Welcome James McGhee our newest member to the Janus Board of Directors!
Originally from Chicago, James has been living in the Portland area since 2018 with his wife and son. Currently in the position as the Director of Anesthesiology and Radiology at Kaiser Permanente, James has worked in healthcare management for 13 years. Prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest, James lived in Toledo, Ohio for six years.
What originally inspired you to join the Janus Board?
One of the anesthesiologists, Dr. Jessie Fan (previous Janus Board member) on my team, invited me to the annual Janus fundraiser, Dinner in the Vines, last summer. One of the highlights of the event for me was listening to a former Hope Partnership youth speak about the impact that the Janus program had on him while incarcerated at McLaren Youth Correctional Facility. He said, “Having people from the community help me was something new.” When I heard him talk, it resonated with me because I was starting to think at that time about how I could get involved in the Portland community helping youth in positive ways. I like the idea of giving youth as many chances we, as a community, can. Many times, youth from a similar background as me, with limited resources and support, are lucky to get one opportunity, and I want that to change.
What are your interests as a Board member?
I am on the Program Q/A Committee which gives me a chance to get an overview of all of the programs. Each month, I get to go to a different program and talk to staff and youth, getting a better understanding of each individual program’s benefits. I believe this insight will help me understand how I can make the biggest impact as a Board member.
Why do you feel it is important to invest in your community?
If it were not for members in my hometown Chicago community, I would not be here. For some reason, people helped support me in so many ways. From personal experience, I learned that having your community care about you makes a huge difference. We all have to do our part to care about our community. I am excited to learn more about Janus’ work and how it affects the broader community. I want to understand the culture here. It is different than where I grew up. This will help me figure out how I can contribute to our community.