BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Brian played 12 years in the NBA as a Power Forward and was the “heart & soul” of the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns (1994-2006). Brian is a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease in 2008 at the age of 36, he serves as both an advocate and an inspiration for those suffering with Parkinson’s.
John DiPalma, our current Acting Chairman of the Board, was inspired to be more invested in the Parkinson’s effort by the loss of his father in law to the disease. He and his wife, Kari, have been involved with BGF since 2013. John is also the executive director for KEPRO. His extensive healthcare background includes senior operations executive experience with Aetna, United, CIGNA and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. John’s degree is in economics and business from Muhlenberg College. He is also a Certified Fitness Trainer earning this certification from the University of South Florida.
Mark Byrum is a Northwest native with an innate passion for the hospitality industry. With over 20 years of industry experience and a tireless work ethic, Byrum has garnered a reputation as an expert in concept creation, restaurant management and guest service. He is a certified sommelier, a member of POVA (Portland Oregon Visitors Association) and the Oregon Restaurant Association. Byrum supports many local charities, including the Boost Foundation, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and many local schools.
Majd El- Azma is president and CEO of LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon. Prior to joining LifeWise and its family of companies, Majd was senior vice president, Partner Relations for MyHealthBank. Previously, he was a seven-year member of the executive management team for PacifiCare of Oregon after starting his career in commercial banking with First Interstate Bank. Majd holds a BA in finance from Oregon State University and an MBA from Portland State University.
Dr. Khandhar is a board certified neurologist working at Kaiser Pemanente Sacramento. He completed a fellowship in Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders from the University of California, San Francisco. Currently he is the medical director of the Movement Disorders Program at Kaiser Pemanente, Northern California. He works with a team of specialists focusing on surgical treatments for Parkinson’s disease, Essential Tremor, and Dystonia. He has championed multi-disciplinary care using an integrated practice model.
Gayle Kirby is a world traveler and artist. A native of the Pacific Northwest who grew up in Eastern Washington, Gayle lived in a variety of cities in the US before settling in Portland, Oregon. She has her BS in business from the University of Redlands. As the widow and longtime support partner of a husband who lived with Parkinson’s, Gayle provides an important perspective to BGF’s programs.
Joshua Ross is a litigator at Stoll Berne. For over a decade, Josh has represented clients in a wide variety of civil matters. He is licensed in Oregon and Washington and practices in state and federal courts, as well as in court-mandated and private arbitration. Prior to joining Stoll Berne, Josh clerked for Hon. Rick Haselton at the Oregon Court of Appeals. Community service is also a fundamental component of Josh’s work and life. He has represented victims of domestic abuse as a volunteer with the Legal Aid Domestic Violence Project since 2007. In 2008, the Multnomah Bar Association awarded Josh the Haglund Pro Bono award and in 2010 he received the YLS Award of Merit.
Juan Rodriguez is the general manager and senior vice president of arena operations for the Sacramento Kings. With over 20 years of experience in launching and managing sports and entertainment venues across the country, Rodriguez has also served as assistant general manager at NRG Park Complex in Houston, Texas, where he had previously served as director of event services and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator. Rodriguez served as director of event services and ADA coordinator for BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. and as event services coordinator at Miami Arena in Miami, Fla.
Erika Yoshida is the CEO, Principal Broker at Oregon Property Management, a subsidiary of the Yoshida Group. In this role, she manages all real estate holdings for the Yoshida Family Limited Partnership including Tanasbourne West Annex, Grand Lodges Mt. Hood, and Portland International Plaza. Previously, Erika was a commercial broker for Colliers International. Erika holds an MBA from the University of California, Irvine and a BA in psychology from the University of Oregon. She has been involved in a variety of philanthropic activities in Oregon, including board positions with the Soulful Giving Foundation and Yoshida’s Sand in the City.
MEDICAL ADVISORY BOARD
Professor Bloem is a consultant neurologist at the Department of Neurology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, the Netherlands. He received his MD (with honor), PhD, and training as a neurologist at Leiden University Medical Centre. Professor Bloem also trained as a movement disorders specialist during fellowships at The Parkinson’s Institute and the Institute of Neurology. In 2002, he founded and became Medical Director of the Parkinson Centre Nijmegen (ParC).
Matt Brodsky joined the OHSU movement disorders faculty in 2002, and is currently an associate professor of Neurology. Dr. Brodsky’s research interests focus on pre-clinical detection and neuroprotective interventions for Parkinson’s. He also directs annual courses on deep brain stimulation and the annual meeting of the Pacific Northwest Basal Ganglia Coterie, of which he is a co-founder.
John Duda, MD, is the director of the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center (PADRECC) of the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and associate professor of neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. His research activities include basic science investigations into the role of Lewy pathology in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders as well as investigations into the mechanisms involved in the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Kristine K. Hanna, a licensed clinical psychologist, is an expert in treating depression and anxiety related disorders, particularly when they occur with other medical conditions. As an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at OHSU she developed a curriculum to enhance resiliency in individuals with Parkinson’s.
Laurie King, assistant professor in the department of Neurology at OHSU has over 15 years clinical experience treating neurologically impaired patients. Her work as a post-doctoral fellow at OHSU led to the development of an agility-based sensory motor exercise program for Parkinson’s. One of Dr. King’s active lines of research is assessing the role of medical co-morbidities in rehabilitation and Parkinson’s.
Soania Mathur is a family physician that had to resign her practice as a result of her Parkinson’s. Now she is a dedicated speaker, educator and Parkinson’s advocate. She speaks passionately about the challenges of adjusting physically and emotionally and the coping strategies available to patients, both through medical and lifestyle tactics to manage the changes.
Laurie Mischley’s practice philosophy is to serve as a liaison between the medical sciences and patients. Her goal in health care is to educate, integrate, and stimulate. Dr. Mischley’s clinical specialties include Neurology, Nutritional Medicine and Prevention.
Sue Scott is a demonstrated achiever and fully committed to the field of active aging. She created ABLE BODIES®, a comprehensive, multi-modal balance training program. She also continues to work intermittently with Fay Horak, PhD, at OHSU developing a sensori-motor agility program for Parkinson’s.
Christine Shade is a doctor of physical therapy specializing in a neurological patient population including the treatment of traumatic brain injury, stroke, and Parkinson’s. She is a senior physical therapist at Kaiser Permanente and a certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist. Christine is also certified in LSVT BIG, PWR, Tai Chi, and Rock Steady Boxing techniques.
Erin Vestal is a doctor of physical therapy at Kaiser Permanente and has worked with the neurologic patient population for the last 10 years. She holds a Neurologic Clinical Specialist Certification as well as advanced training in Parkinson’s exercise programs, including Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery (PWR!), White Crane Tai Chi and Rock Steady Boxing.
Jenny Wilhelm is a doctor of physical therapy at OHSU, specializing in neurological diagnoses and geriatric clients. She has advanced training with Parkinson’s and is part of TEAM PD, which provides education to therapists across Oregon and Washington.
PROGRAM ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Lore Anderson is an Office/Finance Manager and mother of two grown sons. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s four years ago, Lore has been participating in BGF’s Powering Foward Boot Camp and loves it! Taking charge though BGF’s Boot Camp and Program Advisory Committee has given her back some of what Parkinson’s has taken away.
Dan and Pat Baker have been active in the Parkinson’s community since Dan was diagnosed with the disease in 2002. They are both retired teachers and school administrators and have been married for 43 years. Dan and Pat understand the importance of giving back to the community which has provided them with opportunities and support. Their mission is to raise awareness of Parkinson’s and how others can become involved to support the Parkinson’s community.
It was three years before Alyssa Johnson was formally diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s. Now almost a decade into the disease she believes that exercise is critical to her well-being. And at the age of 49 she plans to run this year’s New York City Marathon. Alyssa lives with her four dogs and calls Santa Cruz, California her home.
Benjamin Prewitt is an artist who is living with Parkinson’s. His description of his art tells us about his experience with the disease: “Art reminds us the seemingly opposite forces of joy and sorrow work in symmetry to inspire us to find balance in who we are. My greatest sorrow, Parkinson’s disease, does not define me; I am simply an artist with Parkinson’s. The two are not mutually inclusive, they just are.”
Terry Wagemann is a product manager and lives in Portland, Oregon with his two very active teenage sons. As a person living with Parkinson’s, Terry learned about BGF after joining the Powering Forward Boot Camp in 2013. Having realized significant improvements in the quality of his life as a direct result of the boot camp, Terry wants to help others to realize their own benefits from the many BGF programs.