Spotlight on NHC Board Chair, Donalda Dodson

When asked what makes Neighborhood Health Center (NHC) special, Donalda Dodson doesn’t miss a beat: “Listening to the patients, being community-driven, and working within the community… and having a high bar for quality,” she adds.

And Dodson would know. She has invested in NHC for the past ten years, serving on its board of directors, most recently as board chair. “We hear what’s going on in the community, we respond to what the community needs are — and that enables us to be successful.” Dodson explains that NHC has a brand, a methodology and a presence that sets it apart: “It feels more responsive to the community. It’s living the mission.”

Dodson says that her experience with NHC has given her a better understanding of where health care is going. She explains, “When we first started, we were a clinic. We were focused on clinical services. Now we’re focused on how we can enrich health services for that community. We’re asking, ‘How can we be more comprehensive?’”

To Dodson, being comprehensive means taking the time to ask the right questions: “We cannot serve a client or a patient if we don’t understand the environment in which they live or they’re going back to or which they’re from.”

Dodson also serves on the National Council for Migrant Health and is Executive Director for Oregon Child Development Coalition (OCDC). OCDC provides Early Childhood Care and Education services to Head Start and Early Head Start eligible low-income children, pregnant women and families.

“When we first started, we were a clinic. We were focused on clinical services. Now we’re focused on how we can enrich health services for that community. We’re asking, ‘How can we be more  comprehensive?’” “We cannot serve a client or a patient if we don’t understand the environment in which they live or they’re going back to or which they’re from.”

A Culture of Community

To Dodson, NHC provides a community service that is a quality service — and allows health care to be given to whoever needs it. “When a patient comes, regardless of what they need, it’s addressed.” Serving on NHC’s board has given Dodson an opportunity to set the guidance for NHC and bring her expertise to the board. She says it’s a rewarding experience to see the services evolve, mature, and grow. 

Dodson also notes that NHC’s leadership culture sets it apart, describing it as participatory and communal, not hierarchical. Having patient or client representation on the board helps bring perspective and challenge assumptions, according to Dodson. “It makes us better, too,” she adds.

Dodson says she continues to invest in NHC because she recognizes what a valuable resource it is to the community. And when it comes to why others should consider giving, Dodson doesn’t mince words: “If you have a heart for health, this is a good place to put your dollars.”

“If you have a heart for health, this is a good place to put your dollars.”

She says the experience has changed her. “It’s made me more informed, more committed.” Dodson credits her experience serving on NHC’s board to her decision to apply to be on the National Council for Migrant Health. 

Thank you, Donalda Dodson, for your service to Neighborhood Health Center.

Dodson says she continues to invest in NHC because she recognizes what a valuable resource it is to the community. And when it comes to why others should consider giving, Dodson doesn’t mince words: “If you have a heart for health, this is a good place to put your dollars.”

“If you have a heart for health, this is a good place to put your dollars.”

She says the experience has changed her. “It’s made me more informed, more committed.” Dodson credits her experience serving on NHC’s board to her decision to apply to be on the National Council for Migrant Health. 

Thank you, Donalda Dodson, for your service to Neighborhood Health Center.

Translate »