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.
Chris Alftine, MD
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 joined the La Clinica board of directors in 2020.
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.”
Vanessa Houk is a writer and activist from Ashland. She joined La Clinica’s board in 2019.
She has been involved in social justice work for two decades. She attended Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif., and Southern Oregon University and has an associate’s degree.
Since 2015, she and her husband, Jason, have coordinated volunteers to prepare and serve community meals in Ashland. The all-volunteer effort now serves meals five nights a week to people who are low income, homeless, mentally ill, disenfranchised, or otherwise in need. They are also regular volunteers at Ashland’s emergency and winter shelters. In 2018, the couple received the James M. Ragland Memorial Award given by the City of Ashland for community service.
Vanessa has served on the boards of Disabled United in Direct Empowerment and the Multicultural Association of Southern Oregon, which is the license holder of KSKQ, a noncommercial community FM radio station. She is currently on the board of Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice.
She has volunteered with Northwest Seasonal Workers, Citizens for Peace and Justice, and Rogue Valley chapters of Health Care for All Oregon and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
In her work with the homeless community, she often helps people connect with La Clinica, especially the Mobile Health Center. She and her family have been La Clinica patients, too.
Jon Ivy joined La Clinica’s board in 2020. An enrolled member of the Coquille Indian Tribe, he is the tribe’s member services coordinator and serves as a contact for the membership and the greater Rogue Valley community.
Jon grew up in Portland. After earning a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Jon spent a year in South Korea teaching English. Then he moved to Coos Bay, Oregon in 2006 to begin his career with the Coquille Indian Tribe. In 2014 he moved to Medford to begin working at the tribe’s outreach office.
Jon sits on the Coquille Community Fund Board and the Potlatch Fund Board for the Coquille Tribe. This service enables him to engage with Southern Oregon nonprofits and explore ways they might collaborate to help improve the greater community.
“The culture of caring and service to all that La Clinica has built is evident in everything they do. It is an honor to be a part of it,” he said.
Danielle is assistant director of student life at Southern Oregon University, where she works to ensure that the student union, student activities, and orientation programs are an inclusive and vibrant hub of campus life.
She has worked in higher education since 2004, first at Rogue Community College and then moving to SOU, where she has held a variety of positions aimed at helping students with transitions and involvement in college. She has secured grants while at SOU to create a student food pantry for students in need and built a strong partnership with Rogue Valley Transportation District to partner on campaigns aimed at raising awareness about alternative modes of transportation.
Danielle holds a master’s degree in management from Southern Oregon University and a bachelor’s degree in science from SOU.
A native of the Bronx, New York, she now lives in Talent with her partner, Erika Giesen, their dog, Bailey, and their cat, Roxy. She enjoys hiking, visiting new cities, Applegate wineries, plays, movies, and art of all kinds.
She is a former board member for the Abdill-Ellis Lambda Community Center and Ashland Car Share and is an active volunteer for Wings Seminars, which in 2016 became a program of La Clinica.
“I am excited to be in service to La Clinica’s commitment to holistic and affordable health care,” she said.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Christie Van Aken
She served on the La Clinica board from 2009 to 2018, then rejoined the board in 2020.