregon. She currently serves as Chair on the State of Oregon Traditional Health Worker Commission. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor of Arts in Community Development. Jennine is passionate about advancing health and racial equity. She strives to create inclusive organizations and systems that enable communities most impacted by systemic and structural oppression, to thrive.

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Casey Moore

Board Member & Community Health Worker

Casey joined the Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection Board of Directors in August 2019. He sustained a high-level spinal cord injury at 20 years old and has spent over 20 years as a community advocate. Now a leader in the disability community of Southern Oregon, he works as an OSCI Community Health Worker and serves on the Board of Directors for David’s Chair, advocating for people living with mobility limitations to get outdoors using all-terrain track-chairs. Casey and his wife have a little boy, and they love exploring the beaches in Southern Oregon. 

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Pamela Blikstad

Board Member

Pamela joined the Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection Board of Directors in 2022. She is an experienced financial professional and Certified Public Accountant with a history of working in the nonprofit industry. Currently the Director of Finance for the Office of Philanthropy at Providence St. Joseph Health, she is responsible for the financial leadership and oversight of the office of philanthropy. In her free time Pamela enjoys reading, planning her next vacation, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

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Brigette Yates

Board Member

Brigette joined the Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection Board of Directors as a family member of someone with a spinal cord injury and a seasoned fundraiser in higher education. She earned her Master’s in Public Affairs from the University of Washington and is currently the Development Officer at the Bainbridge Community Foundation. Brigette lives on Bainbridge Island, WA, and is a mother of three girls.

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Anri Sugitani

Board Member

Anri joined the Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection Board of Directors in 2022. She has worked in advertising for over 14 years and is currently an Account Director at Coates Kokes, an advertising and PR agency. Specializing in branding and strategic marketing communications, she has developed a passion for helping clients effectively communicate with disadvantaged communities, particularly seniors and people living with disabilities. Originally from Tokyo, Anri spent much of her life moving from place to place which fueled her passion for travel, exploration, and seeking out others with different experiences. 

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Charina Walker

Board Member

Charina joined the Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection board in September 2022. She sustained a T-12 spinal cord injury in 1996 and has since dedicated her life to advancing health equity and social justice both in her personal and professional life. She holds a master’s degree in public health and currently works for the Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division as the Legislative Policy Lead. Charina is a mother of 3 and passionate about building community among parents with disabilities. When she isn’t busy working, you can find Charina spending time with her family, reading, cooking and enjoying the outdoors.

Advisory Council

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Janis Petrowski

Board Advisor

Janis has served as an Advisor to the Director of Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection since its inception. She brings her experience in Program Design, Management, Monitoring and Evaluation in the field of Community Health and expertise in grant writing for the private and public sectors. Janis has a Master’s in Public Health from Tulane University and a 28-year career in International Health working with UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services and Medical Teams International. Currently, Janis serves our local community by providing hospice and caregiving support to recently housed persons and the elderly.

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Mary Lee Alder

Board Advisor

Mary is the Chief Development Officer for Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington. An accredited development professional for 15 years, she helps people give their money to an organization whose mission intersects with their passion. Described by her team as forward thinking, strategic, empathetic and collaborative. She helps to create a positive environment where diverse people can thrive because their expertise and different perspectives are appreciated.

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David Bangsberg

Board Advisor

David Bangsberg, MSc, MD, MPH was the Founding Dean of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health from 2016-2022. He was previously a Professor at Harvard School of Medicine and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. After completing a Masters Degree in Philosophy of Science from Kings College London and MD at Johns Hopkins. He completed his medical residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in north Harlem to care for patients afflicted by urban poverty and HIV.  Upon moving to the University of California, San Francisco and completing fellowships in infectious disease and AIDS prevention as well as Master’s Degrees in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley, he became the leading expert in HIV and homelessness. He then turned to sub-Saharan Africa to find that the poorest HIV-infected people in the world had some of the highest levels of HIV treatment adherence.  His work was described by President Bill Clinton as the “nail in the coffin” on the debate as to whether HIV-infected people in sub-Saharan Africa would adhere to antiretroviral medications and neutralized the major criticism to providing multinational funding for global HIV treatment. As former Director of Massachusetts General Hospital Global Health, he brought together the expertise of Harvard and MIT to improve physical, mental, social and economic health to the poorest regions of the world in several signature areas, including: HIV care, disaster response, cancer care, and medical technology innovation. He received the Clifford Barger Mentoring Award, given annually to 5 of the 12,000 Harvard Medical School Faculty. He has published over 450 manuscripts and is a member of the Association of American Physicians.

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Bas Vanderzalm

Board Advisor

Bas Vanderzalm has spent his entire career in service to those whom Jesus called “the least of these” in our world. Bas earned Master of Divinity and MBA degrees in Boston and has extensive experience in organizational management, board development and fundraising. Bas began his career on the staff of The Salvation Army’s Boston Harbor Light Center, a 100 bed facility serving homeless men and women where he ultimately served as executive director. Bas also served for 15 years with World Relief in Chicago where he was the vice president for international programs. From 1997–2013, Bas was the president of Medical Teams International in Tigard. Bas and his wife, Lynn, live in Hillsboro.

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Zeenia Junkeer

Board Advisor

Zeenia Junkeer joined OSCI as a Board Advisor in August 2022. A physician and non-profit director at North Sound Accountable Community of Health, she is focused on supporting collaborative action models and individual and population health strategies in communities facing the greatest inequities She is passionate about social justice, global health, reproductive and gender justice, medicine, public health, racial justice, and healing justice. OSCI is lucky to have her unique perspective with experience in multi-sector collaboration, program development, grassroots community organizing, public policy, data and research, direct clinical services, management and supervision of diverse teams, and community-based participatory research.

Staff & Volunteers

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West Livaudais

Founder & Executive Director

West Livaudais founded Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection in 2014 one year after his spinal cord injury because no other organization was championing the community needs of those affected by spinal cord injury in Oregon and SW Washington.

West has a B.S. from Gonzaga University (2000), a Masters of Theological Studies from Regis College at the University of Toronto (2010), and a Masters of Public Health from Oregon Health and Science University (2018).

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Francisco Elias

Community Health Worker

Francisco sustained a T7 incomplete spinal cord injury at 17 years old. Suddenly paraplegic and in a wheelchair, his injury altered the course of his life. Through his recovery he learned how much he enjoys helping others. In 2015, he began working at Macy’s in Clackamas Town Center. It was an experience that helped him learn new skills, build confidence, and feel more secure about himself. Later that year, he started as a volunteer at Ride Connection and went on to be hired as an Administrative Assistant. In 2016, he began working as a Lyft driver where he values being part of what makes the community move. It is very important to him and it is something he genuinely enjoys. Francisco is also now a Community Health Worker for Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection (OSCI).  As someone who believes in the importance of helping others, he is committed to sharing OSCI’s mission with the spinal cord injury community and helping them connect to resources. Francisco is fluent in Spanish and has been vital to OSCI’s efforts to reach Spanish speakers in the SCI community.

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Waddah Sofan

Community Health Worker

Waddah is a trusted member and leader in the disability and immigrant community. He has extensive experience working with people with disabilities, people of color and immigrants and refugees to overcome challenges and barriers they face on a daily basis. He has spent his life, his knowledge, education, and career building meaningful partnerships with these communities to support their needs when life seems too much to handle. As a disabled individual, Waddah knows how disability can affect every facet of one’s life as well as the lives of the ones we love. While his primary focus is serving the disabilities communities, he also provides empowerment and leadership support to youths and adults in their communities. Waddah earned his Bachelors of Science in Computer Science and a Master Degree in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University. He is a motivational speaker, disabled rights advocate and has served as a board member to many local and national organizations. Waddah likes to play adaptive sports, social networking and spend time with his kids.

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Karima Homman-Ludiye

Program Manager

Karima Homman-Ludiye joined OSCI as Program Manager in August of 2022. She has experience managing projects and programs with multi-cultural teams in the not-for-profit, as well as the corporate environments. Her most recent experience was working as part as the response to COVID 19 supporting local public health teams in WA State since 2020. Working with OSCI enables her to continue using the skills learned during her professional and personal experiences for the benefit the clients OSCI serves.

Karima is fluent in French, Spanish and Moroccan Arabic. She settled in the Pacific Northwest 20 years ago from her native Morocco, and currently lives with her family in S.W. Washington.

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Jessica Waller

Communications Coordinator

Jessica joined Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection in 2021 as a family member and caregiver for someone with a spinal cord injury. Prior to her mother’s injury in 2018 she worked as the Executive Director for the Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation and continues to work as a consultant for other nonprofit organizations.

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Alison Percifield

Event Organizer

Alison Percifield has been volunteering with Oregon SCI since 2019, supporting the Wheelchair Maintenance Workshop series as volunteer event organizer. Alison volunteers with other community organizations in Portland, such as Bike Farm and Rahab’s Sisters. Alison is from the midwest, she grew up in the Chicago suburbs and completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Alison moved to Portland, Oregon in 2015 where she works remotely as Project Manager in the Mapping and Utility industries full time for the software company, Esri. Alison has been involved with spinal cord injury rehabilitation since childhood. Volunteering at Schwab Rehabilitation and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago with her aunt, who manages the LIFE Center at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

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Tyler Stolt

Event Organizer

Tyler enjoys community organizing and the act of repair. Growing up with easy access to tools and scrap materials, and later working professionally as a bicycle mechanic, Tyler is always taking something apart to figure out how it works, sewing patches onto favorite clothes, or building furniture. Tyler brings this mechanical experience to Oregon SCI’s wheelchair maintenance workshop, finding new areas of overlap between bicycle repair and wheelchair maintenance. As a community organizer, Tyler enjoys working with groups that focus on housing, transportation justice, and mutual aid, and enjoys projects that find creative ways to build new systems for meeting people’s needs.

Join our community! Become a member.

Contact us

Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection

PO BOX 17516
Portland, OR 97217

Email: contact@oregonsci.org