Central Oregon Health Council Community Advisory Council

The Community Advisory Council (CAC) is responsible for identifying and advocating for preventive care practices as well as oversight of community health assessment and planning to reduce health disparities and improve the overall health of the communities served by the CCO. The CAC includes health care consumer members of the CCO as well as representatives of public and private agencies that serve CCO members. Consumer representatives constitute a majority of the CAC membership.

The Community Advisory Council (CAC) is chartered by the Central Oregon Health Council (COHC) Board of Directors to advise and make recommendations on the strategic direction of the organization. The CAC will help the COHC remain responsive to consumer and community health needs. The CAC is intended to enable consumers, which will comprise a majority of the CAC, to take an active role in improving their own health and that of their family and community members.

Specifically, the CAC will advise the COHC in the following areas:

  • Development, implementation and monitoring of the Strategic Initiatives
  • Oversee the Regional Community Health Assessment in cooperation with the Central Oregon Health Board
  • Identification of opportunities to improve population health in the Central Oregon region
  • To serve as a conduit for residents of each geographic area in the region
  • Identify and advocate for preventive care practices
  • Maximize engagement of those enrolled in the the Coordinated Care Organization
  • Inform the Regional Health Improvement Plan based on the Community Health Needs Assessment to serve as a strategic population health and health care system service plan for the communities served by COHC
  • Provide feedback to COHC about strategies to engage the community 6. Provide feedback to help COHC link the community’s medical and non-medical services in order to overcome barriers to health and decrease the social disparities of health
  • Provide a link back to community constituents to aid in achieving the COHC Mission

Members of the CAC will be recruited to represent the diversity of the community and may include race/ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and geographic location, should possess a collaborative working style, and provide expertise and insight in the areas of social services, public safety and community resources. Individuals with a broad community perspective on health matters will be preferred.

Eligibility for Membership

The Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) shall have sufficient membership selected by the Central Oregon Health Council (COHC) Selection Committee. Representatives of consumers must represent 51% or more of total CAC membership.

Consumer Members

  • Any individual who is a resident of the CCO region for Central Oregon and who has been a member of the Oregon Health Plan at any point in the last two years prior to applying to be a CAC member; or
  • A legal guardian of a consumer who is a dependent child or adult, or a legal sponsor of an immigrant may also be considered a consumer member for purposes of CAC representation; or
  • A person who is uninsured and regularly utilizes safety net health services such as community health clinics, hospital emergency rooms and mental health crisis response services may also be a member in this category.

As a group, consumer members of the CAC should reasonably represent the diversity of individuals being served by the Central Oregon regional coordinated care organization (CCO). Considerations should include but are not limited to: geographic area, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, age, physical ability and gender identity.

Community Members

  • A community leader with specific skills in finance, auditing, legal work, international experience, information technology, diversity awareness, governmental affairs, public relations, marketing, or leadership development; or
  • A representative of a community agency tasked with planning for Central Oregon population health needs, such as the local mental health and public health authorities, the crisis response system, law enforcement and community corrections, housing agencies, and other social service agencies within the community; or
  • A representative of a community organization that serves or advocates on behalf of community members enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan within the Central Oregon region.
    To download an application, click here

    Community Advisory Council Roster

    • Linda McCoy, Central Oregon Health Council Board member (Chair)
    • Michelle Harper, Abilitree,  Citizen Representative  (Vice Chair)
    • Angelica Carrasco-Taylor, Citizen Representative
    • Bruce Abernethy, Bend-LaPine School District
    • Diane Fuller, Indian Health Services
    • Elaine Knobbs, Mosiac Medical
    • Emma Reynolds, Crook Co. Health Department
    • Jeffrey White, Citizen Representative
    • Julie Rychard, Full Access
    • Ken Hilhelm, United Way of Deschutes County
    • Michelle Nein, Citizen Representative
    • Nicole Rodrigues, Citizen Representative
    • Peggie Beck, Citizen Representative
    • Sean Ferrell, Deschutes National Forest
    • Suzanne Browning, Board Member for Kemple Memorial Children’s Dental Clinic


    • Kate Wells, PacificSource
    • Zach Pangares, Central Oregon Health Council