Tom holds an M.A. in Community Health Nursing from Yale University, and has been a Family Nurse Practitioner for 35 years, serving a diverse community, including 25 years in School-Based Health Clinics serving students of every background. Tom has been an Oregon Nurses Association member, treasurer of Nurses for Single Payer, on the Oregon League of Conservation Voters Multnomah Leadership Committee, on the Oregon Health Policy and Research Patient-Centered Primary Care Home, Pediatric Standards Advisory Committee. He was an Adjunct Professor at Concordia University School of Nursing in Community Health, Adjunct Faculty Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine, and Past President of the statewide Oregon School-Based Health Care Network for four years.
Ben Gerritz, Vice President
A lifelong Portlander, Ben has been involved with political advocacy and public policy since his early youth. As the Prevention with Positives coordinator at the Cascade AIDS Project, Ben led successful lobbying efforts: organizing, educating, and mobilizing people living with HIV to raise their voices on issues such as equitable access to health care and affordable housing. Ben also advocates for working families, serving his union, SEIU 503 as assistant board member, as Citizens Action for Political Education Council delegate, and as a Civil and Human Rights Committee appointee. He also serves as a Board member with the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, educating people across the state about international trade policy impacts on access to medicines and publicly funded health programs. Passionate about civic engagement, Ben has served as the board chair for Know Your City since 2014. In 2013, Ben's work was recognized on the national level as the recipient of the POZ 100 award celebrating youth power. In 2014, Ben's local contributions were recognized with the Queer Hero NW award.
Bud Laurent, Treasurer
Bud holds a B.A. in Marine Biology from San Francisco State University and an M.A. in Marine Biology from the SFSU/Moss Landing Marine Lab. He served in the US Air Force Security Service as a Russian translator. His extensive career includes Marine Biologist, Ecological Research and Resource Management; County Supervisor in San Luis Obispo County; executive director of the Santa Barbara Community Environmental Council. His consulting company specialized in sustainable development in housing, land use and renewable energy. In Oregon he was vice-chair of the Linn County Democrats and a delegate to the Democratic Party State Central Committee. He is on the HCAO Legislative Committee, and was a founding chair of the re-organized MVHCA, was a candidate (D) for State Representative D15 and was treasurer and board member of the Marys River Watershed Council.
Mark Lindgren, Secretary
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. Mark helped transition HCAO into its current form in 2011 and also developed and promoted HB 3510 that year. He served as secretary for the 501(c)3 Universal Health Care for Oregon (UHCO, now the HCAO Education Fund) from 2000 to 2012 and currently serves as its president.
Sandra J. Bean, MPH, PhD, received her doctorate in public health from Oregon State University in 2014. She worked for eight years as a health communications specialist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before moving to Corvallis for graduate studies. Her bachelor’s degree is in journalism and she spent nearly 30 years in organizational communication. She is a passionate advocate for social equity and racial healing. Before moving to Corvallis in 2008, she had a varied career as an educator, writer, and public relations executive. She has chaired the Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates’ Communications Committee since 2014 and, in 2016, she supervised the process of recruiting talent, conceptualizing, and selecting the new MVHCA logo.
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. 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. Wes believes very strongly that health care is a human right!
Glendora advocates 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 and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1995. Among many academic achievements, Glendora holds a Master’s Degree in Health Administration, a Graduate Certificate in Public Management, and a 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 and as a community organizer for SEIU 503. She serves on many committees and boards of area councils and political organizations, including the Washington County and State Democratic Party, Health Share of Oregon and the Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs. She is president of the National Action Network of Portland, Beaverton Oregon chapter.
Sandra is a retired Professor of history (Ph.D.), women’s studies, and was Director of several university interdisciplinary academic programs. She led in unionizing marginalized faculty and promoting quality in assessment of student learning. She was also President of the National Women's Studies Association. Her longest and deepest engagement in community activism has been in many facets of the feminist movement for many decades, up to and including current leadership in American Association of University Women. Passionate about challenging injustice and economic inequality, she was active in the Ashland Citizens Coalition on Homelessness; is an active supporter and occasional board member of several local and regional organizations that promote justice, nonviolence, and environmentalism; and has volunteered on local Democratic Party campaigns. She also currently leads two book discussion groups in Ashland. She serves on HCAO's Legislative Committee.
Mary Lou Hennrich
Mary Lou Hennrich retired in 2014 from a 40-plus-year career in public health and health care advocacy, beginning as a public health nurse for the Multnomah County Health Department in1969. She rose through positions in various aspects of public health, including managing or creating programs related to family planning, maternal-child health, health promotion, prenatal care, school-based health clinics, and community-based primary care. In 1994, Hennrich became the founding CEO of CareOregon, the largest Medicaid Managed Healthcare Plan for Oregonians covered by the Oregon Health Plan. Hennrich has also served as chair of the Oregon Conference of Public Health Officials and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oregon Public Health Association. She was a founding member of the Oregon Nutrition Policy Alliance and has served on the boards of the Oregon Health Action Campaign and the Oregon Education Benefits Board. She retired as Executive Director of The Oregon Public Health Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of Oregonians through advocacy and support of effective public health policies and activities. Mary Lou Hennrich represents the Faith Community on the HCAO Board.
Sandra is an educator, Jungian psychologist and a Theatre of the Oppressed director who creates and implements trainings with communities of color, immigrants, and allies in support of social movements. She uses an interactive form of theatre and story-telling that evokes power-sharing and self-expression from spectators, who become “spect-actors.” Sandra has collaborated with the Oregon Health Authority/Office of Equity and Inclusion since 2010. Her Spect-Actors Collective helped create the Oregon Health Equity Alliance. Together with five Latino and African organizations, she also created CHARLA (Collective Health Advocacy and Rights of Latinas/os and Africans), which connects organizations, and implemented Legislative Forum Theatres to work on policy changes. Sandra offers high energy, organizational experience and connections to organizations and communities working for health equity.
Lauri has been interested in getting Single Payer health care in this country since beginning her nursing career in 1981. She worked as a nurse practitioner in California at Kaiser for 25 years and in Oregon at La Clinica in Medford for five years.Her goal has been to provide high-quality health care to every patient. She feels our current system does not let her to do this because of the barriers patients face in getting care. Lauri has been an activist with the California Nurses Association for the last 20 years, working on many campaigns to bring access to health care and a healthy environment to all residents of our country. I look forward to grassroots organizing across this state for a single payer measure on the 2020 ballot.
Lee is on the Executive Team 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 in 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 nonprofit world, Lee was a small business owner for 20 years, operating art and independent motion picture theaters in California and Nevada.
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, then through education as an aide for “at risk” youth, and then teaching immigrant and refugee children. He attended graduate school, gained certification, and now teaches social studies at Portland’s Wilson High School. 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. Hyung represents the PAT at the Oregon Education Association, where he introduced and helped pass a motion calling for the OEA to actively support HCAO.
Jim has been involved in political campaigns as a volunteer, staffer, consultant, manager and candidate. He has managed Democratic campaigns, progressive nonprofits and public projects, as well as providing computer consulting and software development. He served as president of the East Side Democratic Club from 1997 to 2000 and as chair of the Democratic Party of Multnomah County from 2000 to 2004. 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.
Nico is a mixed-race transgender person with disabilities. They are from Detroit Michigan and are a trained and experienced teacher. Nico was a Delegate for Bernie Sanders to the Democratic National Convention and has continued to work for positive change as a servant leader within the Democratic Party at the local, state and national levels. Nico is also passionate about organizing non-violent direct action street protests.
Cheryl holds a Master's Degree in Social Work. Her 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 the 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. She organized the Oregon Rural Action Health Care Reform Action Team as co-chair and has worked on a variety of organizational development activities with HCAO since 2012. Cheryl appreciates the opportunity of having served as chair of 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 holds a BA in Social Anthropology from the University of Oregon. After graduation, 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 years of bargaining for the members, he observed health insurance costs always increasing and benefits decreasing. Now health insurance benefits are an obstruction to contract negotiations and are lowering the standard of living for most union employees. Lou decided upon retirement to work toward correcting this erroneous attempt to provide health care and found HCAO, an alternative for decent publicly funded health care for everyone in Oregon and throughout the United States.
Charlie is a retired physicist and math, chemistry and physics teacher,having taught as an adjunct at Lane Community College and the University of Oregon, and also high school. While teaching high school, he was president of his Oregon Education Association local. Charlie was a computer programmer at IBM before personal computers existed. He is a co-founder and treasurer of We the People-Eugene, a 501(c)3 whose mission is to provide education/conversations relating to ending excessive influence of moneyed interests over political and economic systems, and building communities founded on the natural rights of humans and the environment. He is the platform chair of the Democratic Party of Lane County and on the Democratic Party of Oregon platform committee.