La Clinica is a community-based nonprofit organization governed by a board of directors. The board is responsible for strategic planning and fiscal oversight. Board members are volunteers and serve without compensation.
Physician Chris Alftine practices internal medicine and is the clinical medical director of Providence Medical Group’s Stewart Meadows clinic in Medford. He joined La Clinica’s board of directors in 2014.
Chris earned his doctoral degree from the University of Iowa and also holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the school. He has practiced in the Rogue Valley since 1998.
He is chairman of the board of PrimeCare, an independent physician association. He loves to bicycle, run, ski, sail, and play guitar. He and his wife, Anne, have two daughters.
Victoria Bencomo, a counselor with Southern Oregon Education Service District’s migrant education program, joined La Clinica’s board of directors in 2020. She also has been a La Clinica patient and did her counseling internship at a La Clinica school-based health center.
She has a bachelor’s degree in human communications from Southern Oregon University and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Portland State University.
Victoria moved to the U.S. from Mexico with her family when she was 16 but found health care was often out of reach except for in the most extreme situations. Her father spent his career working in forestry, but Victoria didn’t get routine wellness checks or see a dentist until she was an adult.
Her personal and professional experience has shown her the importance of providing care for all, especially for immigrants, migrants, and anyone who might struggle to connect with needed healthcare services. She is committed to bringing high quality, affordable health care to the Rogue Valley’s Latinx population.
She has worked with nonprofit agencies such as UNETE, LISTO, Migrant Education, and youth programs at Southern Oregon University, including Academia Latina, to build connections and opportunities to the Latinx community. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her husband and daughter.
Medford attorney Sara Collins joined La Clinica’s board of directors in 2017.
Born and raised in Medford, Sara earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Oregon in 1995, then spent a year in Costa Rica teaching English to elementary-aged children. Upon her return to the United States, Sara attended the University of Oregon School of Law, graduating in 2001.
Her legal career has taken her from a judicial clerkship in Anchorage, Alaska, to the Lane County Public Defender’s office to a post at the Oregon Department of Justice in Eugene, Oregon, where she represented the Department of Human Services. She returned to Southern Oregon in 2010 and has practiced criminal and family law. She is a founding partner of Collins Rowan LLP. Sara has a passion for helping people resolve criminal charges, dependency cases, and domestic relationship issues.
Outside of work, Sara spends time with her family, and tries her best to squeeze in time for running, skiing, relaxing in the sun with a good book, and traveling.
“It is an honor to serve on the La Clinica board as it is an organization that I deeply respect,” Sara said. “In my line of work, I see the positive impact La Clinica has in our community on a daily basis.”
Monica Morales is a certified public accountant practicing in southern Oregon and northern California. She joined the board of La Clinica in February 2018.
Monica holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, Spain, and a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Cadiz in Cadiz, Spain. She is a board member of the Family Nurturing Center and the Rotary Club of Ashland.
Monica was born in Spain and moved to southern Oregon in 2003. Before moving to the United States, she practiced finance in industries in Spain and France. Monica enjoys running, reading, and travelling with her husband, Joe Davis, and their two children.
Tighe O’Meara is Ashland’s police chief and joined La Clinica’s board in 2017.
He has worked in policing for more than 25 years, serving as an officer and in leadership roles. He has been with the Ashland Police Department since 2010, coming from Michigan, where he served with the Wayne State University police.
Chief O’Meara holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, and a master’s degree in management from Southern Oregon University in Ashland.
He is a member of the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Police Executive Research Forum, a police executives group.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, he now lives in Ashland and enjoys camping, mountain biking, hiking, and science fiction. He is a member of the Ashland Elks Club and the Rotary Club of Ashland, Lithia Springs Chapter.
He was honored to be asked to serve on La Clinica’s board, he said.
“The work that La Clinica does is vital to so many in the community and I consider myself lucky to be able to assist in whatever what I can.”
Jeanne Pickens is chief operations officer at Rogue Credit Union and joined La Clinica’s board in 2021.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Southern Oregon University and an executive master’s degree in business administration from Washington State University.
Jeanne has lived and worked in Southern Oregon since 2000, building connections in the community and seeing how La Clinica fills gaps and provides care for vulnerable people who might otherwise struggle to get their healthcare needs met. Her husband works for Medford Police Department’s Livability Team, giving her insight into the complex issues related to healthcare, mental health, and housing faced by people who are homeless.
She is interested in helping people in underserved communities overcome barriers and improve their lives. In both her career and her volunteer efforts, Jeanne loves finding ways community organizations can work together to make Southern Oregon a better place for us all. She looks forward to advocating for La Clinica and the people it serves.
She and her husband and two children enjoy rafting and camping trips during the summer.
Linda Reid is a housing program specialist for the city of Ashland. She joined La Clinica’s board in January 2018.
Linda attended Southern Oregon University and earned a bachelor’s degree in history with minors in Latin American history and women’s studies and a master’s degree in social work from Portland State University. She has completed two social work internships: one with Oregon Action and one with Veterans Affairs.
She is a member of the Jackson County Homeless Task Force and secretary of the Oak Grove Parent-Teacher Organization.
Born in Southern Oregon, Linda now lives in Medford with her husband, their son, two basset hounds, and a rescued shelter cat. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, camping, renovating old houses, and baking.
Linda said she has always admired La Clinica and the work the organization does in the community. “When the opportunity to contribute to that work arose, I was excited to step up,” she said.
Paul Rostykus is a retired family and emergency medicine physician and a longtime supporter of La Clinica who joined La Clinica’s board of directors in 2020.
Paul moved to the Rogue Valley in October 1987 to work as a family medicine physician at Clinica Azteca, the predecessor of La Clinica organized to provide care for agricultural workers and their families. He worked for La Clinica briefly in its early years and was a board member in the 1990s.
During a career that spanned more than three decades in the Rogue Valley, Paul worked in a variety of settings, including family medicine, emergency medicine, occupational health, public health, and emergency medical services. These experiences give him a broad view of the interrelationships and complexity of our healthcare system with its many opportunities and challenges.
From the emergency room, Paul often referred patients without an established primary care provider to La Clinica for follow-up care. Over his almost 30 years as EMS medical director for 20 of Jackson County’s fire and ambulance agencies, he learned how to bring groups with diverse interests and priorities together for the common good.
Paul earned his medical degree and a master’s degree in public health from University of Washington. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Washington State University.
Paul lives in Ashland with his partner, Jan, and continues to explore the outdoors through hiking running, biking, skiing, and kayaking.
Brad Russell is CEO/executive director of the Rogue Valley Family YMCA. He joined La Clinica’s board of directors in 2016.
Brad holds a master’s degree in recreation management from Springfield College in Massachusetts and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Maine. He is a board member of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon.
Born in Pennsylvania, Brad lived in New York, Texas, and California before moving to Oregon. He and his wife, Stella Russell, a registered nurse, settled in Central Point with their three dogs. He enjoys outdoor activities, water sports, and learning about different cultures.
In the community, he helps lead the local gang prevention task force and organizes the annual Oregon Nonprofit Leaders Conference and trainings conducted by the Rogue Valley Nonprofit Network.
La Clinica was a good fit with his interests and values.
“I admire the cause, the organization’s history, and the current board and staff,” he said.
Tammi Spencer is a bilingual and bicultural clinical social worker who is fluent in English and Spanish. Since 2013 she has worked at the Veterans Affairs Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics in White City where she is now a program coordinator with the Health Care for Homeless Veterans program. She joined La Clinica’s board in 2021.
A Jackson County resident for more than two decades, Tammi has experience with nonprofit agencies that provide housing, education, and food. She has worked in health care since 2014 and believes health care must be holistic and culturally relevant to make a difference, especially for individuals and communities that are marginalized or face barriers. She describes herself as an advocate for all minorities and says serving the Rogue Valley’s diverse populations is a personal and professional goal.
Tammi holds an associate’s degree from Rogue Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Southern Oregon University, and a master’s degree from Portland State University.
Tammi has three children, one grandson, and a large extended family who live in Josephine County and San Jose, California, where she is originally from. Tammi likes to paint and make beaded jewelry. Her favorite hobbies are fishing and rockhounding and she loves to take trips to the Oregon Coast to hunt for agates on the beaches and riverbanks.
Danni Swafford is the chief operations officer at Addictions Recovery Center in Medford. She joined La Clinica’s board in July 2019. A patient of La Clinica, she served as a member of La Clinica’s Patient Council starting in 2015.
She grew up in Juneau, Alaska, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Southern Oregon University. Danni was drawn to nonprofit work in health care and social services to make a difference in people’s lives. Working in behavioral health care since 2005, she has served much of the same patient population as La Clinica and is dedicated to improving access and quality of care for people.
“I believe all individuals have a right to health care that is accessible, affordable, and patient-centered,” Danni said.
She enjoys traveling and volunteering as ways to understand the world.
Lindsey Trautman is chief financial officer for People’s Bank, where she has worked since 2005. She joined La Clinica’s board of directors in 2021.
Lindsey is a Southern Oregon native and graduate of Eagle Point High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in management accounting at Southern Oregon University and has completed continuing education for community bankers through Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, a training program created by professional associations and the University of Colorado.
She has been involved in nonprofits supporting youth through health programs in schools and activities. Her volunteer work has included serving as secretary for the People’s Bank of Commerce Foundation; treasurer for Greater Medford Rotary; chair of the local chapter of the Risk Management Association, an organization for financial service professionals; and auction committee chair for the D9 Foundation, which supports scholarships and dental and health programs for Upper Rogue communities in Eagle Point School District 9.
Lindsey recognizes that the Rogue Valley is a regional hub for health care and sees opportunities to make sure quality health and well-being services are available in our community, especially to those with low or moderate incomes who may be uninsured or have inadequate insurance.
Lindsey lives in Central Point with her husband and two boys. She enjoys reading, outdoor activities, and crafting.
Christie Van Aken
Christie Van Aken served as the director of social services at the Housing Authority of Jackson County for 24 years before retiring in October 2017. She directed educational and life enrichment services for people living in housing authority properties and supported residents’ employment goals through a family self-sufficiency program funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
As a social worker, she saw how vital accessible, affordable health care is for the well-being of individuals and families. She long worked with La Clinica as a community partner and served on the La Clinica board from 2009 to 2018, then rejoined the board in 2020.
Christie received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Arizona State University. She moved to the Rogue Valley from Santa Cruz, California, in 1988 and raised her three children in Jacksonville since 1999. Christie enjoys taking care of her land in the Jacksonville hills, her two dogs, and two cats. She also likes exploring the surrounding areas with family and friends.