Our Team

Meet our team – Board of Directors, Advisors, Staff, and Volunteers.

“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


Matt Howard

Board Member & Program Coordinator

Matt joined our team as a board member 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.


Casey Moore

Board Member & Community Health Worker Supervisor

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 served 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. 

Charina - Meet our team.

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.


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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Anri Elliott

Board Member

Anri joined our team as a member of the 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. 

Advisory Council


Janis Petrowski

Board Advisor

Janis has served as an Advisor to the Director of Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection since its inception. Our team benefits from 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.

Mary Lee - Meet our team.

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.

David - Meet our team.

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.

Bas - Meet our team.

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.

Zeenia - Meet our team.

Zeenia Junkeer

Board Advisor

Zeenia Junkeer joined our team 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.

Our team 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


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. Today he leads our team, helping to grow our organizational impact and increase spinal cord injury awareness.

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).

Karima - Meet our team.

Karima Homman-Ludiye

Program Manager

Karima Homman-Ludiye joined our team as a 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.

Francisco - Meet our team.

Francisco Elias

Community Health Worker, Portland Metro

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 our team’s efforts to reach Spanish speakers in the SCI community.

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Hannah Rarick

Community Health Worker, Southern Oregon

Hannah became paralyzed from the chest down during a motorcycle accident  in 2018.  After meeting a few peer mentors and joining the OregonSCI facebook community, she realized engaging with her new community was the best way to overcome the challenges that follow a spinal cord injury.

She began volunteering at the same ICU she had gone to after her accident as soon as she was able. Other volunteer opportunities presented over the years and Hannah dove right into all of them with gusto. Visiting newly injured folk at the hospital, assisting off road excursion events with Davids Chair and their fleet of Action track chairs, even organizing adaptive equipment demos for her local community.

When she was asked to join our team as a Community Health Worker she took the training and got on board. As one of the two southern Oregon team members she is thrilled to help make connections and hold events with the OSCI platform.

With the help of a fully adaptive conversion van, Hannah plans to venture out to do rural outreach to bring the opportunities and assistance of OSCI to isolated communities that may not have Community Health Workers.

Hannah has also joined the AllCare advisory board and won the title of Ms. Wheelchair Oregon 2023. She is excited to use these roles as an opportunity to increase her advocacy efforts.

Josiah Morrow - Meet our team.

Josiah Morrow

Community Health Worker, Portland Metro

Josiah joined our team in 2023 as a Community Health Worker. His work focuses on partnering with QUAD Inc. and providing services to their clients.

He was born and raised in Portland Oregon. Not long after high school he started working construction building fences. Over the next 22 years he worked his way up to installing high end automated gates and entry systems. At age 41 in 2013 he sustained a T8 spinal cord injury. Since his injury he has been a big part of the spinal cord injury community taking part in the hikes, meetups and workshops that take place. He really enjoys doing peer to peer work and helping others in the same way he was helped after his injury.

Kelsey Box

Kelsey Box

Community Health Worker, Southern Oregon

Kelsey joined our team in 2024 as a Community Health Worker. Her work focuses on helping individuals in and around the Klamath Falls area.

A car accident in 2013 left Kelsey a T12 paraplegic. Before her spinal cord injury, she raced off road trucks and was eager to get back in the truck even before asking if she would walk again. She returned to racing in 2014 with hand controls and built community with other people with disabilities. Kelsey is ready and eager to help others with SCI live better and persevere through their struggles.
In addition to racing trucks Kelsey also loves going camping and other outdoor activities with her beautiful wife and son.
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Tiffany Yount-Akimoto

Outreach Coordinator

Tiffany joined our team as a Community Outreach Coordinator in March of 2024. They sustained an L-1 spinal cord injury in 2019. This injury fueled their dedication to advocacy work even further with a focus on bringing awareness to, and fulfilling the needs of those with spinal cord injuries.

With a degree in Environmental Science and a focus on climate justice, they bring knowledge and a relentless drive to create a positive change to underserved groups. Tiffany has volunteered with several nonprofits that focus on marginalized communities and social injustices, empowering them to raise awareness and amplify the voices of the marginalized groups. This combined with their spinal cord injury has pushed Tiffany to focus on their lived experience and passion to help others with spinal cord injuries.

In their free time, you can find Tiffany cheering on their children in various activities or enjoying the great outdoors and all the PNW has to offer. This includes rockhounding, hiking, fishing, and exploring new areas.

Jessica - Meet our team.

Jessica Waller

Operations Coordinator

Jessica joined our team in 2021. She is a caregiver for her mother sustained a C4/C5 spinal cord injury in 2018. 

Prior to her mother’s injury 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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Smash Padron

Communications & Wheelchair Maintenance Workshop Assistant

Meet Smash, stand-up comedian and passionate advocate, known for curating safer and braver spaces where individuals can unapologetically be themselves. As an avid bike rider, Smash recognizes the transient nature of physical abilities and is dedicated to ensuring everyone has the tools and support to access spaces safely and efficiently.

Growing up with their grandfather needing to use a wheelchair, Smash witnessed the social and physical barriers hindering a rich and fulfilling life. This inspired a commitment to Disability Rights as Human Rights, driving Smash’s humanitarian efforts to advocate for equal opportunities.

A collector of stories and smiles, Smash’s superpower lies in connecting people and making sure every voice is heard. Volunteering with Wheelchair Maintenance Workshops, Smash not only has a passion for learning how to fix things, but also excels in fostering genuine connections within the community.

Belonging to marginalized groups as a 3rd generation Mexican American and a proud queer neuro-spicy individual, Smash understands the impact of being left out and left behind. Committed to advocacy, Smash draws from a wealth of knowledge and does their best to ensure no one experiences exclusion.

Tyler - Meet our team.

Tyler Stolt

Wheelchair Maintenance Workshop Coordinator – Portland Metro & Eugene

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.


Cody Guinn

Wheelchair Maintenance Workshop Coordinator – Southern Oregon

Cody joined our team in March 2024. He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2015 and lives with similar symptoms as those with a spinal cord injury. This experience has made him very passionate about helping others get the parts and services needed for their wheelchairs so they can fully participate in society.

Very much a jack of all trades with over 20 years in the construction and electrical fields, Cody also has 5 years of Firefighting experience in both city and wildland. He has enjoyed  working on Harley Davidson’s and vintage cars as a hobby for many years. He is blessed to have 2 amazing daughters by his side most days, Scarlett 9 and Phoenix 7.

Become a Volunteer.

Contact us

Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection

6645 NE 78th Ct C6
Portland, OR 97217

Email: contact@oregonsci.org