CareOregon expands its Board of Directors, Thanks departing members for their years of service

PORTLAND, Ore.— Today, CareOregon announced that three regional leaders have been elected to join the organization’s Board of Directors, and that two members are completing their terms  on the Board after over a decade of service.

“We really see this as a passing of the torch,” said Eric C. Hunter, CareOregon CEO. “The work of longtime Board members Bob Stewart and Nathalie Johnson paved the way for CareOregon to be where it is today—serving more OHP members that any other health care organization in the state. These will be big shoes to fill. Bringing on leaders like Jackie Mercer, Larry Didway and Jonathan Betlinski will help us continue to grow and support our members and our communities.”

New Board members bring expertise in community enhancement through healthcare delivery, education, and mental health. They include:

  • Jackie Mercer, CEO, Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest (NARA): Jackie serves as the CEO of NARA of the Northwest, an Indian owned and operated program with a full array of services for ambulatory medical care, mental health, substance abuse and family wellness for American Indians and Alaska Natives. A licensed counselor by training, she brings more than 30 years of experience in healthcare delivery, much of which has been dedicated to supporting and creating paths to wellness individuals experiencing substance use disorders.
  • Larry Didway, Superintendent, Clackamas Education Service District: Larry is an experienced leader in education in Clackamas County. He joined Clackamas Education Service District as superintendent in July 2021, after spending the previous 10 years as superintendent of the Oregon City School District. His more than thirty years as an educator include experience as an elementary and middle school classroom teacher, principal and district administrator in Oregon and Japan. He has served on the boards of numerous civic and professional organizations and service clubs with a focus on promoting civic engagement, child advocacy and workforce development.
  • Jonathan Betlinski, MD, Director, Division of Public Psychiatry, OHSU: Jonathan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University, where he also serves as the Director of the Division of Public Psychiatry. Among other projects, he serves as Medical Director for the Oregon Psychiatric Access Line about Adults, as Clinical Advisor to the Oregon ECHO Network, as Program Committee Chair for the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association, and as a certified trainer for adult and youth Mental Health First Aid.

Departing Board members include Bob Stewart, an educator, who served as the Gladstone Superintendent for a number of years and Nathalie Johnson, MD, who currently works as a surgical oncologist at the Legacy Cancer Institute. Bob and Nathalie joined the CareOregon Board of Directors in 2010.

For information, contact Becca Thomsen, 503- 416-3756, thomsenb@careoregon.org

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About CareOregon

For more than 25 years, CareOregon has offered health services and community benefit programs to Oregon Health Plan members. Today, we support the needs of more than 500,000 Oregonians through three coordinated care organizations, a Medicare Advantage plan, a Tribal Care Coordination program, a dental care organization, and in-home medical care with Housecall Providers. CareOregon members have access to integrated physical, dental and mental health care, and substance use treatment. We believe that good health requires more than clinics and hospitals, so we also connect members to housing, fresh food, education and transportation services. CareOregon is a mission-driven, community-based nonprofit with offices in Portland, Medford and Seaside, Oregon.