Board of Directors
As a member of the Board of Directors since 2017, Mr. Barr shares a steadfast belief in the vision and mission of
Hospice of Humboldt.
In addition to his active leadership role on the board, his strong financial background has made him a valuable member of the Budget & Finance Committee. Mr. Barr has also served on the board of
Pacific Union School District since 2006.
Ms. Watkins is the Chief Administrative Officer at the non-profit Open Door Community Health Centers (ODCHC). She began her career in healthcare in Humboldt County over 25 years ago. She has been a part of ODCHC
for over 18 years.
Mrs. Watkins joined the board sharing her extensive knowledge in healthcare operations, administration, and information technology.
James Bella Jr.
Mr. Bella comes to the board with a strong background in finance and experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Before retirement, he was employed with Open Door Community Health Centers and serves on the board of the North Coast Clinics Network.
Mr. Bella’s financial knowledge compliments the business needs of Hospice as a self-sustaining organization.
Ms. Smith works as a Program Coordinator for the California Center for Rural Policy at Humboldt State University. She received her B.A. in International Development Studies from UCLA, and is currently pursuing a masters degree in Healthcare Administration with an emphasis in population health.
Though new to board experience, Ms. Smith was born and raised in Humboldt County and has extensive knowledge of the community and the various healthcare services Humboldt has to offer. She joined the Hospice board to share her knowledge of healthcare administration and population health, and is committed to helping improve the overall healthcare system and access.
Immediate Past President
Ms. Gearheart has had lengthy non-profit board experience with Humboldt Botanical Gardens, Redwood Parks Association, and the Association of Partners for Public Lands, serving as an officer and committee member. She is retired.
Ms. Gearheart brings experience in strategic planning and fundraising to her role as a board member.
Mr. LaVallee is served as Mayor of Eureka from 2002 to 2006 and comes to the board with over 25 years of non-profit experience with Redwood Community Action Agency. He is retired and
lives in Eureka.
Mr. LaVallee brings experience in public policy, fiscal management, and administration to his role as a Hospice board member.
Dr. Lindsay was Humboldt County Public Health Officer from 1993 to 2011. She and her husband, Alan Glaseroff MD, shared a family practice in Arcata for 28 years and raised their two children in Humboldt. They were recruited to Stanford University in 2011 to establish a primary care clinic for Stanford employees and dependents and their families who have multiple chronic health conditions. The clinic was able to improve care, lower costs, and achieve top rankings in patient satisfaction with the adoption of a new model of team care.
The lure of life in Humboldt brought them back north in 2017.
Recently, Dr. Lindsay has been working with others locally on determining the feasibility
of a Humboldt senior
life plan community.
Dr. Mahoney is a former interim medical director for Hospice of Humboldt. Since 2010 she has been the medical director of the Cancer Program at St. Joseph Hospital and she has served as the medical director for St. Joseph’s Perioperative Services since 2007.
Dr. Mahoney trained as a surgeon at Stanford University of Medicine after graduating with her MD degree from there in 1981. By 1986 she had risen to become Chief Resident in Surgery at Stanford before going on to become a board-certified Fellow of the American College of Surgeons in1993.
Dr. Mahoney moved to Arcata in 2000 and opened her own practice in breast cancer surgery. She speaks frequently on breast cancer to community groups and serves as a medical editor and expert contributor to the website of the Susan Love Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of breast
cancer through innovation, education, research, and advocacy.
Dr. Perris is a registered nurse and has worked in Humboldt County for over 25 years. She received a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of San Francisco. In 2019, she became the director of the RN-to-BSN program at Humboldt State University (HSU), where she had previously worked as a nurse in the Student Health Center from 2004-2016.
Before her return to HSU, she was the Population Health Nursing Director at Humboldt Independent Practice Association (IPA). Dr. Perris has served on the Six Rivers Planned Parenthood Board and currently serves on the local Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society Board of directors.
Dr. Perris brings to the board a passion for improving healthcare systems, patient education,
and access to care.
Ms. Pierson is the current president of L&A Enterprises, LLC and the founder and former owner of the Art Center in Old Town Eureka.
She is a volunteer chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital with more than 15 years of experience in this role. Her extensive nonprofit work includes board membership and committee work with the Humane Society, Christ Episcopal Church Vestry, and the Diocese of Northern California Episcopal Church.
Ms. Pierson became an ordained deacon with the Episcopal Church in August 2016.
Mr. Provan brings to the board an extensive 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry.
A licensed occupational therapist, he currently serves as the Regional Vice-President of Post-Acute Services with St. Joseph Health.
Mr. Provan’s depth of knowledge and experience as an administrator for physical therapy, hospice, and home health programs, gives the board a unique perspective.
Ms. Saunders was raised in Trinidad by third-generation Humboldt County parents who instilled in her the importance of giving back to one’s community. She retired from her career in real estate management to focus on her parents’ failing health.
Ms. Saunders has an extensive background volunteering in community organizations and has served on many boards, the most recent being St. Joseph Foundation, St. Joseph Community Board, and The Ingomar Club. Ms. Saunders was an active member of the Foster Parent Association, leading her to adopt
two children who had been
placed in her care.
Her interest in Hospice grew when both her parents passed in the care of Hospice, her father at home and her mother in the Ida Emmerson Hospice House. She was able to observe and experience first-hand the exceptional care and compassion
that her parents received.
Ms. Saunders believes strongly in the mission of Hospice and their care for families in need.
Mr. Simone joins the board with over 50 years of experience working in the healthcare industry. In addition to serving as the CEO of United Indian Health Services for 36 years, he has a master’s degree from USC in Public Health Administration and has worked in inpatient care clinics, hospitals, public health departments, and the United States Navy Medical Corps.
His extensive board membership involvement includes the Humboldt Bay Rowing Association, Food for People, Community Health Alliance, Community Health Advisory Board, Mad River Community Hospital, Westhaven Volunteer Fire Department,
and Trinidad Volunteer
Now retired, Mr. Simone is currently using his talents as a volunteer EMT and by serving as a member of various boards in the healthcare system.
Ms. Starck brings a strong background in legislation and public policy to the board. She works as the Legislative and Policy Manager for Humboldt County’s Department of Health and Human Services, focusing on Medi-Cal, social services, behavioral health, and public health.
Ms Starck has volunteered on a number of non-profit boards including Mobile Medical Offices, Six Rivers Planned Parenthood, North Coast Health Information and Improvement Network and currently as Chair of Partnership Health Plan.
The vision of Hospice of Humboldt inspires her to more deeply
serve our community.
Mr. Turner works as a human resources consultant and resides in Fortuna, California. He has board experience with Six Rivers Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, and Planned Parenthood Northern California.
Mr. Turner came to the board after serving as a Hospice volunteer with the Pet Peace of Mind program.