“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
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.
From 2010-2013, West worked with Medical Teams International as the Guatemalan maternal and child health program coordinator implementing community-based health interventions in rural Alta Verapaz.
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).
In his free time, West works as the Program Coordinator and Senior Research Assistant at the OHSU Oregon Office on Disability and Health and serves on the OHPB Health Equity Committee and Health Share’s Community Advisory Council.
Brigette (Livaudais) Yates joins the board of OSCI as a family member of someone with a spinal cord injury. She brings experience as a seasoned fundraiser in higher education and is currently the Development Officer at the Bainbridge Community Foundation. She lives on Bainbridge Island, WA, and is a mother of three girls. Brigette earned her MPA from UW’s Evans School of Public Affairs.
Matt Howard joined the OSCI board in January 2019. He sustained a T-10 spinal cord injury 14 years ago. He works as a research coordinator for the Portland VA in a pulmonary and critical care lab. 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.
Jennine Smart is the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Portfolio Manager at Health Share of Oregon and currently serves as a commissioner 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.
Janis Petrowski (Lindsteadt) has served as an Advisor to the Director of Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection since its inception. Janis 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.
Casey Moore joined the OSCI board in August 2019. He is an active community advocate and leader for people with disabilities in Southern Oregon. Casey is an OSCI Community Health Worker, completing the 90-hour training last year. In addition to his work in the community, he serves on the board of the nonprofit David’s Chair, where he advocates 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. Casey sustained his SCI over 20 years ago when he was 20.
Community Outreach/Education Coordinator
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.
Communication Outreach/Education Coordinator
My name is Francisco Elias. I’m 31 years old. My level of injury is T7 incomplete. I have been injured since I was 17 years old. I really enjoy helping and learning new skills. In 2015, I worked at Macy’s Clackamas Town Center Home Store department. I liked working there because I learned skills that made me feel more secure about myself. Later that year, I started as a volunteer at Ride Connection and was eventually hired as an Administrative Assistant. In 2016, I started working with Lyft as a driver which I continue to do. I really like working for Lyft – being part of what makes the community move is very important to me and it is something that I enjoy doing. Recently I was hired for the position of Community Outreach and Education Coordinator at Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection (OSCI). I feel very fortunate to be part of an organization that promotes health and connects members of the Spinal Cord Injury community to useful resources. I am excited about starting to inform people about Covid-19 and the resources that this organization offers.