Dec 9, 2022 | Staff
Justin has over 20 years of nonprofit, government, and behavioral health managed care experience. He has spent his career working to create policies and practices that lead to better health outcomes for communities. In partnership with local healthcare leaders, Justin helped establish the Willamette Health Council in 2019, serving as the initial Chair of the organization’s Board of Directors. In June 2020, Justin was hired to lead the Willamette Health Council as the organization’s Executive Director. Justin grew up in the Salem area, where he attended Sprague High School. He currently resides in Salem with his wife, Marisa, two children, Maleah and Miles, and their dog, cat, and bunnies. Justin enjoys surfing, fishing, and spending quality time with his family. Justin holds a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University, majoring in Psychology with minors in Sociology and English, and a master’s degree in Human Services from Warner Pacific University.
Josie has over 15 years of nonprofit, state government and health plan experience, having led numerous community health and social justice initiatives. She joined the Willamette Health Council as Deputy Director in September 2022. As Deputy Director, Josie oversees programs, community investment strategy, and communications for the organization. Prior to the health council, Josie served as the Director of the Marion-Polk Coordinated Care Organization at PacificSource. Currently, Josie is a member of the Health Equity Committee of the Governor’s Racial Justice Council. She is also a member of the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance Board of Directors. In addition, she chairs the Marion-Polk Community Health Collaborative, which is the local leadership group that oversees the region’s shared Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan. Josie was born in Idaho, grew up in the Dallas and Salem areas (a graduate of Sprague High School), and has lived, studied, and worked in Seattle, New York City, South and Southeast Asia, and Central America. She resides in Salem with her husband, Jose, and their puppy, Chispa. Josie holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in Philosophy with a minor in Medical History and Ethics and a master’s in Public Health from Columbia University.
Community Advisory Council Manager
Sarah has over 15 years of state government, health plan, and nonprofit experience, having worked in the Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) world since its inception in Oregon in 2012. As a healthcare advocate, she has championed several local and state-level health initiatives including Measure 110 implementation. Sarah joined the Willamette Health Council in June 2022 as the Community Advisory Council (CAC) Manager. She facilitates the CAC’s involvement in making regional SDOH-E funding decisions, the Community Health Assessment/Community Health Improvement Plan body of work, and overall community engagement strategies. Prior to the health council, Sarah served as Provider Relations Manager for Yamhill CCO. Currently, Sarah is a member of the Mid-Willamette Valley Health Equity Coalition and has a passion for ending the homeless crisis in the Marion-Polk region. She was born and raised in Oregon, living in the Salem area for most of her life where she currently resides with her husband, two children, and two cats, Penny and Tiny. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from George Fox University.
System of Care Manager
Heather has experience in public and community health, policy, quality assurance, program evaluation, and patient experience within the health plan and nonprofit spaces. In 2020, she was hired by PacificSource Community Solutions as the System of Care Coordinator and eagerly agreed to continue this work with the Willamette Health Council as the System of Care Manager in July of 2022. Prior to the health council, Heather worked at Samaritan Health Services and Avamere. As the System of Care Manager, Heather manages the System of Care governance structure including the Executive Council, Advisory/Practice Level Committee, and additional workgroups and subcommittees focused on resolving barriers in the community for youth and families. Within the community, Heather participates in a variety of community-based initiatives and has led fundraising efforts for local community-based organizations. Heather is a native of Oregon, born in Woodburn, and resides in Wilsonville with her significant other, Max, and 4-year old border collie, Maya. Heather holds a Bachelor’s of Kinesiology with minors in Public Health and Health Policy and a Master’s of Public Health (Health Management and Policy) from Oregon State University.
Community Health Manager
Trisha joined the Willamette Health Council team as the Community Health Manager in April 2023. She is passionate about contributing to a healthcare environment that promotes thriving instead of surviving. She firmly believes that who you are and where you live should not dictate your ability to connect with accessible and effective healthcare. On behalf of the health council and the Marion-Polk CCO, she collaborates with local health system partners and organizations to lead the development and implementation of the Community Health Assessment (CHA) and Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), focusing primarily on initiatives working to improve behavioral health, substance use, and housing for the region. Before the health council, she worked as a Hatfield Fellow for The Malden Collective, implementing LiveWell, a quality assurance and performance improvement program for assisted living and residential care communities in OR, WA, CA, and ID. She also worked as a program evaluator for the Doernbecher Gender Clinic and has held other various roles in the healthcare and service industries where she has fostered a love for connecting with and helping people. After receiving her BA with a major in Biology and a minor in theater with a focus in dance from Lewis & Clark College, she attended the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health to receive her master’s in public health in Health Systems Management & Policy. Though she was born and raised in California, she has fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest and has called it home since 2012. She currently resides in Portland, with her husband and two retired racing greyhounds. A serial hobbyist, she enjoys social dancing, birding, and sewing, among many others.
Laura Moran (she/her)
Community Engagement Coordinator
Laura joined the Willamette Health Council as their first-ever Community Engagement Coordinator in January 2024. She has experience in local government work and has lived experiences that she hopes to utilize in her new role. Laura will support the health council’s community engagement goals with a focus on youth, families and underrepresented communities. She completed her Bachelor’s in Community Health with a minor in Human Biology from Western Oregon University in 2020. Laura was born in Southern California and moved to Oregon in 2015. Since then, Laura has fallen in love with all the greenery and nature that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. During her free time, Laura enjoys exploring the outdoors, spending time with family, and traveling. She hopes to continue traveling and learning more about the history and culture of other places.
Cesar Barajas (he/him)
THW Alliance Manager
With over a decade of dedicated experience in the nonprofit sector, Cesar brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for transformative work at the community level. His professional journey spans diverse roles, including work with Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs), Health Plan Operations, and notable state-recognized organizations such as the Oregon Employment Department and Morrison Family and Child Services.
As a steadfast advocate for health equity, Cesar’s commitment to making a positive difference in people’s lives led him to the Willamette Health Council, where he assumed the role of Traditional Health Worker (THW) Alliance Manager at the close of 2023. In this capacity, he is responsible for overseeing the development, launch, and on-going operations of the new THW Alliance for Marion-Polk, a backbone entity working in service to the local THW workforce with a focus on community-based, culturally-specific efforts.
Cesar earned his Bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizational Leadership from George Fox University. Originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Cesar has deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, where he grew up. Beyond his professional pursuits, Cesar finds joy and fulfillment in his role as a husband and father of two, sharing his home with a lively canine companion named Maverick. Cesar’s multifaceted journey reflects not only his professional expertise but also his unwavering dedication to creating positive change and fostering healthier, more equitable communities.
Finance & Operations Manager
Julie joined the Willamette Health Council team in June 2023 as Senior Executive Assistant and was promoted to the role of Finance & Operations Manager in January 2024. In this role, Julie provides critical financial management for the health council and oversees the daily operations of the office.
With over 20 years of experience in healthcare administration, Julie brings a wealth of knowledge to the health council. She has worked in the behavioral health field and has specific expertise in working with the Oregon Health Plan population. Her deep understanding of healthcare dynamics and her commitment to making a difference in the lives of others make her an invaluable asset to the Willamette Health Council team.
Julie studied Medical Office Management at Monterey Peninsula College, equipping her with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in her role. Born and raised in Oregon, Julie returned to her home state in 2005 after living out of state for 10 years. She shares her home with three children, and her two beloved cats, Cora and Charlie-Bear. Outside of her professional life, Julie indulges in her passion for reading and attending concerts. Her diverse interests reflect her well-rounded personality and her dedication to finding joy in life’s experiences.
Ally came to the Willamette Health Council after spending two years as an Executive Assistant with a Fortune 500 company. Her time there gave her the experience to thrive in an office, but she wanted to dedicate her time to an organization that gave back to the community. Prior to being an Executive Assistant, Ally was a middle school Language Arts and English Language Development teacher. Working with youth has been a passion of hers since a young age and she hopes to incorporate some of that passion and knowledge into her position with the health council.
Community Investments Coordinator
Molly joined the Willamette Health Council team as the Community Investments Coordinator in January 2024. Born and raised in the Willamette Valley, Molly attended Oregon State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a focus in creative writing. Having worked for several years in the hospitality industry (and even completing an internship as a Character Performer at Walt Disney World), Molly has since utilized the skills earned from her English degree as a communications professional, primarily in the field of higher education. Within her work, Molly enjoys thinking outside of the box, and she is passionate about utilizing methods of creative thinking in professional spaces. In her free time, Molly enjoys spending time with family and friends, researching theme park history, and participating in local musical theatre productions. She lives in Salem with her fiancé, Noah, and their two very silly tabby cats, Henry and Jamie.
Strategic Initiatives & Training Manager
Lisa has 23 years of nonprofit, county government, and clinical experience. She has worked as a Mental Health Practitioner, Behavioral Health Rehab Practitioner, and Qualified Mental Health Associate. In these roles, she advocated for adults, adolescents, and children with severe behavioral health disorders, and developed and taught Dialectical Behavioral Therapy programs. Lisa also has deep experience in Health Information Technology (HIT) with a focus on quality improvement, HIT statewide system integration, and electronic health record program training and development. Lisa joined the Willamette Health Council in 2021 as the Clinical Advisory Panel Program Manager. She was promoted to the role of Strategic Initiatives & Training Manager in January 2024. In this role, Lisa’s manages various health-related training initiatives; local healthcare workforce development efforts; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging strategy; and the Marion-Polk Behavioral Health Crisis Collaborative. Lisa was born in Oregon, has lived in Minnesota, Central America, and traveled extensively to Michoacan, Mexico, focusing on the culture and language of the Purépecha people. Her combination of education and experience in behavioral health and HIT contributes to her passion for being a leader of advocacy for the community.