MVHCA Board of Directors
Roberta Hall, Chair
Bruce Thomson, Vice chair and Legislative team lead
Louise Ferrell, Treasurer
Dagmar Johnson, Secretary
Cindy Scott, Outreach chair
John Booker, Finance Chair
Sandra Bean, Communications chair
Mike Huntington, at large
Betty Johnson, at large
Dianne Farrell, newsletter editor
Sandra J. Bean—Communications Chair
Sandi received her doctorate in public health from Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences in 2014. Before moving to Corvallis for her studies, she worked for eight years as a health communications specialist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her bachelor’s degree is in journalism and she spent nearly 30 years in organizational communication and enjoyed a varied career, primarily in public relations, external affairs, and media relations.
Her awareness of the inequities of health care access only emerged during her doctoral studies, when she learned from Dr. Chunhui Chi about international health care systems and came to understand the flaws of the U.S. market-driven system. Her family had benefited from her father’s military health care—no one ever had to think about whether to seek medical care, no one ever faced medical bankruptcy. She has come to realize how fortunate she was, and now advocates for everyone to have access to health care as a human right, the same right enjoyed by the rest of the industrialized world.
John Booker—Finance Committee Chair
John grew up in Pasadena, California, and earned an associate degree in communications from Pasadena Community College in 1979. He took up acting, playing a businessman in the play “A Raisin in the Sun.” He created a stocks and bond certificate filing system for a bank in Glendale and moved to Kaiser Permanente where he worked in Materials and Management. A position in inventory control brought John to Corvallis in 1990.
He then returned to school to earn associates degrees from Linn Benton Community College in supervisory management and accounting. From 2005 to 2011, he served on the Benton County Environmental Division, Food Service Advisory Committee. In 2009, John received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Benton County Democratic Party. He is currently Benton county Democratic Party Healthcare Caucus Chair, member of the Health Care for All Oregon legislative and membership committees, and the MVHCA legislative team. He served as vice chair for the MVHCA Outreach committee for two years.
John says he is in the “donut hole” regarding health insurance, and understands the need for health care coverage for everyone.
Dianne Farrell—newsletter editor
Dianne has always been fascinated with foreign lands and languages. She gained experience studying and living in Europe both on her own, and later with husband, John, and their two sons. Dr. Farrell completed her PhD in Russian history in 1980 and taught full-time at the university level until 2002. Her husband died in 2011.
Dianne explains, “Having lived and studied in various European countries, I have always been aware that all advanced countries extend health services to their entire population. And I have always felt keenly that we ought to do the same. I discovered Health Care for All Oregon (Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates) when representatives from Vermont’s movement came to town. Health care for all has been my chief civic endeavor ever since.”
Louise retired from tax accounting and has spent many years on the boards and as treasurer of other non-profit organizations.
She is particularly irritated at the inefficiency of our present healthcare insurance system in which your healthcare is dependent on how old you are, where you are employed (or not employed), whether you are married to someone who has insurance, whether you are a veteran, or if you still have a big deductible for this year. Louise looks forward to a system in which everyone has the same kind of healthcare ID card.
Roberta (Bobbi) Hall—Chair
Dr. Hall is an anthropologist who served on the faculty at the University of Victoria in British Columbia and Oregon State University in Corvallis. Evolutionary anthropology and health have been major interests; she has worked with Russian immigrants, Marion County public health, the Indian Health Board serving Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and in 1976 began a long association with the Coquille Indian Tribe, helping in documenting its prehistory and restoration.
Experiencing a universal health care system in Canada for four years persuaded her after retirement to join the effort to achieve a comparable system in Oregon.
Michael C. Huntington—At-Large Board Member, Speakers Bureau Coordinator
Mike grew up in Southern California. He attended Oregon State University and the University of Oregon Medical School, now Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). He was an Army flight surgeon in Viet Nam in 1969. He received his residency training at OHSU, was a Radiation Oncologist for 35 years, and was Medical Director of the Radiation Oncology Department at Samaritan Regional Cancer Center in Corvallis from 1984 to 2006.
Since his retirement he has joined with physicians and other activists in Corvallis and Oregon to engage colleagues and the public in discussion about the urgent need for health care reform. The group has co-sponsored public forums and given talks to civic groups in Corvallis over the past eight years. In 2007 this group became the Oregon Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. He was President of Health Care for All Oregon in 2012.
Dagmar Johnson, Secretary
Ms. Johnson has a BS in Recreation from San Jose State University and received her Masters degree in Adult Education and Training from OSU. She moved to Corvallis in 1975 from California. Her professional background includes work in both the private and public sectors. She has worked in marketing and sales in both large companies and two small businesses with her husband. She has also worked in Corvallis for the State of Oregon providing information, referral and emergency services to people who fell between the cracks of eligibility for public agencies. She is retired from the Training and Business Development Center at Linn Benton Community College.
Dagmar has seen the effects of our patchwork health care system when working with people struggling to improve their lives through education while working part time and trying to support a family. Since her husband has always been self-employed, her job at LBCC provided health insurance for their family. Other independent business people are not so lucky. They may pay exorbitant rates for catastrophic-only health care. Contemporaries of her daughter, in their 20s, struggle to pay insurance premiums even with the Affordable Care Act, and many have opted out of insurance completely.
She became involved with MVHCA by attending a “front-room conversation” in a friend’s home. She went in with skepticism, and left with a resolve that not only can our nation do this, we must if we are going to compete in a global business climate and ensure that current and future generations of Americans do not have to choose between their health and their other basic needs. The goal of universal health care in Oregon is achievable.
Bruce Thomson—Legislative Team Chair
Dr. Thomson practiced family medicine in Corvallis for 21 years. During that time he served on the Board of directors of hospice as well as the board of Directors for the Oregon academy Foundation. He continues to serve as Public Health Officer for Benton County, a position he has held for the past 17 years. In 2001 the Oregon Academy of family physicians honored him as Family Doctor of the Year for his activism in tobacco education.
In the past 10 years Dr. Thomson has become increasingly concerned that the health-insurance industry has lost its compass as to how to best serve its clients. Health care in the US is unlike healthcare systems in numerous other advanced societies whose focus is on service to their clients. The healthcare financing industry in the United States increasingly appears to be focused on maximizing profits by denying services and increasing co-pays and deductibles. Too many Americans still cannot afford health insurance. If they do have insurance many cannot afford to take care of their health because of high deductibles and co-pays.
Oregon, along with more than 15 other states, is pursuing the goal of a publicly funded system of universal access to healthcare for all Oregonians. In the past 5 years many legislative milestones have been reached.
Cindy Scott—Outreach Chair
After receiving her Bachelors in Environmental Interpretation at Oregon State University, Cindy spent many years working in the outdoors, from fire lookout to river ranger. This included 20 years as a rafting instructor with the Colorado Outward Bound School. She returned to Corvallis to work as a Montessori elementary teacher.
Cindy became involved in MVHCA after learning about it in a “front room conversation” at a friend’s house. The idea of affordable health care for everyone called to her because she had benefited from years of medical treatments, and knew she couldn’t have done so without health insurance. She believes that everyone should be able to receive health care as she did, without the anxiety of whether they can pay for it. When looking at all the other industrialized countries of the world, it is clear that health can be provided for everyone at a much lower cost. If they can do it, so can we.
HCAO Statewide Leaders
In order to strengthen our education, outreach and engagement of Oregon voters in support of universal publicly funded healthcare, the HCAO board has reorganized our current elected leadership team.
Effective September 1, Lee Mercer has volunteered to step-down as President and serve as Mobilization Committee Chair and Ad Hoc Member of the Executive Team. Ben Gerritz will continue as Vice President, and Cheryl Simpson, former Ad Hoc Executive Committee member will serve as Treasurer.
This maintains the same Executive Committee, with Simpson as Treasurer, Mark Lindgren as Secretary and Mercer as both acting President and the Mobilization Committee Chair position, previously vacant for many months. These changes will be effective until elections at our Annual Membership Meeting in May.
As Mobilization Committee Chair, Mercer will recruit a statewide committee of chapter representatives and other activists, work with regional volunteer coordinators to engage members, travel to, meet with and assist statewide chapters, act as a liaison to businesses and allied organizations and coordinate mobilization for rallies, legislative days and hearings.
If you are interested in joining the HCAO Mobilization Committee contact Lee Mercer at email@example.com.
At the Board meeting on August 27, 2016, the Board agreed to reorganize HCAO's leadership (shifting duties within the Executive Committee, as provided for in the By-Laws:
Article IV, section 5-A- i: Section 5. Filling Vacancies A) The Board may appoint new Directors to fill any vacancies on the Board. i) A Director appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve only until the next Annual Meeting of the Membership.