Our Administrative Team works with the board to determine our strategic direction, and then creates the operational plan to reach our strategic goals. Our leaders have the expertise and mindset to make sure our patients receive the best quality care and our employees work in an environment that supports them.
Chief Executive Officer
Carole Press joined MCHC’s Leadership Team in 1998. Originally serving as Human Resources Director and subsequently serving as Chief Operations Officers for 9 years, the Board of Directors asked her to step into the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2015. During the time she has served in leadership, Carole has played a key role in the expansion of MCHC from one center to three; a fourth health center scheduled to open in 2018.
As a community leader and advocate for rural community health, Ms. Press serves on several boards that focus on community collaboration and access to care in rural communities: Mendocino County Health and Human Services Advisory Board to the Mendocino Board of Supervisors; Alliance for Rural Community Health; Health Alliance of Northern California and Hope Rising where she represents the health needs of Lake and Mendocino Counties.
In addition to active professional board participation, she attends and participates on several committee convened through the California Primary Care Association and is a member of the National Association for Community Health Centers. She engenders meaningful community partnerships and empowers the MCHC leadership team to participate in collaborative projects that support the health and wellbeing of the communities served by MCHC Health Centers.
Ms. Press is a graduate of the University of San Francisco, and more recently, the Clinic Leadership Institute, a signature project sponsored by Blue Shield of California and the University of California San Francisco. Prior to moving to Mendocino County and joining MCHC, she held professional and leadership positions in the for-profit arena in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Chief Operating Officer
Before being appointed chief operating officer in August 2015, Ms. Damian had served as the department manager for Care for Her since 2006. As department manager, Ms. Damian worked closely with the clinical director to help make Care for Her the largest perinatal services program in Mendocino County. Since her appointment as COO, Ms. Damian has been helping our organization adopt the approach that worked so well for Care for Her—clear direction, measurable goals, and a strong, consistent marketing effort.
Prior to joining MCHC Health Centers, Ms. Damian spent four years as the executive director for the Potter Valley Community Health Center (a local FQHC look-alike clinic). Ms. Damian holds a Master’s degree in Pacific International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego; as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science – International Relations and Spanish, from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Additionally, she is a recent graduate of the California Primary Care Association’s Health Management+ Program (2014) and participates in several local boards and community coalitions.
Chief Information Officer
As in many areas of society, technology has become an integral part of providing high quality healthcare. Mandatory reporting to state and federal agencies has become a digital enterprise, and financial and medical records are being stored and communicated electronically. Under Mr. Wiedenfeld’s leadership, we maintain privacy and security while benefiting from the efficiencies that come with a robust computer system. Mr. Wiedenfeld collaborates with clinical leaders and administrative departments to make sure our computer technology is tailored to meet their needs.
“The keystone of our competitive edge is the expertise of our Information Systems Department (IS),” Mr. Wiedenfeld explained.
Jerry Douglas, MD
Chief Medical Officer
As the chief medical officer, Dr. Douglas oversees clinical services for our medical department while helping our organization achieve its strategic and operational goals. Dr. Douglas is a board-certified family medicine physician who encourages a team-based approach and enjoys working with the Information Systems Department to help the organization stay ahead of the technology curve.
He recognizes that healthcare can be a high-stress environment and he pays particular attention to helping providers and employees remain focused on the reasons they chose to work in healthcare in the first place. He often reminds people that “if they aren't having any fun, they're not doing it right.”
Karen Crabtree, MD
Care for Her Medical Director
As the medical director of Care for Her, Dr. Crabtree oversees clinical services for our women's health department. She works with a talented team of board-certified OB/GYN physicians, certified nurse midwives, women's health nurse practitioners, counselors, nurses, and health educators who work together to help women stay healthy through every age and phase of life.
Doug Lewis, DDS
Dental Director, Administrative
Dr. Lewis provides clinical leadership for our oral care initiatives and oversees our dental providers. Under his leadership, the dental department collaborates with other clinical departments to support our patients’ access to comprehensive care.
Years ago, when Dr. Lewis recognized how few children in parts of our community were receiving basic dental services, he collaborated with county and educational partners to spearhead the Smiles Program, a comprehensive oral health education program for students from preschool through high school. He has also been instrumental in creating and maintaining other special dental programs, including HIV dental care, oral health care for pregnant women, and care for the developmentally disabled. His continued commitment to community outreach allows MCHC to implement short-term, community-based service projects to help local populations with unmet needs.
Jaisingh Niemer, MD, MPH
Director of Quality Improvement
Dr. Niemer graduated from the Medical School of the University of Nijmegen, Netherlands in 1986 and achieved a Master's in Public Health in 1997 from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.
After practicing medicine in the Netherlands, Dr. Niemer spent a decade working in several different countries on public health initiatives and research. He returned to the U.S. in 2009 when he became our director of quality improvement. In this role, he partners with our clinical leaders to evaluate and implement clinical processes that adhere to Patient-Centered Medical Home standards. Additionally, Dr. Niemer represents MCHC in Partnership Health Plan's Quality Committee, which includes current initiatives on safe opioid prescriptions.
Justin Ebert, PA-C
As medical director, Mr. Ebert mentors other clinicians and works with the Electronic Medical Records team to explain clinical workflows so our computers can be tailored to meet the needs of our providers and patients. He also helps improve organizational communication as we deepen our commitment to the Patient-Centered Medical Home model.
Mr. Ebert has a reputation for putting patients first and consistently seeking ways to improve the way we do things. When he’s not caring for patients, he volunteers for the Redwood Valley Fire Department and coaches youth baseball.
Ben Anderson, LCSW
Behavioral Health Director
As the behavioral health director, Mr. Anderson oversees our counseling and psychotherapy services. He brings a wealth of experience as a clinician and a leader. As a social worker, he has helped children, adults and older adults. As a leader, his priorities are twofold: first, to reinforce our integrated model of care and second, to ensure that the employees who report to him are prepared to meet the challenges ahead while embracing our organization's mission of care.
Mr. Anderson came to Mendocino County from Fresno in 2003 to serve as the social worker for a children’s group home managed by Turning Point of Central California. In 2004, he began working for Tapestry Family Services, taking on positions of increasing responsibility until, in 2011, he became the organization’s executive director. In 2014, he left Tapestry to become a full-time social worker for MCHC Health Centers, where he provided therapy, and supervised clinical services at our Lakeview Health Center in Lakeport. In 2017, he became the department director.
Anna Shaw, MSc
Director of Development
As the director of development, Anna Shaw oversees grant administration, advocacy, and strategic community partnerships.
Ms. Shaw has spent most of her professional life working for organizations whose missions have been to help the most vulnerable people in society. Originally from London, England, Ms. Shaw worked as the head of strategy for one of the boroughs of the National Health Service, implementing quality initiatives and administering contracts. “I did a little bit of everything,” she said. “I like variety! It’s mentally stimulating.”
Ms. Shaw emigrated to the United States to be with husband. They spent a short time on the East Coast before settling in Fort Bragg, her husband’s hometown. There, Ms. Shaw served as the executive director of the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center, a non-profit organization that provides homeless shelter, case management services, vocational services, mental health services, and more.
Ms. Shaw will work side-by-side with long-time MCHC grant administrator Catherine Rada until Ms. Rada retires in February 2019. Ms. Shaw will also tap into her extensive Mendocino County network (as well as creating new relationships) to explore partnership opportunities.
“I’m so happy to be working in a place with such a strong group of senior leaders,” she said. “And I appreciate the opportunity to work for such a well-run company with such a great mission.”
When Anna’s not at work, you can find her on the beach with her three rescue dogs.
Our Board of Directors helps ensure that our health centers addresses community healthcare needs by providing strategic direction and developing policies that support our mission. Because we are an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit healthcare corporation, we have a volunteer board of directors with more than 50 percent of board members who are patients at our health centers.
Jerry Chaney, RN
Serving Since: 2012
Community: Lake County
Serving Since: 2000
Serving Since: 2000
Bill Mergener, MPH
Community: Redwood Valley
Serving Since: 2003
Serving Since: 2013
Serving Since: 2014
Community: Redwood Valley
Serving Since: 2015
Serving Since: 2016
Community: Mendocino County
Serving Since: 2017
Community: Mendocino County
Serving Since: 2017