Pastor Mary Overstreet Smith, known to millions as “Pastor Mary” and nicknamed “Hurricane Mary” for her efforts in aiding the Hurricane Katrina victims, was the founding mother of the North by Northeast Community Health Clinic. She was uninhibited in the midst of challenges and founded, among other things, the Powerhouse Church of God in Christ and Harvest Time Ministry TV Cable services. In addition to aiding Hurricane victims without the help of the government, Pastor Mary aided those in her own community by founding and operating a food bank, a homeless and emergency shelter and drives to distribute warm clothes and blankets to the homeless. She ministered in jails and prisons and actively participated in the Northeast Gang Intervention Program as well as mentored youth and provided college scholarships to those who wanted better lives for themselves. Pastor Mary held degrees in social work, administration of justice and correction, and an honorary Doctor of Divinity. She was licensed as a foster parent and practical nurse. Her awards reflect her many years of deep service to her community and are too numerous to mention. She lives on in our hearts and our work.
Marcella Brady is a retired RN who started volunteering at North by Northeast in our very first year and has supported the clinic in many ways ever since. She is a graduate of Washington State University and East/West College of Healing Arts. She is also a Healing Touch Practitioner. For 25 years Marcella worked for Kaiser Permanente as a Hospice Casemanager. Marcella has 2 children and 5 grandchildren. She lives in Northeast Portland and is committed to the health of her community.
Eric Busch is a retired attorney. He was in the Legal Department of The Regence Group (now Cambia Health Solutions) for 25 years specializing in health insurance and regulatory compliance matters. He currently oversees a small family owned commercial real estate portfolio. He also serves as Vice President of the Board of PDX Jazz, the presenting organization of the annual Portland Jazz Festival which sponsors year-round jazz programming and community education initiatives. A graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio, Eric earned his law degree at the University of Illinois School of Law. Eric first became aware of North by Northeast in 2007 when his daughter, Chloe, became its second full-time staff member as Clinic Coordinator. Eric and his wife Robin have been longtime, generous supporters of North by Northeast.
Dr. Jill Ginsberg is the Medical Director and founding physician partner of the North by Northeast Community Health Center. She and Pastor Mary Overstreet met in November 2005 and opened the clinic doors in August of 2006. She has been active in the pursuit of social justice for many years, including working with the Portland Jobs with Justice Workers’ Rights Board and serving on the Board of Directors and as Social Action chair of Congregation Beth Israel in Portland. From 2001-2007 she served on the Commission of Social Action of Reform Judaism, which helps set public policy for the Reform movement’s 900 congregations. Dr. Ginsberg’s experience in helping start a free medical clinic for Spanish-speaking residents of Forks, WA, and her commitment to community engagement have been invaluable in her work with North by Northeast Community Health Center. Her educational background includes undergraduate studies at Barnard College, medical training at the University of California San Francisco and a Masters in Public Health from the University of California Berkeley. Dr. Ginsberg has lived in Northeast Portland with her family since 1994. She was a family physician with Northwest Permanente from 1994-2012. In August of 2012 Dr. Ginsberg was elected to the Health Share of Oregon Board of Directors as the Primary Care Physician Representative. In addition to her work at North by Northeast, Dr. Ginsberg volunteers with Outside In’s Project Erase tattoo removal program.
Kevin Howard’s passion is for people who are disenfranchised to have their needs met. As a North by Northeast patient, Kevin experienced his own health needs being met by our staff, saying “There’s a wonderful family atmosphere here.” That feeling made him want to get more involved with North by Northeast, first as a member of our Patient Wellness Council (which he still serves on) and now as a member of our board as well. The semi-retired plumber and former minister with the Portland Miracle Revival church has lived for more than 50 years in Portland. He describes his background as “not always squeaky clean” and his desire to help see North by Northeast continue to grow and help more people who are marginalized as a byproduct of turning his life around. “I have great love for North by Northeast,” Kevin says.
Denise Johnson is the Health Promotion Coordinator for CareOregon. In her ten years with CareOregon she has led a variety of health promotion projects, and her work in health promotion is motivated by a desire to address issues of social inequity and health disparities. Denise is a member of the cultural competency workgroups of CareOregon and Health Share of Oregon, serves as the co-chair of the Portland African American Leadership Forum Health Committee, and served as Capacitation Facilitator and Community Representative for Poder es Salud/Power for Health, a public health project targeting African American and Latino communities. Denise assisted in the development of culturally appropriate exercise education material and weekly intervention sessions for the Kaiser Center for Health Research Diffusion Health Project, which targeted high-risk African Americans. Her community work has been recognized by the Multnomah County Health Department Healthy Birth Initiative and Multnomah County’s Volunteer Program. Denise holds a BA in Business Management from Langston University, a BA in Health and Fitness Management from Concordia University, and an MPA in Health Promotion & Risk Reduction from Portland State University. She is a Portland, Oregon native and enjoys a very active life.
A graduate of Evergreen College, Jessica first came to North by Northeast as Patient Care Coordinator in 2012. Prior to that, she worked at Basic Rights Oregon for six years, leading the Racial Justice and Alliance Building program as well as the Youth Organizing program. Jessica currently serves as the Leadership Development Manager for the Coalition of Communities of Color, is a health sciences student at Portland State University and serves as a non-profit consultant.
Charlene Addy McGee describes herself as a Liberian-Oregonian grassroots activist and public health enthusiast. Many factors have propelled her toward advocacy and engagement: her lived experience as a child during the Liberian civil war; connections to immigrant and refugee communities in Portland; the Black American and civil rights experience; and her role as a single mother to a young Black male. Her work focuses on addressing social inequities in marginalized communities both domestically and internationally. Charlene’s activism includes community engagement and mobilization, event planning, program development, voter registration, community education forums, and much more. She is particularly interested in human rights, philanthropy, equity and the intersection of faith, activism, art and social justice. In addition to serving on North by Northeast’s board, Charlene serves on the vestry of Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Parent Teacher Association at PPS-Richmond Elementary School and works as the Refugee Health Coordinator with the Multnomah County Health Department. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University with a minor in Community Health.
Bio and picture coming…
Denise Musacchio is a retired Medical Assistant who recently earned her Master’s in Public Health degree. She began her career as a Navy Medical Corpsman, gaining experience by taking care of active duty members and their families. Denise worked for Kaiser Permanente for 25 years assisting providers in Primary Care and Internal Medicine, and acting as clinic coordinator for the Amputee Clinic. Denise was one of North by Northeast’s very first volunteers, during our beginning phase, and has always enjoyed putting her energy toward projects that make a difference in the lives of those who are in need and underserved.
A lifelong resident of Northeast Portland and former North by Northeast patient, DeNice Paschal is passionate about people being treated fairly. Her experiences with the healthcare system, even in a family with double insurance through her and her husband’s jobs, brought home for her the lack of concern and respect for African American patients in the system. Those experiences prompted DeNice to want to make a difference and make things better than they are. DeNice has served as a therapeutic respite foster parent, a drug and alcohol counselor, and a community health advocate on the Tobacco Retail Licensing Policy stakeholder advisory workgroup focused on reducing targeting of youth and communities of color by the tobacco industry. DeNice is a mother of three, and in addition to serving on North by Northeast’s board is a member of our Patient Wellness Council.
James Schroeder has spent his 20 year career working with underserved populations in a variety of roles. James currently works at Kaiser Permanente as the National Executive Director of Medicaid. In this role he works to ensure the social and clinical needs of over 750,000 Medicaid individuals are met. Prior to joining Kaiser, James served as Director of Healthcare Systems for Care Oregon, a Medicaid/Medicare health plan here in Portland, overseeing a multitude of programs, including managing the provider network in 18 counties in Oregon. James founded and was CEO of Neighborhood Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center specifically created to model innovative clinical practices to meet the healthcare needs in the Portland area for Medicaid and uninsured residents. Before moving to Portland, James worked at Family Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Twin Falls, Idaho, first as a primary care physician assistant and then as CEO. As CEO he grew the organization from 4 to 13 clinical sites and added oral health and behavioral health services. James served as a medical officer in the Army National Guard and deployed to Iraq in 2004-2005, and he currently serves as a medical officer in the Oregon Air National Guard. James holds a Bachelor of Medical Science degree from the University Of Colorado School Of Medicine, a Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska Medical School, and a Certificate in Community Health Leadership from the University of Washington.