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Leadership

CMH's leadership team

The leadership team at Columbia Memorial Hospital is committed to fostering a culture of excellence, and we believe that excellence begins with each of us. Our diverse backgrounds; collective professional experiences in the health care field; and our shared vision for achieving the highest level of quality, safety and patient-satisfaction helps us to grow and support our team of nearly 700 caregivers.

Members of the leadership team are responsible for achieving the organization's overall strategic goals for 2018–2022, which include:

  • Becoming the Regional Leader in Rural Healthcare.
  • Enhancing the Patient and Caregiver Experience.
  • Assuring Long-Term Financial Health.
  • Developing a System for Population Health Management.

We invite you to contact any member of the CMH leadership team if you have a question or concern.

Meet the team

  • Portrait of Erik Thorsen Erik Thorsen, Chief Executive Officer

    Erik Thorsen has served as CMH's Chief Executive Officer since 2010, and has been part of CMH's leadership since 2003 when he served as both chief operating officer and chief financial officer. Under Thorsen's leadership, CMH has achieved and sustained the distinction of a Planetree Gold-Certified Hospital.

    "Working to improve the health and well-being for those living on Oregon's North Coast region is a true privilege. I am honored to serve our community, as well as the caregivers at Columbia Memorial Hospital who are dedicated to the advancement of patient care, safety and quality."

  • Columbia Memorial Hospital, Astoria, OregonNicole Williams, Chief Operating Officer

    Nicole Williams joined CMH in April 2017 as the director of Human Resources and Operational Development. She was named the organization's chief operating officer in February 2018. In this role, she oversees day-to-day operations of the organization.

    "I am grateful to be part of a health care organization that takes pride in the community and the services it provides."

  • Chief Financial Officer at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria, Oregon Zachary Schmitt, Chief Financial Officer

    Zachary Schmitt joined Columbia Memorial Hospital in 2018 as the chief financial officer.

    "I am proud to be part of a team of dedicated and passionate caregivers at CMH who take so much pride in caring for our community."

  • Dr. Christopher Strear Christopher Strear, MD, Chief Medical Officer

    Christopher Strear, MD, joined Columbia Memorial Hospital in 2021 as the chief medical officer.

    "CMH is truly unique – we are a critical access hospital with a profound sense of commitment to our community that offers services typically only seen at a larger hospital or health care system. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this team, both as an administrator and clinician."

  • Judy Geiger, Columbia Memorial Hospital, Astoria, Oregon Judy Geiger, RN, Vice President of Patient Care Services

    Judy Geiger joined Columbia Memorial Hospital as the vice president of Patient Care Services in January 2019. She has more than three decades of experience as a pediatric nurse and a nurse administrator, including serving as a chief nursing officer and executive director in a large hospital.

    "I love being able to serve the community in which I live. CMH is an amazing resource to this area. I look forward to being part of making us even better!"

  • Jarrod Karnofski, DPT Jarrod Karnofski, DPT, Vice President of Ancillary & Support Services

    Jarrod Karnofski has been a valued leader holding various management positions at Columbia Memorial Hospital since 2009. In his role as vice president of Ancillary & Support Services he is dedicated to setting and monitoring the strategic priorities of CMH.

    "I am proud to work with caregivers who are dedicated to the mission of CMH and whose first priority is providing outstanding patient care."

  • Christopher Laman, PharmD, MBA Christopher Laman, PharmD, MBA, Vice President of Strategy

    Chris Laman has worked at Columbia Memorial Hospital since 2006. He started as a staff pharmacist and was then promoted to Pharmacy manager, director of Pharmacy and Cancer Center Services, then vice president of Strategy in July 2021. In his role on the Executive Leadership Team, he keeps the organization focused on its vision and mission.

    "Working in an independent organization in a rural community presents unique challenges every day. The spirit to rise up an meet these challenges is part of the culture in our coastal community and that can be seen in everyone who works at CMH. This is what makes our community and our hospital such an amazing place to be. Knowing we are the primary source of care for so much of our community makes what we do very personal and fulfilling."

Board of Trustees

As a not-for-profit organization, CMH does not have shareholders. Rather, it has stakeholders — people and groups that benefit from the hospital's quality services. Our stakeholders include patients and their families; people who live and work in the communities we serve; as well as our caregivers, health care providers and other businesses.

The CMH Board of Trustees' primary responsibility is to protect the interests of the hospital's stakeholders. The CMH Board of Trustees consists of 15 dedicated volunteer community members. They set the vision and mission of the organization and work toward the shared goal of keeping our hospital viable, and ensuring the delivery of safe, quality health care services.

  • Portrait of Dr. Robert Holland

    Dr. Robert Holland
    Board President

  • Portrait of Mike Autio

    Mike Autio
    Board Vice President

  • Portrait of Jean Danforth

    Jean Danforth
    Quality Chair

  • Portrait of Bill Landwehr

    Bill Landwehr
    Treasurer

  • Portrait of Dave Nygaard

    Dave Nygaard
    Secretary

  • Portrait of Constance Waisenen

    Constance Waisanen
    Immediate Past President

  • Rev. Lori Blake

    Paul Haines

  • Portrait of Nancy McAllister

    Nancy McAllister

  • Portrait of Heather Seppa

    Heather Seppa

  • Columbia Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees

    James Heilman, MD

  • Sheriff Matt Phillips

  • Portrait of Mark Smith

    Mark Smith

  • Portrait of Doug Kaup

    Doug Kaup

  • Dr. Camilo Rosales

    Camilo Rosales, MD

Ex-Officio Trustees

  • Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees President Bill Garvin

    Bill Garvin
    CMH Foundation President

  • Rev. Lori Blake

    Rev. Lori Blake, MDiv.
    CMH Chaplain

Emeritus

  • Portrait of David Phillips

    David Phillips
    Trustee Emeritus (deceased)
    Served May 1981 to August 2019

  • Columbia Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees

    Katherine Hellberg
    Trustee Emeritus
    Served March 1982 to May 2015