Aug. 26, 2013

New organizational development model launched in Portland, Oregon

Lupus activist Meies Matz, of Wilsonville, OR, was recently appointed by CEO Celia Y. Weisman to serve as the LFA, PNW Oregon Regional Manager for the Chapter.  Matz, who is pursuing her Master’s degree in Public Health at Oregon Health and Sciences University, will provide outreach and engagement to those living with lupus, their loved ones, and medical providers throughout the state of Oregon.  

Meies will be attending health fairs and conferences to promote awareness of LFA, PNW’s mission, organizing health and wellness activities for lupus members and their families, working with community partners on outreach to underserved communities, as well as other events as a representative of the LFA, PNW.

Along with Board of Directors member Jolene Thomas of Portland, OR, Matz will serve as a key liaison between LFA, PNW Seattle headquarters and Oregon lupus activists. She will also coordinate with local organizations and community health partners to ensure that publications, notices, and support group meeting information are widely distributed throughout multiple communities. 

The purpose of this pilot leadership model is to facilitate improved communication flow and increase local engagement in LFA, PNW activities, and Meies is taking on the responsibilities of this volunteer position with great enthusiasm and excitement, strongly believing that collaboration is the key to success.  To this end, she will also be working closely with Jolene, current Portland Lupus Support Group facilitators, other Chapter volunteers within Oregon to grow LFA, PNW’s educational programs, lupus advocacy work, and the annual Portland Walk to End Lupus Now.  Lastly, Meies, Jolene and their daughters, Eliya and Janelle, both LFA, PNW Oregon activists, are in the process of creating an Oregon LFA, PNW social media/online presence for those needing support and are unable to physically attend local events and functions, and to provide interactive tools for activists and volunteers to connect with others and with LFA,PNW.

As this pilot project unfolds, we’ll keep you updated as to its progress.  Should its outcome be successful, LFA, PNW may seek other regional leaders in Idaho and Eastern Washington to assume pioneering positions of this nature.