Meet Our Staff
Robert Johnson, Chief Executive Officer
Rob Johnson, chief executive officer, brings strategy and vision to Willamette Valley Community Health (WVCH). His career began with several years as a college professor and then Rob became involved in the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Rob was hired in the Dean of Students office for medical scholars program. After four years at the College of Medicine, he became director of marketing for a large health system in Minnesota, and then vice president of marketing and planning in the development and startup of Irvine Medical Center. Providence Regional Medical Center recruited him to provide the strategic planning for a replacement hospital in Everett Washington where he later became Chief Strategic Officer for Providence Puget Sound region. As senior VP of Managed Care at Brim and Associates, Rob developed and was president of a subsidiary company focused on managed care and risk arrangements in rural networks. This led him to becoming vice president of Regional Development of Deaconess Billings Clinic and Hospital, the largest health system in three states. Rob left Deaconess after four years and started his own consulting company in Seattle. After providing some consulting work at Silverton Hospital he was asked to take on a full time position ultimately as executive VP where he worked on the startup of WVCH and was on the first board of directors. After retiring from a 35 year healthcare career, Rob moved to Italy and started an internet wine business.
Rob was asked by WVCH to return to Oregon in late 2016 to become interim CEO and became the permanent CEO in June of 2017. “For most of my career I was involved in strategic business planning and clinic network operations. For many of those years I developed broad networks of healthcare providers to serve rural and diverse populations. Returning to Oregon and WVCH was to be part of what I believe to be an amazing opportunity to serve Oregonians and their families with an organization and a state that is more advanced and compassionate that the vast majority of regions in our country.”
Nancy Rickenbach, Chief Operating Officer
Nancy is an experienced healthcare executive with achievements in a series of roles spanning the healthcare industry including Home Health, Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Advantage, and Office of Information Services with the State of Oregon.
Nancy brings more than 30 years of healthcare industry leadership, health plan expertise, and executive management experience to her role with the company. Nancy has proven herself to be a highly flexible leader, delivering tangibles that have far exceeded the expectations of her employers by adapting quickly to ever-shifting corporate priorities. Nancy is responsible for the operational management strategy of the company. Since joining WVCH, she has worked to share the strategy and vision of WVCH with customers, partners, shareholders and investors.
Nancy studied business and project management at Oregon State University and is currently pursuing her Master of Science degree in integrated healthcare management. She and her husband John have four children and six grandchildren. Nancy is a passionate outdoors enthusiast who enjoys sailing and traveling anywhere that includes a disc golf course.
Jeanne Savage, Chief Medical Officer
Jeanne Savage, chief medical officer, brings an array of experience to WVCH. She has been a family physician for 15 years, working in underserved communities of Woodburn and the surrounding areas in Marion and Polk counties. She has also served on several committees at Legacy Silverton Hospital and currently chairs the Obstetrics department. As a Medical Executive Committee member, she is a staunch advocate for bilingual education, health information and the ongoing challenges of diabetes and obesity.
Dr. Savage is excited to establish connections with community partners to enhance ongoing programs while creating new programs that address issues surrounding the social determinants of health. She will continue her duties as a Family Practice and Obstetrical care provider in the Woodburn and Silverton areas.
Fluent in English and Spanish, Dr. Savage is a native Oregonian who obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon then attended medical school at Oregon Health and Sciences University. Her family practice residency was in Ventura, Calif., at a county hospital affiliated with the University of California, Los Angeles.
In her off time, Dr. Savage enjoys trail running with friends, exploring Oregon campgrounds, rivers and mountains with her family and watching her kids participate in sports and community activities. She was raised on a farm in Ashland, Oregon and loves to return to Southern Oregon to see her family and friends.
Dick Sabath, Chief Compliance Officer
Richard Sabath joined Willamette Valley Community Health in June 2016 after a six year stint as the Compliance Officer for one of Oregon’s other Medicare/Medicaid CCO. Dick has had a varied career in many areas including retiring from a law enforcement career, compliance, and alpaca farming. Dick brings over 20 years of experience to WVCH in federal, state, and industry compliance areas. Dick holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice Administration, a Master of Business Administration with post graduate work in public administration and organization design. Dick adds to his knowledge base by participating in professional associations related to healthcare compliance.
Dick enjoys speaking at healthcare industry conferences giving presentations on compliance program development and HIPAA’s Privacy Rule.
In his free time, Dick enjoys flying drones and taking weekend trips around the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Penny. He also enjoys wildlife and celestial photography and spending time with his 16 grandchildren.
Carla Bennett, Director of Quality and Transformation
Carla is passionate about improving health and healthcare through quality and transformational efforts in clinics and throughout the community. Carla is a member of the Chickasaw Indian Nation and has a diverse background from providing direct patient care as an exercise physiologist, to working for a local public health department in policy development and implementation, quality improvement, community education and grant management, to working with 70+ clinics in the largest tribal healthcare system in Alaska.
Born and raised in Alaska, Carla graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science degree in human physiology and exercise sciences. Carla has completed additional, various certifications and classes in public health from the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Massachusetts Medical School and Indiana University, and is graduating with her international Master of Business Administration degree in the spring of 2018. Carla is an exercise enthusiast and has a passion for international diversity and cultural competency.
Juliana Huff, Director of Business Intelligence
Juliana provides analysis and strategy support to our leadership, stakeholders and provider groups. She comes to WVCH with working knowledge in Medicaid contract analysis and data warehouse development coupled with graduate-level training in public health and bioinformatics. Juliana is passionate about the intersect of population health and business intelligence and keen on keeping abreast of current industry trends and innovations for the insight they provide in better serving our member population.
Juliana holds a bachelor’s degree in social science from Portland State University and a master’s degree in public health with a focus in primary care and health disparities from Oregon Health and Science University. A Polk County native, Juliana has lived in a variety of locations on the west coast between Los Angeles and Portland and currently resides in Silverton with her family. In her free time Juliana enjoys live music, a good IPA and weekend trips to the Oregon coast with her extended family.
Sarah Zumwalt, Director of Internal Audit
Sarah is responsible for performing audits, monitoring and overseeing the effectiveness of internal controls and contractual requirements. She assists with the development and evaluation of policies and procedures to effectively carry out operations, promotes contractual collaboration, and develops quality outcomes for the members of WVCH.
Sarah has been with WVCH since January 2017. While not working Sarah and her husband enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, riding four-wheelers and spending time with their German Shepherd, Alie.
Shanna Eide, Director of Regulatory Compliance
Shanna has been with WVCH since March 2016. She began her clinical healthcare career more than 10 years ago in a rural, tribal dental clinic. Following that, she worked in an educational institution alongside dental periodontal residents, before ending her clinical career in a private specialty practice. Hoping to advance in the healthcare field, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from George Fox University in social and behavioral studies, where she earned an academic excellence award.
In early 2011, Shanna traveled to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. Her participation in the relief efforts in Port-au-Prince led to a number of speaking engagements at local colleges, where she shared her experience serving in areas affected by catastrophe. In her free time, Shanna enjoys discovering new hiking trails, local and international travel, day trips around the Pacific Northwest, going to concerts, and wine tasting. Originally from Yamhill County, Shanna now calls Salem her home.
Shannon Nash, Director of Finance Network and Contracting
Shannon oversees performance of financial strategies and of the provider network. She joined WVCH in 2016 and has held the positions of senior business intelligence analyst and director of business intelligence. She was made director of finance, networks and contracting in 2017.
Before joining WVCH, Shannon worked as a financial analyst at PeaceHealth for almost ten years, where she was responsible for cost accounting, payor contracting, financial reporting and budgeting. Prior to Peacehealth she worked as a decision support analyst at a managed care plan in Klamath Falls. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance from Colorado Mesa University.
Rachael Barnett, Project Manager
Rachael has been with WVCH since March 2016. She has partnered with finance and human resource executives for over 18 years as an executive assistant in the healthcare industry and brings this vast experience to her role. Prior to that, she worked in the operating room as anesthesia coordinator, overseeing a pain management practice at the local hospital. Rachael is excited to use her experience in a new area of healthcare and bring her skills to advance the organization in areas of social media, communication, and board support.
Rachael enjoys giving presentations to assist in professional and personal development in time management, organizational skills and goal setting. Rachael earned her Bachelor of Social Science degree from Portland State University, where she was on the Dean’s list, and has recently obtained her project management certification from Portland State as well. In her free time, Rachael enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her family. She also enjoys herb gardening, deep sea fishing and learning about sustainability and homesteading. Rachael has called the Willamette Valley home for over 35 years.
Kathryn McFarland, Executive Administrative Assistant
Kathryn has been with WVCH since August 2017. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in interior design from Oregon State University in 2013 and then worked as an interior designer and merchandising associate.
Kathryn was given an opportunity to go back to school and she decided to pursue a degree in economics. She received her Bachelor of Science in economics from Oregon State University in 2016. In her free time, Kathryn enjoys baking cookies, cakes and bread, reading, traveling, and trying out new restaurants in the Willamette Valley. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Kathryn now calls Salem her home.
Board of Directors
Brett Robinson, MD
Primary Care Physician
Marion County Commissioner
Executive Director, Mid-Valley Behavioral Care Network
Marion County Community Representative
Polk County Community Representative
Community Advisory Council Chair