Healthcare Communicators Northwest (HCNW) is the Pacific Northwest’s only professional organization created for communicators in healthcare and public health
Meet our Board of Directors
Kelly Bantle, MS
HCNW Board President
Principal, Allegiant Strategies Northwest
A 20-year industry veteran, Kelly has worked on an extensive array of healthcare-specific strategic communications, issues management, public outreach, and marketing initiatives throughout her career. She has developed and executed numerous multi-platform branding and marketing campaigns promoting healthcare organizations and medical facilities and services. Kelly has also played key roles in highly successful public health and community wellness efforts both small and large scale for government agencies, nonprofits, and local healthcare entities. Her work in healthcare includes, as well, advancing legislative efforts and working with coalitions to secure government support for initiatives. Kelly has lived and worked in Oregon for the past 20 years. She holds a M.S. in Mass Communications and B.S. in Journalism and Broadcasting with a public relations option from Oklahoma State University. LinkedIn Profile.
President-Elect for 2024
Chief Communications Officer, Washington State Health Care Authority
Kennedy leads strategic communications for the Washington State Health Care Authority. Her team helps tell the story of the innovative programs and initiatives that aim to provide equitable access to high-quality, high-value care. She has also held a communication leadership role for the Oregon Assoc. of Hospitals & Health Systems and served as a reporter for the Oregon Health Forum covering health policy. LinkedIn Profile.
Kelsey Huwaldt, MBA
Associate Director, Internal Communications, Oregon Health & Science University
Kelsey’s nearly 20-year employee communications career spans both health care and veterinary care. She has led, managed and enhanced organizational internal communications strategy, collaborating with executives and leaders to support large-scale change management and institutional initiatives. Kelsey also is well-versed in crisis communications, events planning and workplace culture. She has a M.B.A. and B.A. in Journalism: Public Relations from University of Oregon. LinkedIn Profile.
Population Health and Engagement Manager, Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties
Working in healthcare for more than 20 years, Christine’s experiences include reproductive health, children’s health, academic research, and public health program administration. Christine currently works in communities, at the intersection of primary care services and public health. She aims to bring many perspectives together to create clear messages that empower people along their health journey. Christine is passionate about sharing information and telling stories in relatable ways for diverse audiences. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Oregon. LinkedIn Profile.
Professional Development Co-Director
Communications Manager, CareOregon
Becca Thomsen has more than 15 years of experience in communications, public relations and public affairs. She currently leads internal and external communications for CareOregon, the state’s largest provider of Oregon Health Plan services. Prior to her current position, Becca worked as a communications consultant serving public and private sector clients in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. LinkedIn Profile.
Communications Manager, Oregon Primary Care Association (OPCA)
Jordan is a PR and communications professional with a passion for storytelling. She is currently the Communications Manager, handling digital, social media, media relations, and grassroots outreach for Oregon Primary Care Association (OPCA), supporting Oregon’s community health centers. In this role, she handles social media, member communications, media relations, and grassroots outreach. LinkedIn Profile.
Rivkela Brodsky Schraner, MA
Strategic Communications Specialist, PeaceHealth
Rivkela (she/her) has more than 15 years of experience in communication and journalism. At PeaceHealth, she focuses on nursing communication and other topics that impact the nonprofit healthcare system’s 16,000 caregivers in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Before joining PeaceHealth, Rivkela led the communication strategy for the Oregon Primary Care Association, a membership association that supports Oregon’s community health centers. Rivkela began her career as a staff writer for the Albuquerque Journal, the state’s largest daily newspaper, covering the local business community. LinkedIn Profile.
HCNW At-Large Director
Communications Strategist, Legacy Health
Christopher is a communications strategist specializing in provider relations and engagement at Portland-based Legacy Health. He is a focused leader skilled in forging relationships with clients, external organizations, and senior leaders. Christopher is a Baton Rouge, LA native who attended Louisiana State University and holds a BA in Communication Studies. He and his partner moved to the Pacific Northwest in March 2020 and work in the healthcare sector. With ten years of working directly with providers, Christopher brings experience in association management, grassroots lobbying and election strategy, physician membership recruitment and retention, and provider relations and engagement. In his spare time, he loves hiking with his five-year-old English Cocker Spaniel, Alfie, and enjoying the mild PNW summers. LinkedIn Profile.
Assoc. Vice President, National Communications, Providence
Alan is Assoc. VP for National Communication at Providence. He leads a diverse, multi-state communication team responsible for internal communication, public relations, issues management, labor relations and DE&I initiatives. Alan has also held senior marketing and communication leadership roles at Kaiser Permanente and Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. LinkedIn Profile.
HCNW President-Kelly Bantle: firstname.lastname@example.org