A Portland native, Jean graduated with a master’s degree in counseling and has 38 years of experience in medical PR, marketing, advertising, management, and non-profit board development. In addition to founding and growing 3 successful companies, Jean was PR Director at Holladay Park Hospital and Business Development/PR consultant, then Director of Marketing for Signature Hospice. In July of 2010, she incorporated the Pacific NW Hospice Foundation to meet the unfulfilled wishes and dreams of hospice patients in the Pacific Northwest. In 2018 Jean spearheaded the change of growing the Foundation to become Gifted Wishes.
I have lived in Portland since 1962 after moving here with my family from the East Coast. I earned my master’s degree in social work from Portland State University and have 20 years’ experience working with students and families in the educational setting. I was a school counselor, teacher, and administrator before retiring in 2019 from Portland Public Schools. Prior to working in education, I owned my own business for 22 years. I experienced hospice for the first time with my mother in 1986 and understand on a personal level the emotional toll it takes on a family. I am honored to be a part of Gifted Wishes where I can contribute to the ongoing commitment of easing end of life for patients and families. I have a daughter, grandson, and a golden retriever and enjoy spending time outdoors camping, riding my Harley, kayaking, and gardening.
I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and have lived here all my life. I currently live in SE Portland with my teenage son, Dakotah, and my 2 pups Frankie, and Luna, and my feline Pippy. I am excited to be a part of the Gifted Wishes Board of Directors to further my passion for helping others. Helping to grant just one wish to someone at the end of life is something to help fill the soul.
My first experience with hospice was in 1986 when my grandmother suffered from breast cancer. I was a teenager at that time, and she was at the end of her life. I was the one who fed her, sat with her in her hospital bed, combed her hair and made sure she knew she was not alone. In 2013 I was a trusted caretaker for my cousin while he was in hospice after an 8-year battle with brain cancer.
Shanon Adamson-John attended Lewis and Clark College and has owned her own business for over 20 years. Shanon currently works as a Realtor.
My father was a member of the US Air Force and we lived in many places growing up. My first memories were from Libya, North Africa, and then of camping with my parents throughout Europe over 5 years while stationed in southern Germany during pre-high school years. My father’s final assignment was to Oklahoma City; after high school I earned a BS in Microbiology from Oklahoma State University, then a PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. I moved to Portland, OR in 1991 for a Postdoctoral Fellowship at OHSU, then moved to Emory University in Atlanta, GA in 1996. I then returned to Portland as a Scientist at the Legacy Research Institute in 2000.
In 2012 I joined the faculty at OHSU in the Dept. of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, and have focused much of my research on identifying new, early biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease. In the last decade I had the honor to be with people I loved, including my parents, during hospice and their last days on Earth. I was humbled to be a part of their journeys, and feel that it is important to honor the wishes of those in hospice, and to provide support and comfort to them during this time. While much of my time has been dedicated to scientific research, I would be honored to be able to dedicate my time and energies to Gifted Wishes, and to help ease the end of life transitions for patients and family members.
Paula is a Portland native, Graduated with a BA in Human Development/ECE from Oregon State University, then received her teaching certification from Warner Pacific College. As she was job hunting for a permanent teaching position she was offered a job at a local insurance company that insured local banks and credit unions. She fell in love with accounting and has been working as the Accounting and Claims Manager for over 20 years. She also was on the Credit Union Women’s Association board as their Treasurer. Paula is also almost finished with her second degree in Accounting from Linfield College. She spends most of her spare time taking care of her family and enjoys traveling.
I am a returning member of the Board, having initially served from 2011-2016. I was born and raised in Rhode Island, but found my true home in Portland over 35 years ago. Here I pursued the first leg of my formal education as a medical social worker and spent many years caring and advocating for people living with, and for many years, dying from HIV and AIDS. Here I completed my education and received my doctorate in social welfare research, and went on to complete a fellowship at OHSU studying health services research. It was also here that, in 2004, my career took an unexpected and major turn and I have spent the last 16 years working in the field of Environmental Public Health, working at the federal, state and county levels. It has been here in Portland that I have loved and raised my step, foster and bio-children, welcomed grandchildren, horses, dogs, kitties and a few other species into my home. My large and extended family/tribe is the source and light of my life and is made up of all kinds of folks who have come into my life by all kinds of paths. I believe deeply in the call to service - a clear and consistent refrain that tells me always to show up, to care, to give of myself and the abundance that I have been given - and I have been given in return the gift of deep knowing that we are all connected and we are all an expression of the divine universe revealing itself through the love we share.
Gina is a Portland Native, with a Master of Arts in teaching degree from George Fox University and Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Studies from Portland State University. Gina teaches preschool and is the compliance director for an early childhood development center. She is also the speech and debate coach for a local high school. Gina has served as a volunteer on the gala committee with registration and silent auction help for two years. She will lead the registration volunteers for the 2019 gala as well as co-chair the auction. She brings 10 years of experience in auction planning and fundraising experience. Gina has been a member of the development committee since 2016. Gina brings a passion for fundraising, building connections within our communities to share the vision and presence of Gifted Wishes.
Greg Childs, MBA
I am a Financial Consultant with Charles Schwab. I am an MBA and a Certified Financial Planner. I am a husband and a father. Gifted Wishes champions a cause that is important to myself and my family. Both of my Grandmothers experienced Hospice. It was an emotionally challenging time for myself and my family but I will never forget that time period. As a family we were able to say goodbye and make peace with the transition ahead. For each person and each family that process of saying goodbye can be different but all people should have the opportunity to find that peace at the end of their lives. I want to do my part in helping others in this critical part of life and working with Gifted Wishes is a way for me to make a positive impact on the lives of others.
Dr. Yolanda Suarez
Dr. Suarez, already a civil engineer, attended Western University of Health Sciences in California, then went on to complete a Family Medicine Residency at USC. It was at the end of her final year in residency that she discovered hospice. It was a transformative moment that led her to redesign curriculum at USC, making hospice a core rotation rather than an elective one. Later, her hospice training came from the talented nurses with whom she had the privilege of working and that exceptional education made it possible to become board certified in Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine. In 2017 she took a year off to pursue a fellowship in geriatric medicine at UNR School of Medicine in Reno, becoming board certified in Geriatric Medicine. Being a hospice physician has spoiled it for other jobs. As medical director of Signature Hospice, she and her leadership team are exploring ways to help people in need. She feels blessed to be on a team that shares similar visions and the determination to find creative alternatives to care for patients.
Matthew is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a graduate of Portland State University’s Masters of Social Work Program. Matthew currently works for Housecall Providers Hospice (part of Care Oregon) as a hospice social worker, and has a passion for bringing hospice care to marginalized and underserved populations. Originally from the east coast, Matthew has called Portland home for over 25 years and has been an active member in the Portland theater community. Matthew is also a professional piano player and has played all over town. He has seen first-hand the benefit of the work of Gifted Wishes for his patients, and is proud to join this group of dedicated people as a board member.
Born in Seattle and raised in the Midwest, Harold Rains attended the University of Houston and holds a master’s degree in Corporate Tax and Behavioral Management. Harold’s professional experience includes 22 years in Texas’ dynamic oil and gas industry as an international audit manager.
While living in Houston, Harold served as an advocate, board member, and fundraiser for The Assistance Fund. The Assistance Fund was founded to raise funding to pay COBRA insurance payments for persons living with HIV/AIDS. His efforts brought health care providers, insurance companies, and public health care services together.
Harold relocated to Oregon, and in 1994 he shifted his time, energy, and talent to the nonprofit and community services sector. He served as the hospital administrator for the Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital and subsequently transitioned to a position with the Oregon Health Division as an accounting manager, and then on to Clark County, Washington as Finance Manager for the Department of Community Services/Corrections.
Harold’s commitment to community and service is true and from the heart. Harold has held positions on the boards of Our House of Portland, The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, The Children’s Sharing Project, The Recovery Cafe, and Mind/Fitness/Attitude Boxing (MFA Boxing) in addition to serving Clark County, Washington as a volunteer Deputy Sheriff.
Kathy, a retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker, was in private practice, and specialized in widowhood adjustment and adult counseling. She also worked at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center for over 25 years, serving as director of various departments and as Assistant Director. Giving back to the community is important to Kathy, who has been on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Congregation Beth Israel, Mittleman Jewish Community Center and Vision Northwest.
Shanna Hancock, RN, BSN
Shanna is a Bachelor’s educated Nurse, and an Oregon Native with a background in Logistics, Warehousing, Process Improvement, Corporate Training and most recently Nursing of Geriatric and Hospice populations. She is passionate about increasing awareness of the Hospice benefit with the goal of “more hospice for more people” and increasing the average length of stay for hospice patients which allows for more Final Wishes to be fulfilled by organizations like the PNW Hospice Foundation and others. This is the second Board of Directors on which she has served.
Christina settled in Portland 18 years ago while pursuing a successful career as a regional sales manager. She is not new to the non-profit world, as she was previously Vice President/President of PABA. Christina brings to the PNW Hospice Foundation her passion for fundraising and art. She was recently selected to be co-chair of the Honor the Journey Gala, 2016, where she will be unveiling some exciting new ideas for our attendees.
Sheda Dikeman is the Administrator of Serenity Home Care which is a family owned and operated comprehensive in-home care agency. Building off of her family's 12 years of experience in the Caregiving industry, Sheda founded Serenity Home Care in 2014 and continues to manage the daily operations. Sheda believes that Caregiving is a true life calling for herself and her family as they have invested their whole lives to the growth and well-being of their family, Clients, and Caregivers. Sheda's motto is "The harder I work, the more efficiently I work, the more I can provide not only to my family but the more I can provide to my Clients, and the more I can provide to my Caregivers and their families." Sheda is honored and extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with Gifted Wishes and continue to make a difference in the lives of hospice patients by being an active participant in the change she wants to see in the world.