featured board member

Meet Mike Nowling, May's Featured Board Member

We are excited to continue our monthly series highlighting our Board of Directors!  This month we are delighted to feature Mike Nowling.  Take a look at the interview below!

And in case you missed it, you can check out our Board Member interviews with Sue Lani MadsenMatt LaytonTodd KoyamaMary SeleckyGary StokesJeff Bell, Latisha Hill, and Samuel Selinger on our blog.

Who are you and what do you do?

Since retiring after a career in healthcare leadership, I am continuing to try to be the best husband and father I can be.  My wife Carol and I enjoy traveling to visit our four children spread out all over the country, literally coast to coast.  We also enjoy traveling to new destinations around the world when opportunities present themselves.  One of my most important daily responsibilities at home is to pick up after the dog. (As you can guess, I am still working through the whole retirement thing....)

Tell us about yourself and your background.

After 33 years or so as a healthcare executive, I retired several years ago.  Carol and I have lived in Spokane for 25 years and raised our four children here – we still love it.  I was born and raised in California, attended college in Idaho, and received a graduate degree from Arizona State in Tempe.  Our first home after getting married was in Saudi Arabia, for two years.  One aspect of my career of which I am quite proud is my experience in both the not-for-profit the for-profit world.

What is your favorite book?

It’s a tie between A Wrinkle In Time and To Kill A Mockingbird.  Both of these merit reading every year.  I am also currently reading The Great Upheaval by Jaw Wink – and find it fascinating.

How long have you been a member of the Empire Health Foundation Board?

I have no idea...three years?  It's gone so fast!

What attracted you to the Empire Health Foundation Board of Directors?

I was actually very interested in serving with the EHF board at its outset. The idea of working with a new foundation to seek new ways to influence the health of our region was very compelling.  At the time, I was envious of those founding board members, but in the end, I think it worked out very well for me.  The founding board had to work so hard just establishing EHF as an entity and dealing with the very difficult issues that existed at its creation.  They did all the heavy lifting! Now we are having fun leveraging all their hard work, and we are now able to be innovative and seek ways to really make a difference.  So much of what we are doing today has its roots in the values and decisions of those original board members….we owe them a great debt of gratitude.

What most excites you about our work and mission?

The whole concept of philanthropy 3.0 and how it is being realized through our work – very exciting!

Has anything surprised you about Empire Health Foundation?  If so, what?

I can’t say anything has really surprised me about EHF.  I continue to be impressed by the sophistication and organizational effectiveness of EHF given its relative youth as an entity.  It is amazing to see how EHF has grown from its creation — it is mature beyond its years.

Finally, when you have an out-of-town guest visit, what is your “must do” in your community?

In the summer, a day on our boat on the lake.  In the winter, a drive through the Palouse. Come to think of it, a drive through the Palouse is a “must-do” any time of year…every season is spectacular!  Aren’t we all so blessed to live in such a magnificent region?  

A Special Thank You to Sam Selinger, April's Featured Board Member

We are excited to continue our monthly series highlighting our Board of Directors!  This month we are delighted to feature Sam Selinger, one of EHF's founding board members who finished up his last term in March.  In light of this, we wanted to take a second to thank Sam for all his contributions to EHF and to the community.  Take a look at his feature interview below!

And in case you missed it, you can check out more Board Member interviews with Sue Lani MadsenMatt LaytonTodd KoyamaMary SeleckyGary Stokes, Jeff Bell and Latisha Hill on our blog.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Sam Selinger.  I am a retired cardiovascular surgeon.

After retiring a number of years ago, I founded Project Access in Spokane after learning about this effort while at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.  Project Access works with physicians to provide free healthcare to the uninsured.  After the project was up and operating, we learned that people with chronic diseases had trouble getting their prescriptions filled, so we looked at models throughout the country and ended up working with EHF Vice President Kristen West Fisher in her previous role at Choice on the westside and former Senate Majority Leader (and current EHF Board Member) Lisa Brown to start the Prescription Drug Assistance Foundation to help people who are underinsured or uninsured obtain their medications.   A peer review national paper focused on the health outcome benefits of this approach will be released in April.

Tell us about yourself and your background.

I come from New Jersey and did my medical training on the East Coast.  I attended Johns Hopkins Medical School and trained at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the Cleveland Clinic.  I came to Spokane in 1978. 

My wife is English and I have two grown children and two grandchildren.  My practice in Spokane as a cardiovascular surgeon was very intense, so I did not have the opportunity to do a lot of nonprofit work while I was in practice.  I have to credit my wife Rosemary who has been involved in a number of nonprofits since we arrived in Spokane.  I have received a lot of my board education from her. 

When I retired as a cardiovascular surgeon, I sought opportunities to apply my healthcare experience to benefit the community.  I learned I have an interest in identifying gaps in care. Spokane has been a terrific community where people listen and are willing to help where able.

What is your favorite book?

I do not have a favorite book per se.  I tend to read fun books that I can put down and pick up again.  I enjoy mysteries.  My wife is English so she reads a lot of English authors and mysteries. 

How long have you been a member of the Empire Health Foundation Board?

I am a founding board member and my time on the Empire Health Foundation Board will come to an end in March.  I am one of the few founding board members remaining. 

What attracted you to the Empire Health Foundation Board of Directors?

When the opportunity came to join the Empire Health Foundation board, I thought it was a unique opportunity for our region since we had typically not had access to significant sources of funding.  I was particularly excited to join a Board with sustaining resources and the opportunity to chart the course for our community.  None of the founding board members had done something like this before, so it was all new.  Each of the founding board members brought something to the table representing the community.   To this day, I have found the same dedication and passion in all of our board members, even if we disagree.

What most excites you about our work and mission?

I have been most excited about Empire Health Foundation’s role as a facilitator with resources.  The idea that the Foundation can serve as an incubator, take risks, fill the gap and bring people together is very exciting.

Has anything surprised you about Empire Health Foundation?  If so, what?

The people.  Everyone on the board has the same level of excitement as the founding board.  People (board and staff) are passionate and excited.  There is healthy debate about direction.  

Finally, when you have an out-of-town guest visit, what is your “must do” in your community?

I also serve on the Spokane Parks Board so the park system is a “must do.”   I enjoy heading down to Riverfront Park, taking my grandkids to the carrousel, viewing the wonders of the river and the park.  I also golf in the summertime on City courses that are very inexpensive.  The ability in Spokane to go from working intensely to something as marvelous as Riverfront Park or another part of nature is really special when you think about other communities where people sit in traffic for hours daily.

Meet Latisha Hill, March's Featured Board Member

We are excited to continue our monthly series highlighting our Board of Directors!  This month we are delighted to feature Latisha.  Take a look at the interview below!

And in case you missed it, you can check out our first three Board Member interviews with Sue Lani MadsenMatt Layton, Todd KoyamaMary Selecky, Gary Stokes, and Jeff Bell on our blog.

Who are you and what do you do?

I work for Avista Corporation where I manage our Consulting and Analytics team for the Human Resources Department.  I have had the pleasure of working for Avista for 11 years in a variety of roles.  Much of my experience has been in business, public affairs and economic development. 

Tell us about yourself and your background.

I am a Spokane native married to my high school sweetheart.  I am the proud parent of one son.  I come from a very a diverse family (we have dubbed ourselves the “United Nations” at reunions). We love to travel so we can expose our son to different cultures and we also love to find and refurbish old homes with character.

What is your favorite book?

This is a tough question. I love to read.  Depending on the day, or my mood, I may be reading poetry, Franz Kafka, a Harvard Business review recommendation or the Psalms of the Bible.  Words are too powerful to be limited.  

How long have you been a member of the Empire Health Foundation Board?

I am entering my second year.

What attracted you to the Empire Health Foundation Board of Directors?

Health care is a key component of our regional infrastructure. I was attracted by the caliber of EHF’s work and their demonstrated results.  Health-- access, cost, equity, care, touches so many people’s lives. EHF’s track record speaks to the vision of the Board and the quality of staff.  I was excited to play a role in an environment that’s committed to making a significant difference.

What most excites you about our work and mission?

Empire Health Foundation has high expectations. They expect that investments and work will lead to measurable results.  We expect progress.  The fact that we’re willing to dive in and help reach those expectations collectively, is a powerful statement that brings great accountability.

Has anything surprised you about Empire Health Foundation?  If so, what?

I have been surprised by the depth and breadth of work (the portfolio is much larger than I thought) as well as the compassion of the staff.

Finally, when you have an out-of-town guest visit, what is your “must do” in your community?

We have an incredible river that runs right through the heart of our city. It cost nothing to stand on the bridge and stand in awe at one of the most unique and spectacular parts of not just Spokane, but the country.  It is an asset that I respect and appreciate.

Meet Jeff Bell, February's Featured Board Member

We are excited to continue our monthly series highlighting our Board of Directors!  This month we are delighted to feature Jeff Bell.  Take a look at the interview below!

And in case you missed it, you can check out our first three Board Member interviews with Sue Lani MadsenMatt LaytonTodd Koyama, Mary Selecky, and Gary Stokes on our blog.

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Who are you and what do you do?

I am a Partner with Gallatin Public Affairs and counsel clients in the areas of politics, public policy and crisis communication

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I grew up near Portland Oregon and convinced my parents that I needed to attend college in southern California.  Besides enjoying the sun, I went to film school at USC and worked in the film business primarily as a film editor in TV and later on feature films.  I loved the business, but wanted to get back to the NW when Kristi and I started our family. So we moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 1989 and shortly got involved in politics which eventually led me to Gallatin where I started in 1997.  Kristi and I have two grown daughters, a dog named Sammi and live on Diamond Lake.  We could not be happier with our choice to life and work in this great area. 

What is your favorite book?

I had the great fortune to work on Out of Africa and was introduced to literature from that era in Africa.  Besides the wonderful works of Isak Dinesen, I particularly like a book called “West with the Night” written by a women aviator of the time Beryl Markham.  Once you read the book, you won’t forget it. 

How long have you been a member of the EHF Board?

I am beginning my second year as a board member

What attracted you to the Empire Health Foundation Board of Directors?

I had the good fortune of working with the Foundation as a consultant on several projects and was immediately impressed with the mission, ambition, and skill of the leadership and staff in making real change in our region.

What most excites you about our work and mission?

Most everything.  I am particularly excited about the foundation’s work on childhood obesity, foster care, and rural health care.  In just a short period of time working in partnership with other great organizations, real positive changes are happening.

Has anything surprised you about Empire Health Foundation?  If so, what?

I had some familiarity of the Foundation before joining the board, but I was surprised and a bit overwhelmed with the number of initiatives and activities the Foundation has initiated and continues to invest in to better the health of every resident of this region.  It is truly impressive.

Finally, when you have an out-of-town guest visit, what is your “must do” in your community?

It depends on the season, but kayaking on one of our lakes or down a river is a great way for a guest to experience the beauty of our area.

Meet Gary Stokes, January's Featured Board Member

We are excited to continue our monthly series highlighting our Board of Directors!  This month we are delighted to feature our Vice Chair of the Board Gary Stokes.  Take a look at the interview below!

And in case you missed it, you can check out our first three Board Member interviews with Sue Lani MadsenMatt Layton, Todd Koyama, and Mary Selecky on our blog.

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Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Gary Stokes, currently President and General Manager of KSPS Public Television in Spokane. My wife Mariesa and I, moved to Spokane in 2011 from Birmingham, Alabama. We have four sons - two human, two canine.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background. 

I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (my mother still lives in the house where my sister and I grew up,) and after high school, attained my Bachelor of Science degree in criminal Justice from the University of Dayton in  Dayton, Ohio. After a brief stint as a probation officer for the juvenile court system, I made a career switch, working as a reporter for the CBS station in Dayton. Many jobs, station and locations later (Dallas TX and Washington DC – Reporter, Norfolk VA – Executive Producer & News Director, Birmingham AL – General Manager,) it was time for a change, so I went to work for Alabama Public Television in several fund-raising manager roles. I was hired by the Friends of KSPS to oversee fundraising in 2011, and after the transfer of the broadcast license from the Spokane Public Schools to the Friends of KSPS, I was named General Manager in 2013.

I enjoy television, exercise, word games and spending quiet time with my family.

What is your favorite book?

The Stand by Stephen King, The Winds of War by Herman Wouk, and anything by Harlan Ellison

How long have you been a member of the EHF Board? 

I joined the Board in 2013 and am currently vice-Chair of the EHF Board and Chair of the Governance Committee.

What attracted you to the Empire Health Foundation Board of Directors?

Initially, it was the chance to find out more about EHF’s role in shaping the health and wellness of our region. Now, it’s watching how the organization has grown in mission, message and impact.

What most excites you about our work and mission?

This is a critical time to be involved in health policy in Eastern Washington, between the WSU Medical School, the work that’s already been done on childhood obesity and scratch cooking, and all of the new and growing initiatives on treating the whole family. In addition, the Foundation staff continues to find ways to be that critical connector between those in need and those with the capacity to help. I’m just happy to play a part in that important work. 

Has anything surprised you about Empire Health Foundation?  If so, what?

Coming from the broadcasting field, I’m used to a business where you’re always on the air, and you never stop looking for the next opportunity. The Empire Health Foundation staff and initiatives continue to grow at a breakneck pace. It’s exciting to see what’s next! 

Finally, when you have an out-of-town guest visit, what is your “must do” in your community?

That depends on the guest – for the outdoors people - Riverfront Park and Mount Spokane, for the foodies – Sante,  Italia Trattoria.