Oregon Office of Rural Health

ORH Staff

Pumpkin Trucks
Robert Duehmig

Robert Duehmig

Robert Duehmig has nearly 20 years of experience working in education and health policy at the state and national level.  As Interim Director, he is responsible for overall office communication and the Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference.  In addition, he oversees the State Office of Rural Health Grant and the ORH Workforce Team, including provider incentives and recruitment and retention services.  Contact Robert if you have questions regarding the Oregon Rural Health Conference, state or federal policy relating to workforce and rural health or communication.

Administrative Manager

Laura Potter

Laura Potter

Laura Potter joined the ORH after years of experience as an attorney and manager of a large nonprofit focused on cancer. Laura oversees the ORH Administrative Team. In addition, she supervises logistical support for the Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference and the Annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon, office HR and compliance issues, and administers the Oregon Rural Practitioner and Oregon Rural Volunteer EMS Provider tax credit programs. Contact Laura if you have questions regarding conference logistics and tax credit program administration.

Administrative Coordinator

Joie Lawson

Joie Lawson

Joie Lawson joined the ORH with over 9 years of experience working alongside medical providers from various specialties. Joie supports the overall operations of the ORH, with additional focus on Rural Provider Tax Credit, Workforce Services, Conference and Forum.  Contact Joie if you have any general ORH questions.

Communications Coordinator

Sara Mishalanie

Sara Mishalanie

Sara Mishalanie has over 20 years of experience as a communications professional in both nonprofit and private business. Sara joins the ORH team after most recently supporting community engaged research in rural communities throughout Oregon with OHSU. Based in Central Oregon, Sara manages all communications and outreach for the ORH team, helping to support and connect rural communities to quality health care in Oregon. Contact Sara if you have questions about the website or any other communications inquiries.

Field Services Director

Sarah Andersen

Sarah Andersen

Sarah Andersen has over 20 years of experience in non-profit, private business, and grant management with a focus on increasing access to healthcare for underserved Oregonians. Sarah supervises the ORH Field Services team to provide expertise, evidence-based support, advocacy and technical assistance for rural and frontier Oregon health facilities and community stakeholders.  Contact Sarah if you have questions regarding the Medicare Flexibility Grant (Flex) and technical assistance to rural and frontier healthcare facilities.

Field Services Program Manager

Rondyann Gerst

Rondyann Gerst

Rondyann Gerst is the Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Program Manager at the Oregon Office of Rural Health (ORH) and is ORH’s subject matter expert on RHCs. In her role, she provides technical assistance to RHCs in compliance activities, billing and coding, and operational improvements. She also assists private physician offices who desire to convert to RHC status. Based in La Grande, OR, she has over 28 years of experience in healthcare administration, working for both private clinics and hospital owned provider-based RHCs. Rondyann is a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) with the American Academy of Professional Coders, a Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional (CRHCP) with National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) and a Certified Medical Professional Executive (CMPE) with the Medical Group Managers Association.  She is currently a board member with the Oregon Medical Group Management Association (OMGMA). Please contact Rondyann if you have any questions relating to RHCs in Oregon.

Data/GIS Analyst

Emerson Ong

Emerson Ong

Emerson Ong joined ORH in 2000, after learning about Access databases and survey tools at the Department of Nursing Administration at Johns Hopkins Hospital. At ORH, he has expanded and consolidated demographic, health status, and health utilization data and established ORH as a statewide resource for rural Oregon ZIP code level health data. Emerson utilizes GIS to present this data in graphical maps of the state. Data reports (e.g., demographic and health community profiles) and maps (e.g., the number and location of Psychiatrists across the state) are available on our website. For customized data or maps to inform facility operations or community health improvement planning, please contact Emerson.

Field Services Program Manager

Stacie Rothwell

Stacie Rothwell

Based in Burns, Stacie Rothwell joined ORH in 2015. Stacie has over 16 years of healthcare administration experience, which includes both private and hospital owned clinic administration as well as being a member of a Critical Access Hospital administrative team. Stacie is ORH’s subject matter expert hospital quality improvement. Please contact Stacie for technical assistance with quality improvement reporting or projects, meeting facility regulatory requirements and improving facility operations.

Rural Population Health Program Manager

Stepha Dragoon

Stepha Dragoon

Stepha Dragoon (she/they) has over a decade of experience leading community impact initiatives across the United States. They recently obtained dual master's degrees in social work and public affairs from the University of Texas at Austin. Stepha has experience in social impact consulting, health equity initiatives, program evaluation, academic research, and policy development. Stepha manages ORH programs related to population health, telehealth, and healthy aging.

Workforce Services Coordinator

Rachel Burggraff

Rachel Burggraff

Rachel Burggraff joined ORH in 2021, after 5 years’ experience supporting dental education. Rachel worked with underserved urban communities for years, so when the opportunity to help underserved rural communities presented itself, she jumped at the opportunity. Rachel, a member of the Workforce Team, coordinates post-award support for the Oregon Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Program, Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), Oregon Behavioral Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Program (BLRP), Oregon Behavioral Health Loan Repayment Program (OBHLRP), Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative (SHOI), and the Primary Care Loan Forgiveness Program (PCLF), and administers the Rural Practitioners Insurance Subsidy Program.

Workforce Services Coordinator

Brittney Johnston

Brittney Johnston

Brittney Johnston has been part of the Workforce Services Team since 2020. She brings experience working with dental students and medical providers, as well as a background in professional finance. Based in Oregon's North Coast, Brittney provides support across all Workforce Team activities and coordinates applications, program communications, and awards for the Oregon Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Program, the Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative (SHOI), and the Primary Health Care Loan Forgiveness Program (PCLF). Please feel free to reach out to Brittney if you have questions regarding incentive programs.

Program Manager – Incentive Programs

Bill Pfunder

Bill Pfunder

Bill Pfunder joined the ORH in 2016. Bill has over 10 years’ experience in emergency medical services, including rural Alaska. He also has experience with nonprofit social services agencies that assist families caring for children and young adults with special needs. Bill served as the Oregon/National POLST Coordinator and Office Manager at the OHSU Center for Ethics. Please contact Bill for questions on Oregon’s provider incentive programs, including the Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), Oregon Health Care Provider Loan Repayment, Oregon Behavioral Health Loan Repayment Program (OBHLRP), Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative (SHOI), and the Primary Care Loan Forgiveness Program (PCLF).

Program Manager – Recruitment and Retention

Trixie Ortiz

Trixie Ortiz

Trixie Ortiz joins the ORH with over 20 years' of health care management experience working for a Critical Access Hospital as Manager of Medical Staff Services. She also brings, well over 10 years' of experience as a Physician/Advanced Practitioner Recruiter, specifically within a rural community and 13 years' as the site coordinator for 3rd & 4th year Medical Student clinical rotations, as well as site coordinator for Advanced Practitioner clinical rotations. Trixie is a Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist (CPCS) with NAMSS, has completed the AAPPR (Association of Advancing Physician & Provider Recruitment) fellowship program. Trixie is based in Hermiston, OR. Contact Trixie for health care recruitment and retention support, including recruitment planning and the 3Rnet jobs board.

Contact

Individual contact information is listed above. For general information: Oregon Office of Rural Health | 503-494-4450 | toll-free 866-674-4376