Sam Chase, Executive Director
Born in Washington State, Sam decided when he was young that he would focus his life on community service. Sam is an advocate for health equity and believes high quality health care should be available for everyone. Sam studied liberal arts in college and took post-graduate courses in Oregon’s economic and regional development. He got an education in city politics as Chief of Staff to Portland Commissioner Nick Fish, and Sam was elected regional Metro Councilor in 2012. Before coming to the Coalition in the summer of 2010, Sam co-founded and was the Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Now! Coalition. That Coalition brought diverse communities—more than 60 organizations and 1,000 individuals—together from the Portland region to secure major housing policy and resource victories for low-income people and communities of color. Sam loves living with his two daughters in an urban environment with easy access to Oregon’s mountains, beaches, and rivers.
Alicia Temple, Deputy Director
A native to the Pacific Northwest, Alicia grew up in Portland and studied Sociology and Women’s Studies at Seattle Pacific University. After graduating, Alicia moved to Hanoi, Vietnam to serve as the Communications Officer for a nonprofit organization focused on improving rural school attendance and disaster mitigation. She returned inspired to be active in the Portland community and got involved in political advocacy. She worked on a campaign for a local school bond and then joined Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon as a Field Organizer in 2011. Over the next 4 years Alicia advocated for women’s health and health equity and gained experience in community outreach, fundraising and lobbying as Program Manager and then Policy Director. She is excited to continue advocating for access to quality healthcare in her role with the Coalition.
Janelle Mellor, Program Manager
Janelle graduated with her Master in Public Health from Boston University and has a degree in International Development from Portland State University. She has participated in internships at the Brookline Department of Public Health and the Institute of Community Health in Massachusetts. Her work with runaway and homeless youth in Eugene only strengthened her belief that access to primary care is a pivotal component towards achieving health equity. Janelle is thrilled to be joining the Coalition and assist in reducing barriers to quality health care among underserved populations.
Danielle Adams, Certified Enrollment Specialist
Danielle’s strong belief that no one should be denied health care was catalyzed when she saw the 2007 documentary Sicko at the beginning of her college studies. Danielle graduated with a degree in Community Health from Portland State, which included an internship at CCHC during the first year of Cover Oregon health insurance enrollment. As an intern and CCHC administrative assistant, Danielle supported the Coalition’s health resources outreach, clinic referrals, marketing, events, and office operations. Her previous work experience includes customer service and store management positions. Danielle grew up in Oregon and loves everything it has to offer.
Natasha Pellechi, Certified Enrollment Specialist
Natasha helps low-income residents navigate and understand the federal health insurance exchange, Healthcare.gov. Born and raised in Moscow, Russia, Natasha first came to the Pacific Northwest as a U.S. Forest Service summer volunteer on Mt. St. Helens in 1993. With a Master of Science degree, she taught Biology and English in Moscow, and was a Research Assistant and bi-cultural Qualified Mental Health Professional in OHSU’s Psychiatry Department for 13 years. Natasha is inspired by the late Senator Edward Kennedy’s advocacy for health justice. He wrote in 2009 that health care “shouldn’t depend on your financial resources, or the type of job you have, or the medical condition you face….Every American [should] have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege.”
Leada Fuller-Marashi, AmeriCorps VISTA
As a member of the Oregon Health Authority AmeriCorps team, Leada is passionate about working towards increased healthcare access in her hometown of Portland. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in Psychology, Leada spent two years as a research assistant and project coordinator in the eating disorders and obesity group at the Oregon Research Institute. During her undergraduate career, she spent her spare time on mental health advocacy and now hopes to pursue a career in public health.
Katie Hernandez, Program Intern
Katie comes to us from Austin, Texas where she worked as a health advocate and caregiver for refugees and individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS during her undergraduate career. After witnessing many discrepancies in health equity, she committed her career goals towards making affordable, high-quality healthcare accessible for all. She is excited to serve the Portland community and learn more about public health administration and outreach with the Coalition