By Jennifer Moffatt
Cascadia’s Garlington Health Center unveiled a new portrait by Jeremy Okai Davis to honor the retirement of long-time community health advocate and activist, Sandra Ford, PA.C. Sandra has played an instrumental role in community health for over 40 years, beginning at the Fred Hampton Peoples Health Clinic on Vancouver and Russell Streets in North Portland. After becoming a physician assistant (PA) in 1981, Sandra started as a women’s health specialist, became a family practice clinician, and soon became one of the first psychiatric PAs in the country. Sandra has been a steadfast presence at our Garlington Health Center since 2004.
Sandra’s commitment to the community has also been steadfast. As a member of Portland’s Black Panther Party, Sandra’s work included welfare rights advocacy, justice issues, and supporting students of color. With other members of the Black Panthers she helped organize a Free Breakfast Program for children in inner-city Portland at Highland Church that fed 100 – 150 children a day, five days a week; worked to establish the Fred Hampton Memorial Peoples Free Health Clinic in Portland in 1969 which arranged sickle cell anemia testing at schools and community events, screening approximately 11,000 people in Portland; and set up the Free Dental Clinic that is now the Cleve Allen Dentist Clinic. And much more.
“I hope to be remembered as a listener, a person who cared, who was respectful and tried always to do my best for others,” said Sandra.
Community members can view this new portrait, as well as the other works by Jeremy Okai Davis, Arvie Smith, Hilary Pfeifer and Anne Crumpacker at the Garlington Health Center at 3036 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.