Board & Staff

HCAO Officers

Lee Mercer. Presiden (Silverton, Small Business, Main Street Alliance of Oregon)
Lee is currently on the executive team (and former director) of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon. For the previous 11 years he did legislative advocacy, outreach and education on poverty, hunger and economic issues with Oregon Center for Public Policy and Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County (California). He co-chaired the California Hunger Action Coalition and was part of the leadership team of the Human Services Coalition of Oregon. At OCPP he staffed Oregonians for Working Families, a coalition to increase the state Earned Income Tax Credit. Before entering the non-profit world, Lee was a small business owner for 20 years operating art and independent motion picture theaters in California and Nevada. He is also a free-lance writer and has done video and film production.

Steve Hawks, Vice-president (Warrenton, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Northwest region.)
Steve is a nearly life-long resident of Warrenton, Clatsop County where he works for North West Senior & Disability Services as an elder abuse investigator. He deeply supports single payer health care financing through his appointment as chair of the AFSCME Council 75 Health Care Committee. His other union activities include support for Oregon Strong Voice and voting membership on AFSCME Council 75’s Political Action Committee. In addition, Steve is active in his church and local politics and has served for six years on the City of Warrenton Planning Commission.

 Mark Lindgren, Secretary: (Corvallis, HCAO, Small Business, Valley).
Mark is a meeting minutes recorder and Corvallis area family farmer. He was HCAO Chair from 2001-2011, including the campaign for the single payer ballot initiative Measure 23 in 2002. He helped transition HCAO into its current form in 2011, and also to develop and promote HB 3510 that year. He served as the Secretary for the 501c3 Universal Health Care for Oregon (UHCO) (now the HCAO Education Fund) from 2000 to 2012, and currently serves as President.

William (Bill) Whitaker, Treasurer  (LaGrande, Oregon Rural Action, Education, Cascades-East) 
Bill currently serves  as treasurer of both HCAO and the HCAO-Education Fund.  Professor emeritus of social work at Boise State University, Bill taught community organizing and social policy for 35 years. He is currently co-chair of the Oregon Rural Action Health Care Reform Action Team, organizing in five counties in eastern Oregon, and board member of the Rural Organizing Project. Bill’s strong motivations are rooted partly in a background in the Civil Rights movement.  He brings understanding of the crises in rural health care, how a single payer system can help address these crises, and a commitment to ensuring those concerns are reflected in the Coalition’s work, as true statewide organizing requires. Bill is committed to leaving a livable and just world to grandchildren everywhere.

HCAO Board Members

Wes Brain (Ashland, SEIU, Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice, Southern Oregon Central Labor Council)
Wes is a retired member-activist with the Service Employees International Union Local #503. He is also a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, Lane Branch.   He worked previously as a Firefighter for 16 years with Jackson County Fire District #5 followed by 15 years employment with Southern Oregon University providing occupational health and safety services for campus employees. Wes hosts the Brain Labor Report, an hour-long radio show every Wednesday at 9 a.m. on KSKQ, the Rogue Valley's community radio station, www.kskq.org.  For 15 years he has been a delegate to the Southern Oregon Central Labor Council and he is on the board of Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice, www.sojwj.org.  Wes believes very strongly that Health Care is a Human Right!

Glendora Claybrooks (Beaverton) Nominations and Election Committee Chair.
Glendoraadvocates for communities of color to reduce and or eliminate not only health care access barriers, but also social, criminal, political, economic and educational challenges.
She was born on a plantation in Blytheville, Arkansas. She endured social injustices, school segregation and racial discrimination and was inspired by those fighting for Civil Rights. She moved in her youth to Chicago and then to the Pacific Northwest in 1995, where she achieved undergraduate and graduate degrees in Community Health and Health Education Studies, Health Sciences, Civics, Health Administration and Public Management.
She has a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from University of Phoenix, and a Graduate Certificate in Public Management from Portland State University. She is currently undergoing her doctoral degree in Health Services Administration, specializing in Public Health Policy. She has worked in both the nonprofit and health care industries as a national certified medical assistant (NCMA), medical assistant instructor, clinic manager, and as a community organizer for SEIU 503. She serves on committees and boards of area councils and political organizations including the Washington County Democratic Party, the State Central Committee, the Platform and Resolution Committee, Health Share of Oregon (HSO) and the Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs (OABA). She is president of the National Action Network of Portland, Beaverton Oregon (NANPBO) chapter.

Joanne Cvar,  (Waldport, Rural Organizing Project, IIRT, Northwest) 
Joanne  participated in OSPC preparatory work for launching the expanded Coalition.  After 20 years in banking, she earned an MA in English at Portland State University in 1988 and taught writing classes there and at the Oregon Coast Community College. She has served as executive director of Vision Northwest, a 501(c)3 network of peer support groups for severe vision loss; reporter and editor for the South Lincoln County News; media coordinator for the Pacific Green Party of Oregon; and managing editor of Green Pages (newspaper of the Green Party US). She is a published author of nonfiction and currently publishes CoastNet, a weekly email newsletter of activities in Lincoln and South Tillamook Counties. She is also active with the Immigration Information Response Team, working for public education about immigrants' rights and issues. Her past activism in defending human and civil rights brings her a fresh commitment to the cause of making quality affordable health care available to everyone who needs it, regardless of ability to pay. 

Sandra Hernandes (Portland, The TREE Institute, communities with barriers, communities of color, education, Metro)
As executive director of THE TREE Institute, Sandra uses liberatory theatre techniques that evoke power-sharing with poor and marginalized immigrant communities. She offers organizational experience and important connections to organizations struggling for health equity. Sandra is a critical and popular educator who engages people to discover and practice what they know and use their experience to organize for change, crucial elements of our base-building methods.  She has high energy, determination and clear vision of what matters and ways to achieve it. 

Mark Kellenbeck. Legislative Committee Co-Chair (Medford. Main Street Alliance)
Mark is a 2008 founding member and statewide co-chair of the Main Street Alliance, a coalition of over 2000 small businesses throughout Oregon.  He is an active member and chair of the HCAO Rogue Valley chapter and a long time single payer advocate.  He and his wife, Kathleen, are co-owners of BrainJoy Neuro Wellness Center, which assists individuals in discovering optimal neural health and enjoying their lives to the fullest.

Reyna Lopez  (Portland, Causa, Communities of Color, Metro) 
Reyna is Civic Engagement Director for Causa Oregon, the largest immigrant rights organization in the Pacific Northwest.  She has served as Causa representative to HCAO, testified on behalf of Causa in support of HB 2922 at the May 13 House Health Care Committee hearing, and has been active around health policy and health equity issues since 2011.  Before going to work for Causa she was involved with the BUS Project. 

Peter Mahr M.D. (Portland, Physicians for a National Health Plan, Oregon)
Peter is the president of the Portland Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. He is a family physician who currently works at the Student Health and Counseling Center at Portland State University and is attending Portland State University's Masters in Public Health program. He previously worked for 10 years at East County Health Center in Gresham, which is a primary care clinic run by Multnomah County. He is dedicated to the care of the under-served and a strong proponent of a national, single-payer health program. He is also a clinical assistant professor at Oregon Health and Science University in the Department of Family Medicine. He graduated from Dartmouth Medical School in 1998 and finished his residency in Family Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in 2001. 

Hyung Nam (Portland Association of Teachers [PAT], represents education, Metro region)
Hyung emigrated from South Korea, graduated from Reed College with a political philosophy degree, volunteered in India, and worked for Greenpeace. He returned to Portland to make a positive difference in young people’s lives first with the homeless and runaways and then through education as an aide for “at risk” youth and then teaching immigrant and refugee children. He attended graduate school and gained certification. He now teaches social studies at Portland’s Wilson High School and represents the PAT at the Oregon Education Association (OEA) where he introduced and helped pass a motion calling for the OEA to actively support HCAO. He is an active member of Portland Area Rethinking Schools, NW Teaching for Social Justice Conference Committee, Portland Social Equality Educators and a former member of the editorial board of Rethinking Schools.

Rosalie Pedroza, Executive Committee Member at Large:  (Turner, Rural Organizing Project, labor, barriers, Valley) 
Rosalie has built community support for defense of human dignity and rights with the Rural Organizing Project.  She serves on the ROP Board, and as a rank and file activist and elected board officer of SEIU Local 503, which organizes most public employees, home health workers, child care workers and nursing home workers.  She also serves on the Executive Board of the Marion, Polk, Yamhill Central Labor Council.  Her political and organizing experience is of direct relevance to building our statewide movement and communicating effectively about health care as a human right in small town communities.  Since mid-2011 Rosalie has been working on developing the plans for the expanded Coalition.  

Tim Roach (Corvallis, Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates (MVHCA), Interfaith Health Care Network, representing faith communities, Valley region.)
Tim moved to Corvallis from North Carolina in 2012. He is a retired Presbyterian minister having served congregations in North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania over his 40 year career. Tim graduated from the University of North Carolina, earned a Masters of Divinity degree and a Doctor of Ministry degree. He is father of two daughters and grandfather of four. Tim is an avid sports fan and enjoys playing pickleball several times a week. He is a member of MVHCA’s Communication Committee and was recently nominated as vice-chair of MVHCA. He has participated in speakers training and assisted with training speakers with a focus on faith communities.

Jim Robison, Communications Committee chair  (Portland, East Side Democratic Club, small business owners and the Metro region)
Jim has managed Democratic campaigns, progressive nonprofits and public projects as well as provided computer consulting and software development. He served as president of the East Side Democratic Club from 1997 to 2000 and chair of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County from 2000 to 2004. He has been involved in political campaigns as a volunteer, staffer, consultant, manager and candidate. He served simultaneously as president of the oldest Toastmasters Club in Oregon (Portland Toastmasters) and at the time the newest Toastmasters Club in Oregon (Portland Progressives Toastmasters). Jim currently serves as the chair of the Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group, which provides community oversight of the Superfund cleanup of the Willamette River in Portland.

Terry Rogers, Finance Committee Chair (Portland) 
As the chairperson of the Finance Committee, Terry additionally has responsibility for fundraising. She joined the Portland Jobs with Justice Health Care Committee in 2010 and participated in the activities of the Oregon Single Payer Campaign.  She has fundraising experience both professionally and as a volunteer with various non-profit community groups.  She practiced law for seventeen years at Multnomah County Legal Aid Service and subsequently lived abroad for 11 years working in international development of the rule of law. 

Cheryl Simpson, MSW, Mobilization Committee Chair (La Grande, Oregon Rural Action Health Care Action Team,)
Cheryl’s social work career includes a wide range of community and organizational development positions in the U.S and abroad. In 2003 she founded and led the Idaho Statewide End-of-Life Coalition, Inc., now Idaho Quality of Life Coalition, Inc. During her tenure the Coalition won the prestigious Rallying Points Emerging Coalition Award of Excellence from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2009 Cheryl took part in the Mad as Hell Doctors Tour traveling from Ohio to Washington DC. As co-chair she organized the Oregon Rural Action Health Care Reform Action Team and has worked on a variety of organizational development activities with HCAO since 2012.  Cheryl appreciates the opportunity of co-chairing the HCAO Mobilization Committee, which she sees playing a key role, with other HCAO committees, in bringing universal, publicly funded, affordable health care to all people in Oregon – and the U.S. 

Lou Sinniger, Organizational Development Chair, (Eugene,AFSCME) 
About seven years after receiving a BA in Social Anthropology from the University of Oregon, Lou helped organize a union with his co-workers at the Bureau of Land Management in Eugene. He left BLM to become a union representative and continued representational work as a lifelong passion. The last 20 years of his career were spent with AFSCME Council 75. Throughout his career of bargaining for the members he observed health insurance costs always increasing and benefits decreasing. Now it is an obstruction to contract negotiations and is lowering the standard of living for most union employees. He decided upon retirement to work towards correcting this erroneous attempt to provide health care to people and.found HCAO, an alternative for decent publicly funded health care for everyone in Oregon and throughout the United States. 

HCAO Staff

Linda Alband, half-time Development Officer
Linda started working for HCAO in March 2014. Linda has been a professional fundraiser for more than 20 years.  As either a consultant or development staff member, she has raised significant funds to support diverse non-profit organizations and projects. In 2008, Linda earned recognition as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE)—the global standard for the fundraising profession. Currently, she holds leadership positions with the West Columbia Gorge Rotary Club and its associated foundation. She is also a founding member of the Women Artisans Resource Enterprise, a newly emerging nonprofit that supports women artisans in the developing world including training them to produce and sell fairly traded handicrafts internationally. In 2013, Linda was named a Paul Harris Fellow in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance she has given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world. 

Ross Lampert, HCAO Organizer, (Portland) 503-206-6709.
Ross has been a professional organizer since 2004. He has worked for political, community, and labor organizations winning legislative and electoral victories and gaining real improvements in people's daily lives. During his time in Tucson, he organized tenants to win needed housing improvements, fought predatory lending practices, and worked to raise the minimum wage. Since moving to Portland, he's helped pass the 100% Smoke Free Workplaces Law, won a rule change at the OLCC, and started the Fair Trade Music campaign. Additionally,  he led a team of registering 20,000 voters in 2010, registering over 2,000 himself. Since joining HCAO in 2012, he's held over 40 training meetings, organizing local groups around Oregon.

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