MaryLisa Wood
Outreach Director & Lead Grant Writer

Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies
Business Certificate, Nonprofit Management

I was born and raised in Paradise with my parents and two older sisters. After graduating from high school, I spent time at Butte College to evaluate what career path to choose. After doing some volunteer work following the 2008 Humboldt fire, I felt a strong draw to do work that made a positive impact on my community or our world as a whole. Ultimately, I decided to transfer to Southern Oregon University to complete my bachelors in Communication Studies and a Business Certificate in Nonprofit Management. Post-graduation I moved to the Midwest and began work with National MS Society as part of a small team launching a national fundraising support department. After a year in Colorado and three years working in the nonprofit sector under my belt, I then accepted a position at Chico State and returned to Butte County. I work full time for CSU, Chico and volunteer my time with Medspire. 

I found myself just by happenstance at the East Avenue Church shelter on the night of November 8th unknowingly that within a day my friend of 13 years, Birgitte and other nurses would be providing immediate medical care to those who had evacuated the Camp Fire. Immediately I was helping managing check-in of medical volunteers and taking on any task I could that would support the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals as they addressed the growing need in the shelter. Over the next 6 weeks a group of us bonded and discovered how we could utilize each of our unique skill sets to help heal our struggling community while also identifying the reality of how this problem would be ongoing long after the smoke settled.

Medspire was born out of our love for the Ridge and from the joy it brings for us to help those around us. It is a healing experience for us as well as those we provide for. Rebuilding a community does not just take bricks and mortar, it takes courage and strength. Through whole body wellness and attentive free medical care, we will strengthen the bodies, minds, and souls that will inspire a new Paradise.