Stan Ledington, DrPh, Executive Director
Twenty four years ago Stan landed in Walla Walla after escaping from southern California with his family. Stan was a founding board member for The Health Center serving from 2008 through 2014. He also served as the board chair, cares deeply for our community and our students, and is a strong advocate for the organization. Dr. Ledington worked in healthcare administration for decades prior to accepting The Health Center Executive Director position in 2014. He has also served as a health science professor at Walla Walla University. Stan is happily helping The Health Center grow its successful programs that serve the unmet needs of Walla Walla students.
Renee Harms, MA Organizational Leadership, Director of Clinic Operations
Renee grew up in Tri-Cities, settling in Walla Walla after 15 years of living in 6 different cities and 5 different states – from Portland to Northwest Arkansas – enjoying every one of them for their unique charm and community. During that time, Renee got a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership. She has a passion for connecting people to worthy causes, working most recently as the Walla Walla Area Director for a local non-profit organization. Continuing a career in service, Renee joined the Health Center team in November of 2016. While working at the Health Center, she is enjoying the exciting challenges of providing strategy and structure to a growing organization that is all about the well-being of our community kids. Renee loves living in Walla Walla with her cat, Oliver, who is literally and happily a neighborhood celebrity.
Lincoln High School
Lisa Ponce, MA, MS, LMHCA, MD, Medical Director
Lacee Key, MA-c, Care Coordinator
Tim Schroeder, MSW
Ruth Martinez, MSW candidate
Walla Walla High School
Vanessa Mata, Care Coordinator
Katie Wilkinson, M.A., LMHCA
M. Laura Aviles-Valdez, MSW, LSWAIC, CDPT
Pioneer Middle School
Fannie Alaniz, MA-c, Care Coordinator
Michelle Salazar, MSW
Nichole Vernon, LMHCA
Blue Ridge Elementary School
Noelle LiaBraaten, Care Coordinator
Olivia White, LMHCA, Certified School Counselor
Board of Directors:
Sharon Hopwood, President
Sharon comes to the Board of The Health Center with many years of diverse leadership experience in non-profit human resources, and as a human resources executive for the global hi-tech sector in both Oregon and California. Sharon currently works at Saviah Cellars, managing compliance and supporting winery operations. Her husband, Dennis, works at Whitman College, and her daughter, Emily, is a college freshman. They relocated from Portland seven years ago, and live on a ten-acre hobby farm.
Holly Howard, Vice-President
Holly is a co-founder of The Health Center and was instrumental in our growth and development. Holly served as the Executive Director until 2015. She brings broad experience and understanding of our work and is sought after as a leading expert in school based health centers. Holly brings many connections and community organizing experience to our board.
Linda Brown, Secretary
A former special education teacher in five school districts from K-graduate school, Linda has also worked with children and families from Head Start/ECEAP and at Lydia Place (a transitional housing program in Bellingham). Her passion for improving the lives of children and their families has led her to work as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and to participation in Children’s Resilience Initiative community activities. Linda is also active in the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
Jolene Riggs, Treasurer
Jolene is Vice President and Comptroller for Baker Boyer Bank, where she has worked since 2006. Prior to moving to BBB, Jolene was comptroller for BMAC. Jolene understands the financial issues related to non-profits and served as Treasurer for United Way of Walla Walla for many years. She is capable of understanding and explaining complex fiscal issues in clear and concise ways. She is diligent and highly reliable as a fellow board member. Her daughter is a music teacher at Walla Walla High School so she continues to have a connection to the public schools in this community.
Alison E. Kirby MD, Ex-Officio
Alison is a co-founder of The Health Center and its Medical Director. She and Holly Howard recognized a link between high truancy rates in Walla Walla students and barriers to medical and mental health care. The Health Center was created to make health care accessible and culturally comfortable for children. As the first college graduate in her family, just one generation removed from subsistence living in Appalachia, Alison understands, firsthand, the hardships that poverty places on families and the desperation parents feel to provide for their children. For a decade, Alison regularly volunteered at The Greenhouse, a free clinic for homeless youth in Portland, Oregon, while also maintaining a full-time private practice. She joined Walla Walla Clinic’s Department of Pediatrics in 2000. In 2008, Alison, along with husband, Dan Calzaretta, and their children, aged 10 and 11, bicycled 3800 miles across America for a summer adventure. “Our children are our future. I want to give kids every chance for success. No child is a throw-away child!” she emphasizes.
Dr. John Cress brings experience in healthcare, educational, religious, and nonprofit organizations to The Health Center board from his career in leadership, teaching, fundraising, and organizational planning. A Past President of the Rotary Club of Walla Walla, Paul Harris Fellow, Don Sherwood Fellow, and graduate of the Rotary Leadership Institute, he is also an alumnus of Leadership Walla Walla. John is a Vice President with Thompson & Associates, and an independent consultant for nonprofit organizations.
Dave is the owner of Andy’s Market, an anchor business in College Place and the meeting place for people in that community. Dave has the potential to help us frame our entry into the College Place schools in the most positive and effective way. Dave is the father of beloved Lincoln High School teacher, Eric Gordon, and as such knows our mission and the impact of our work from a perspective not otherwise represented on our board.
Wendy is an immigration attorney in Walla Walla and is widely trusted and respected by the local Hispanic community. As a business woman and community leader, Wendy brings an appreciation of the needs of the Hispanic community to our board and will be an effective advocate for our mission with this population.
Marci is a long time College Place resident and former College Place Schools board member. Marci brings a very specific perspective on our mission as the principal of Lincoln High School and represents the “customer” perspective. Her relationships with the school districts and appreciation for the dynamics in our valley are very helpful as we work to serve even more of the unmet needs of our students. Further, Marci is a leader in the Adventist community in College Place and thus is a bridge to our faith communities.
Ted is the Housing Director at Blue Mountain Action Council. He has leadership with a number of organizations is our community including Commitment to Community, Washington State Tech Development Committee, Sustainability Committee, Planning Commission, and The Kirkman House. He is a Sherwood fellow (2010). Ted brings community connections and business expertise to our board.
Noah Leavitt was destined to become a Health Center board member when he was born to two health professional parents. He’s finally arrived. A lawyer by training, Noah is a gifted communicator with many rich community connections. Noah is active with multiple boards and community councils and as Associate Dean of Students at Whitman College he facilitates opportunities for Whitman students to serve and learn in our community.
Melani Mangum-Williams RN, MSN is employed at Providence Health & Services. Her role as the Program Manager for the Providence Nursing Institute|Clinical Academy encompasses responsibility for the development and maintenance of curriculum for nurse residency and fellowship across Providence and affiliate systems. Melani has enjoyed adjunct teaching appointments with OHSU School of Nursing and Walla Walla Community College. She has functioned within an Organizational Development role, especially focused on leadership and staff development. She is a certified instructor for Crucial Conversations, DDI, and Select Interviewing as well as Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Trauma Nursing Core Course. Melani is also a six sigma Green Belt. She lives in College Place Washington with her husband, near her four adult children and 3 grandchildren.
Gina has a degree in and experience as a broadcast journalist. She works at Whitman College in their Communications office as a Media Relations Strategist and has access to up to date media strategy and related skill sets. Gina will build on our strong bond with the Whitman campus community and help us strengthen and sharpen our public relations as we move forward with expansion. Gina has young children and brings the parent perspective.