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.
Dr. Chuck Walter is a retired Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon with over 35 years’ experience. He was one of Unity Care NW’s first volunteer dental providers and, in the course of his career, has served on numerous boards, including the Bellingham Bay Rotary Board, President of the Mt. Baker District Dental Society, President of the WA State and Western Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the Mt. Baker Theatre Board.
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.
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.
With two grown children and one granddaughter, NapèWaštèWiñ has always approached life as an adventure. She has been working in and out of the medical/veterinary world most of her life. She is an accomplished and apprenticed wooden shipbuilder as well as a Coast Guard licensed sailship skipper with the experience of several ocean crossings.
She is a military veteran. She is educated as a clinical psychologist and during her, almost quarter of a century living in northwestern Europe, she successfully operated a private clinic serving mostly transgendered clients. She has been a requested speaker at several international symposiums regarding transgender issues and has published papers on the subject. She has been involved with the development of basic Standards of Care regarding the treatment of transgender issues, personal, legal and social. She transitioned in the late eighties while living in Denmark and The Netherlands.
For the past twenty years she has been involved in the equine world as horse owner/farrier. She is an environmental/animal activist and has been involved with several natural disaster rescue operations, notably forest fires in Montana and hurricanes in Louisiana.
Elizabeth was raised to believe in the ethic of service above self, which continues to be an enduring guidepost and mission statement of her life. She has a background firmly rooted in the liberal arts tradition; she has a BS from Eastern Michigan University and specialized in psychology and art. She has worked for multiple home care companies as a direct care worker and home health aide providing service to individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities in group home settings and private residences. Elizabeth is an avid outdoor enthusiast and has interests in art, art history, culinary arts, gardening, and music. She is currently working from home as an artist while pursuing an AA in Visual Communications from Whatcom Community College.
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.
Kellie is very honored to be able to serve on the Board of Unity Care NW. She was born and raised in Bellingham, but was fortunate to be able to travel around the world, thanks in part to her previous career as a flight attendant for a major airline. She lived for a period of time in Europe, and enjoyed the friendships she made while overseas. Kellie earned her B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Puget Sound and returned to graduate school to earn her Master’s degree in Organizational Management, with a focus on Economic Development. She also holds a post-graduate certification in Executive Leadership from Cornell University. Kellie enjoys spending time her adopted dogs and watching all things British on PBS.
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.
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 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.
Dan’s career has focused on developing and manufacturing products and technology. He currently specializes in patent analysis. He has served as a director of private and public companies and local professional groups in the US, Canada, and the UK. He is active in Rotary Club and Christ the Servant Lutheran Church.
Diahann Barrera joined Unity Care NW in July 2018. She received both her Bachelor of Science degree in Management and her Master of Business Administration from Bellevue University in Nebraska. She has worked in health care finance for over 20 years, starting in a variety of financial leadership roles at different types of hospitals. For the past six years, she has served as Chief Financial Officer for two Community Health Centers.
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.
I 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.
I 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. I earned my BA in Biology from Whitman College in Walla Walla where I was a Sherwood Scholar. I earned my M.D. from the University of Colorado where I graduated with honors, and performed my family practice residency program at the Ventura County Medical Center.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Desmond Skubi has over 35 years of health care experience, and has been with Unity Care NW since 2009. He worked as a Certified Nurse Midwife and brings both clinical and administrative experience including clinic management, strategic, operational and business planning, performance measurement, facilitation and project management skills to his position at Unity Care NW. Des served as the Executive Director at the Community Health Center of Snohomish County and Pike Market Medical Clinics for 12 years and as the Board Chair of the Community Health Plan of Washington. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Washington. He has a Master of Science from the University of Utah.