Health & Education
Behavioral Health hires two new staff members
By Danielle Frost
Two new mental health professionals have joined the Community Health Department in the past few months and are available to help Tribal patients.
Dr. Gilberto De Jesus-Rentas is the Tribe’s part-time psychiatrist and Christine McCambridge is the new psychiatric nurse practitioner.
Health Services Executive Director Kelly Rowe said both De Jesus-Rentas and McCambridge help the department better serve its clients.
“Dr. De Jesus-Rentas has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to Behavioral Health, which has been invaluable for program planning,” Rowe said. “We are very fortunate to have engaged him to provide psychiatric services to our patients. … Having Christine join Health and Wellness to lead Behavioral Health has been instrumental in development of the array of services we are able to offer.”
Gilberto De Jesus-Rentas
De Jesus-Rentas began his career working in community health and has always enjoyed interacting with clients from different cultures.
“It is something I really like professionally,” he said. “When we moved from Florida to Oregon, my ambition was to work in a Tribal community. When I saw the opportunity out here, I applied. I feel that I can provide a service that is needed in the region.”
De Jesus-Rentas completed his residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the South Bronx, which includes a mix of patients from mostly African, Hispanic and Russian backgrounds. He has been a psychiatrist since 2005.
Now, he splits his time between a private practice in Salem and working in Grand Ronde.
De Jesus-Rentas earned a bachelor’s degreefrom Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico and attended medical school at Ibero-American University in the Dominican Republic and completed an internship at the San Juan City Hospital. He has a specialty in general psychiatry and two sub-specialties in forensics and child/adolescent psychiatry.
“My original goal was to work in gerontology, but it didn’t take me long to decide I wanted to do child psychiatry instead,” De Jesus-Rentas said. “The forensics part I decided to do because I was doing a lot of consultations in juvenile cases and found myself talking a lot to the court and preparing reports.”
A forensic psychiatrist provides services, such as determining competency to stand trial, to the court as well as providing treatment. De Jesus-Rentas’ private practice is set up specifically for forensic consultation.
“That is how I keep what I learned in use,” he said. “I also work with a citizen review board to look at cases for the Department of Human Services. I get lots of questions about mental health so it is a good use of what I know.”
De Jesus-Rentas has three sons with wife, Yessica, and enjoys going to movies, baseball games and his children’s sporting events.
The Tribe’s new Behavioral Health psychiatric nurse practitioner began in June. She decided to apply for the position after living and working in Portland during the past year.
“I grew up by the beach and so living in Portland wasn’t for me,” she said. “I began talking to Kelly (Rowe) to see if there was something I could do here. At my old job, I mostly saw patients for medication management. Here, I could do that and administrative functions.”
McCambridge has worked as a psychiatric nurse practitioner for eight years and held a variety of different positions in that time. In Grand Ronde, she sees patients ages 5 and older.
“I think just having that experience has helped me get to this point,” she said.
McCambridge earned a bachelor’s degree in health care administration from Oregon State University. She began working at a hospital in Newport shortly afterward and was upset by how she saw nurses treating some patients.
“I thought that I could do their job, but in a nicer way,” she said.
So, McCambridge enrolled at Linfield College in McMinnville and earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
After taking time to raise her boys, now ages 26, 24 and 22, she attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Chapel Hill, earning a master’s degree as a psychiatric nurse practitioner.
In her spare time, McCambridge enjoys walking on the beach, hiking to waterfalls and playing tennis.
Since she began working for the Tribe, McCambridge has enjoyed immersing herself in its culture and history with the help of longtime support counselor Joe Martineau.
“I am so fortunate to have Joe around,” she said. “He has been great to learn from.”
To make an appointment to see McCambridge or De Jesus-Rentas, call 503-879-2026.