Clinic Coordinator, 2006 - 2007
Volunteer, 2007 - 2009
Board member, 2011 - 2012
Board President, 2012 - 2014
Dr. Mary H. Overstreet Smith, known to millions as “Pastor Mary” and nicknamed “Hurricane Mary” for her efforts in aiding the Hurricane Katrina victims, is the founding mother of the North by Northeast Community Health Clinic. She is uninhibited in the midst of challenges and has 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 has 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 ministers in jails and prisons and actively participates in the Northeast Gang Intervention Program as well as mentoring youth and providing college scholarships to those who want better lives for themselves. Pastor Mary holds degrees in social work, administration of justice and correction, and an honorary Doctor of Divinity. She is 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.
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.
Avel Gordly was the first African American woman to be elected to the Oregon State Senate, representing Oregon Senate’s 23rd District from 1997 to 2009. Prior to her service as a Senator, Avel was a member of the Oregon House of Representatives from 1991 to 1996. Avel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in the Administration of Justice from Portland State University and completed the Program for Senior Executives at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. During her legislative career, Gordly was a chief petitioner for Oregon’s minimum wage law in 1995, establishing Oregon’s minimum as the highest in the nation at the time, and for Measure 14, an amendment that removed the remaining racist language from the Oregon Constitution, which was passed by popular vote in 2000. Avel is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum and has a long professional career including service as an Adult Parole and Probation Officer for the State of Oregon Corrections Division; as Director of Youth Services for the Urban League of Portland; and as Community Liaison for the Multnomah County Health Department. In 2008, in recognition of Avel’s ongoing advocacy for mental health issues and her role as the founder of the African-American Mental Health Commission, Oregon Health Sciences University opened the Avel Gordly Center for Healing. A member of the North by Northeast Advocate Board since 2006, Avel joined the North by Northeast Board of Directors in 2015.
Lisa Hawash is an Instructor at Portland State University’s School of Social Work and is a consultant for strategic planning and fund development practices at various organizations in the Portland area. Lisa spent many years leading a grassroots fund development program at a local community based organization, Sisters Of The Road. She also facilitates workshops and trainings on nonviolent practice within social work, consensus decision making processes and facilitating meetings and discussions.
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.
Dawn Jones Redstone is Owner/Filmmaker at Hearts+Sparks Productions, a video strategy and production company based in NE Portland where Dawn has lived and worked for over 14 years. Her films have been featured in film festivals, broadcast television, and online on Huffington Post, OPB, and USA Today to name a few. Dawn crafts a wide variety of striking, spreadable video, but has always had a special focus on non-profit organizations and social justice in her work and in her personal life. In 2006, sparked by the changes happening in her neighborhood, Dawn completed a documentary short about gentrification in NE Portland and organized a community discussion around the topic with over 150 people in attendance. Prior to establishing Hearts+Sparks, Dawn worked at Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. for nine years, teaching carpentry, promoting diversity and helping women and people of color access living wage careers in construction. In addition to her filmmaking, Dawn is a gay, latina, returned Peace Corps volunteer, journey-level carpenter, active Neighborhood Emergency Team member for the King Neighborhood, and holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin.
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 to come…
Ron Shoals is the Employee Community Engagement Coordinator for Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s Community Benefit department. Responsible for Kaiser’s annual workplace giving campaign and employee volunteerism, his main objective is to get Kaiser employees involved in non-profit organizations in the community. Ron has grown Kaiser’s workplace giving campaign from a 2% participation rate eight years ago to almost 15% today. He earned an associate degree in nonprofit administration/fundraising from Portland Community College and has been working in fundraising since 1993 and in sales and marketing since 1988. Ron has a lifelong passion for music, performing regularly with several local musicians and currently serving as the co-director of Portland Interfaith Gospel Choir. He has served as choir director for multiple community churches for the past 40 years. In the fall of 2013 Ron was awarded Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s 2013 Emerald Award.