Board of Directors

One of the unique aspects of a Community Health Center (CHC) is patient involvement in service delivery. The majority of Unity Care NW’s governing board of directors is made up of patients, serving as community representatives and making decisions on which services we provide. This active patient oversight ensures responsiveness to community needs.

James Brown

President

James retired after a 30-year career in law enforcement, retiring as a District Attorney Investigator. He moved to Bellingham and completed the LPN program at Bellingham Technical College. He worked as an LPN in our local emergency room and as an LPN in a cardiology practice. He now works part-time as a private investigator and volunteers with Law Advocates, Whatcom Democrats, and Unity Care NW.

Terry Brown

Terry retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Senior Master Sergeant (E8) after almost 21 years of service. He is also retired from the Washington State Department of Corrections as a Correctional Unit Supervisor. Terry was born and raised in the Custer/Ferndale/Bellingham area, and moved back to Whatcom County eleven years ago. Terry has been a patient of UCNW since his return to the area.

Melvin De Jong

Past President

Mel was born and raised in Whatcom County. He is a Vietnam War veteran who earned a MBA degree from Santa Clara University on the GI Bill. Throughout his career, Mel worked in various accounting and financial management positions from start-up organizations to a conglomerate. His most rewarding position was the 12 years as CFO for the Opportunity Council where he was able to strengthen and increase their financial foundation. Mel is retired and is actively involved in leadership at First Baptist Church.

Gloria Maxwell

Gloria brings to the Board diversity. She was married to a career Army Officer, raised six children, and has lived in five countries and six states.

She has a BS in Geology from the University of Florida and a MA in Education from WSU. She has served as a member both on the American International School Board; the International Women’s Organization Board in Budapest, Hungary; and the South Whidbey Island Lions Club Board. She has held officer positions in various organizations. Gloria has been a permanent resident of Washington State since 1992 and lives on Lummi Island.

Jennifer Moldver

Treasurer

Jennifer has a strong background in health and science. She earned a BS in Biology from Washington State University in 1992 and a LMT from Seattle Massage School in 1994. Throughout her career, she has worked as a LMT in private practice, managed her husband’s dental practice, and is currently heavily involved in the local real estate market as an agent with Keller Williams. She believes that working with children to teach healthy habits starts early. Jennifer has volunteered her time as a Board Member of Catch the Son Preschool and is heavily involved with NW Cheer.

Chris Phillips

After nearly 40 years in community health and nonprofit leadership positions in Monterey CA, Burlington VT and Bellingham WA, Chris is now semi-retired, and offers consulting services focused on organizational pathways to collaborative progress. A resident of Bellingham since 1994, Chris loves to bike and run trails, produce travel videos, and spend time with his wife and two adult children.

Rebecca Schayes, ARNP

Secretary

Becky strongly believes in Unity Care NW’s mission and looks forward to being a part of the community effort to increase access to health care for all.Becky is a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) who has owned a private medical practice in downtown Bellingham since 2014. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lewis & Clark and College in 2003 and returned to school at the University of Washington School of Nursing in 2008, where she earned a Bachelor of Nursing in 2009 and a Master’s of Nursing in Nurse-Midwifery in 2013.

Becky Spithill

Throughout her career, Becky has worked in non-profits and at all levels of government, including work as a grants coordinator for a Wisconsin conservation foundation, as an analyst for the United States Government Accountability Office, and as a policy analyst for the King County Executive Office. She attended Western Washington University and has lived in Bellingham off and on over the past several decades. Currently, she works for the City of Bellingham.

Catherine Strong

Caty recently retired, following 39 years as a Clinical Psychologist in Bellingham.  Her Ph.D. was from the University of Chicago, focusing on mental health and adult development.  She was a founding member in 1993, and served on the executive board, of Associates in Mental Health, a local independent practice association.  She now serves on the Advisory board for the Palliative Care Institute (WWU).  Born and raised in the Northwest, her extended family here spans ages 1 to 96.  Her hopes include access to quality healthcare for all.  She joined the UCNW Board in October 2020.

Larry Thompson

Vice-President

Larry’s career has been in health administration, both in the public and private sectors. Before going into semi-retirement, he held senior-level positions at Group Health, Skagit Regional Health, and Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement (WAHA). Larry has a history of serving on voluntary Boards and is an active member of the Bellingham Friends (Quaker) meeting.

Dr. Vince Foster

Dr. Vince Foster is grateful to have the opportunity to serve on the Unity Care NW (UCNW) Board of Directors, having served as an EAP provider to the employees of UCNW, (formerly Interfaith CHC), as well having worked with their management in community task force projects over the last 25 years his wife and he have lived in Bellingham.

He is a semi-retired psychologist with a Masters in Addiction Counseling. His professional background includes over 40 years in health care as a mental health services provider along with 22 years as a clinical supervisor and mental health program manager.   The clinical services and settings he has worked range from child and family counseling to organizational and clinical consulting and training, with a special interest in the treatment of acute and chronic trauma as well a substance abuse disorders.

His interest in community volunteering started in high school as a tutor.  Among a few of the efforts he is proud to be involved in include: helping develop and supervise a program for supporting new mothers in Kitsap County, five years on the Bellingham Community Development Board, volunteer work as a mental health counselor for the Red Cross (including deployment to Mississippi to assist in the Hurricane Katrina response), a clinical member of the Whatcom Skagit Industrial CISM team where he provided psychological support to victims of work place and community traumas (including the Whatcom Creek pipeline explosion and numerous refinery accidents), and participation on a number of community task forces in Whatcom County to advance integrated health care services in Whatcom County.  He currently participates on the Whatcom County Opioid Task Force.

He is particularly interested in assisting UCNW to advance their population health perspective because he believes that evidence supports that it is the most cost-effective way to reduce human suffering and to build strong, vibrant and successful communities.

Senior Leadership

Emily Boehm

Director of Human Resources and Compliance

Emily Boehm has served as the Director of Human Resources and Compliance at Unity Care NW since 2011. Emily has over 16 years of experience in human resources management, compliance, training, recruiting, and benefits. Prior positions include senior level human resources consultant with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and human resources manager for Labinal, a multi-national aerospace firm. Emily earned her Bachelor of Arts from Willamette University in Oregon.

Barb Clure, MD

Medical Director

Barb Clure served as the Medical Director at the Swinomish Indian Health Clinic in La Conner for 9 years prior to coming to Unity Care NW in September 2012. She also served as a Medical Doctor at Sea Mar Community Health Center’s Bellingham clinic for 10 years and at the Ferndale Medical Center for 2 years. Barb earned her BA in Biology from Whitman College in Walla Walla where she was a Sherwood Scholar.  She earned her M.D. from the University of Colorado where she graduated with honors, and performed her family practice residency program at the Ventura County Medical Center.

Charlie Earle

Chief Information Officer

Charlie Earle is a Bellingham native and has recently returned home to the great Pacific Northwest to join Unity Care NW after spending almost 10 years in Austin, TX. He brings with him nearly 20 years of experience in Information Technology, over 10 of those specifically in Healthcare IT. Prior to this role, Charlie spent several years as the Director of Affiliate IT Consulting for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, working with the organization’s affiliates across the country to improve their Health IT infrastructure, security, and organizational sustainability. Charlie holds several industry related certifications, including from Microsoft and Cisco, and is excited to bring his experience and expertise to the mission of Unity Care NW.

Grant Guiley

Behavioral Health Director

Grant came to Unity Care NW in early 2018, with a diverse background in business, technology and clinical work.  Prior to his position at UCNW, Grant worked for 3 years as the Director of Integrated Health at Neighborhood Health in Nashville, Tennessee.  There he developed and implemented an Integrated Behavioral Program and a Medication Assisted Treatment program for opiate use.  Grant earned his BA in Business and Communications from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI in 2004 and his MA in Counseling Psychology from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology in 2011.

Muriel Handschy, ARNP

Senior Advisor

I first came to Unity Care NW (formerly Interfaith Community Health Center) in 1991 as a nurse practitioner student.  After I graduated in 1992 from the University of Washington with my Masters of Nursing, I came back to Unity Care NW and was the third provider employed by the health center.  I previously served as co-Medical Director and Quality Improvement Coordinator at UCNW. I also have experience working at an STD testing and treatment clinic and a Well Child clinic.

Shanon Hardie

Chief Operating Officer

Shanon Hardie joined Unity Care NW as Chief Operating Officer in 2011, helping us with strategic planning and realizing our goals of expansion, NCQA Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition, Meaningful Use compliance and improvement in our patient satisfaction and quality care measures. Shanon has over 30 years of health care experience, including 27 in progressive management roles. Prior to serving as COO for Unity Care NW, she served as Vice President of Operations for Sea Mar Community Health Centers, where she was responsible for the operations of their primary care clinics, their quality improvement program, expansion to new service areas, JCAHO certification for their ambulatory care program, and the transition to electronic medical records. Shanon thrives and finds great personal satisfaction working in a not-for-profit, community health center environment.

Jodi Joyce

Chief Executive Officer

Jodi Joyce previously served as the Chief Quality Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor for Quality & Patient Safety at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC).  She was Vice President for Quality & Patient Safety at Legacy Health, a six-hospital system based in Portland, Oregon, and co-founder and Chief Operating Officer for Kaiser Permanente’s Care Management Institute. Jodi has experience in health care consulting and hospital management and began her career as a neonatal ICU nurse.  She earned a bachelor’s degree at Wheaton College (IL), her BSN at Northwestern University, and her MBA at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.  Jodi is currently nearing the completion of a PhD at UIC.

Chris Kobdish

Director of Planning and Development

Chris Kobdish joined Unity Care NW in 2016. Chris has over 20 years of fundraising, public relations, and marketing experience. Prior to her current position at UCNW, Chris built a nationally-recognized development, public policy, and community education team in the non-profit sector. Before moving to Washington, Chris was an independent filmmaker and owned and operated her own turn-key marketing agency in Dallas, Texas. Chris earned her Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.

Lisa Nelson, PharmD, RPh

Pharmacy Director

I have over 10 years of experience as a pharmacist, and I have been with Unity Care NW since 2013. I manage all aspects of our pharmacy. My responsibilities include oversight over all pharmacy operations including dispensing and patient education on pharmaceuticals; coordination of care and consultation with Unity Care NW’s medical, dental, and behavioral health providers; scheduling and supervising staff; contracting and billing; ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations; and ensuring excellent customer service.

Carrie Shane, DDS

Dental Director and Bellingham Dentist at Unity Street Children's Clinic

Carrie Shane has over 20 years experience as a practicing dentist, including more than 17 years as lead for programs and strategic planning for Unity Care NW’s dental programs in Bellingham and Ferndale. Carrie has been with Unity Care NW for over 19 years. Unity Care NW’s programs include mobile outreach and treatment to Whatcom County schools and Head Start. Carrie earned a DDS from Creighton University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Western Washington University.