Meet the Board

Public Hospital District No. 1, aka Valley Medical Center, is managed as a component of UW Medicine, subject to the oversight of a Board of Trustees (BOT, otherwise referred to as the "Valley Board"). The Valley Board oversees the healthcare operations of the District, while a Board of Commissioners (BOC, otherwise referred to as the “District Board”), oversees the District’s taxes and certain non-healthcare related functions.

Board of Commissioners
("District Board")

The Board of commissioners is comprised of 5 commissioners elected by District residents to a 6-year term. The District is divided into three subdistricts, each represented by one commissioner. The remaining two commissioners serve as at-large members of the Board. Terms of the subdistrict commissioners are staggered. 

What is a public hospital district?
Learn more about Valley Medical Center 

Board of Commissioners (BOC) Meetings
The Board of Commissioners (BOC) or "District Board" meets on the first Monday of each month at 5:30 PM in The Board Room at Valley Medical Center, unless changed by public notice. Meetings move to Tuesday when the first Monday of the month is a federal holiday. BOC meetings are open to public comment at 5:30 PM.

Read BOC agendas and meeting minutes

View video of BOC meetings

Paul Joos, MD
Paul Joos, MD

President of the Board
Commissioner Position No. 1 

Dr. Joos is a current member of VMCs Board of Commissioners, elected in 2011, and serves as Board President.

A noted eye surgeon, Dr. Joos has practiced in Renton for more than 30 years, and also maintains an office in the Covington/Kent area. After medical school he had the opportunity to work and train at Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone.

Dr. Joos has taken part in eye surgery missions to less fortunate overseas countries, and often donates free eye care and surgery to community members in need through the Lion’s Club vision program and Knights Templar.

A graduate of Renton High School and Pacific Lutheran University, Dr. Joos received his medical degree from Creighton University Medical School, in Omaha, Nebraska. He has been married for 36 years; his wife is a registered nurse and works alongside him in his practice. They have two adult children.

 Photo_Coming_Soon
Tamara Sleeter, MD

Vice President of the Board
Commissioner Position No. 5

Dr. Sleeter's bio is coming soon.

 

Carolyn Parnell
Carolyn Parnell

Secretary
Commissioner Position No. 2

Ms. Parnell is a current member of VMCs Board of Commissioners, elected in 1997 to represent sub-district number 2.

A former paraeducator in the Title 1/LAP Program Ms. Parnell has been an active civic and community leader for more than 30 years. She has served on the West Hill Community Council, Renton Area Youth and Family Services, Citizens Advisory Committee, Renton School–linked Health Clinic, Renton School District's Citizens Advisory Committee for Instruction, and parent advisor for West Hill Family Enrichment Service Center.

Ms. Parnell holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from DeVry University and a Master’s Degrees in Business Administration and Human Resource Management from Keller Graduate School of Management. Ms. Parnell is a published author and has lived in Renton for 33 years. She is married and has five children and six grandchildren.

 Barbara-Drennen
Barbara Drennen

Commissioner Position No. 3

Ms. Drennen is a current member of the Board of Commissioners, elected in 2013 to Position 3. As Executive Director and co-founder of the nonprofit Pediatric Interim Care Center (PICC) in Kent, she heads the nation’s only newborn nursery providing 24-hour interim care for medically fragile infants suffering from prenatal drug exposure. Founded in 1990, PICC has brought more than 2,800 newborns safely through withdrawal from prenatal drug exposures.  

An advocate on behalf of drug-exposed infants, Ms. Drennen has spearheaded legislation in Washington state requiring reporting of newborns with positive toxicology screens. She has authored several books on caregiving for these vulnerable infants and serves as a state-wide resource to many.

Ms. Drennen’s honors include the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the U.S. Congress “Angel of Adoption” Award and the Washington State Legislature Children’s Advocate Award.

Ms. Drennen has lived in Kent for 50 years.

Aaron Heide, MD
Aaron Heide, MD

Commissioner Position No. 4

Dr. Heide is a current member of VMCs Board of Commissioners, elected in 2009. He is a board-certified neurologist and board-certified vascular neurologist who has practiced in south King County for the past 13 years.

While earning his medical degree at the University of Washington, Dr. Heide was an integral part of the UW research program in Multiple Sclerosis. He went on to receive his neurological training at Tufts University in Boston, followed by a stroke fellowship at Lahey Medical Center, in Burlington, Massachusetts where he focused on acute chronic management of stroke.

In Washington state, Dr. Heide is credited with developing a regional stroke network and a multi-specialty outpatient center where patients with any neurological symptom or disease can be seen urgently.

Dr. Heide earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry followed by a medical degree from the University of Washington. He lives in Kent with his wife and two daughters.


 

Board of Trustees
("Valley Board")

The Board of Trustees may include all current Public Hospital District #1 commissioners as well as five trustees who reside within the District Service Area, at least three of whom also reside within the boundaries of the District. In addition, two current or former trustees of the UW Medicine Board or a Board of another component entity within UW Medicine and the CEO of UW Medicine or his designee also serve on The Board of Trustees.

Learn more about UW Medicine 
Apply to become a trustee

Board of Trustee (BOT) Meetings
The Valley Board meets the third Monday of the month at 2:30 pm in the Board Room at Valley Medical Center. Meetings are open to the public.

Read BOT agendas and meeting minutes

Lisa Jensen
Lisa Jensen
Chair
Designated Trustee

Ms. Jensen brings significant experience to the Valley Board as an existing hospital trustee and public official. Appointed by King County in 2008, Ms. Jensen is a current trustee on the Harborview Medical Center Board. She is also a member of the Newcastle City Council, elected in 2007.

Ms. Jensen is principal of Jensen Companies, Inc., in south King County that provides technical training and Website and Internet marketing support to a variety of businesses. Ms. Jensen also spent 13 years with a software development firm, managing multi-million dollar budgets and helping healthcare providers connect financial, clinical and operational information.

Ms. Jensen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business from the University of Washington. She serves as the Chair of the Valley Board.

Peter Evans
Peter Evans
Vice Chair
Designated Trustee

Mr. Evans is an experienced trustee with specialized experience in a community hospital setting. He has served as trustee on both the Northwest Hospital & Medical Center Board, and the Health Resources Northwest Board since 1991.

A retired finance executive, Mr. Evans served as Vice President and Partner for the Seattle-Northwest Securities Corporation. Over the course of his career Mr. Evans held positions at Boeing Aerospace, Marshall & Meyer Securities and Smith Barney.

Mr. Evans holds both a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of Washington. He serves as Vice Chair of the Valley Board.

Bernie_Dochnahl_v2
Bernie Dochnahl
 
Appointed Community Trustee 

Appointed by King County in 2006, Ms. Dochnahl currently serves as trustee on the Harborview Medical Center Board. She also serves as Board Chair for Mutual of Enumclaw Property and Casualty Company, and Legislative Chair for the Renton Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Dochnahl’s career has included executive roles at Puget Sound Energy, Chair of the Health Service Commission, Washington State’s health care reform efforts under Governor Mike Lowry, Executive Director for Global Partnership (an international non-profit), small business ownership, and as a medical device start-up company executive.

Previous roles include board member for the State of Washington High Risk Pool, Center for Women and Democracy, and founding board member for the Renton Community Foundation. Her first hospital board member role was at Valley Medical Center in the early 1990s.

A University of Washington graduate, Ms. Dochnahl holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Accounting.

 Barbara-Drennen
Barbara Drennen

Elected Commissioner Trustee

Ms. Drennen is a current member of the Board of Commissioners, elected in 2013 to Position 3. As Executive Director and co-founder of the nonprofit Pediatric Interim Care Center (PICC) in Kent, she heads the nation’s only newborn nursery providing 24-hour interim care for medically fragile infants suffering from prenatal drug exposure. Founded in 1990, PICC has brought more than 2,800 newborns safely through withdrawal from prenatal drug exposures.  

An advocate on behalf of drug-exposed infants, Ms. Drennen has spearheaded legislation in Washington state requiring reporting of newborns with positive toxicology screens. She has authored several books on caregiving for these vulnerable infants and serves as a state-wide resource to many.

Ms. Drennen’s honors include the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the U.S. Congress “Angel of Adoption” Award and the Washington State Legislature Children’s Advocate Award.

Ms. Drennen has lived in Kent for 50 years.

Paul Joos, MD
Paul Joos, MD

Elected Commissioner Trustee

Dr. Joos is a current member of VMCs Board of Commissioners, elected in 2011, and serves as Board President.

A noted eye surgeon, Dr. Joos has practiced in Renton for more than 30 years, and also maintains an office in the Covington/Kent area. After medical school he had the opportunity to work and train at Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone.

Dr. Joos has taken part in eye surgery missions to less fortunate overseas countries, and often donates free eye care and surgery to community members in need through the Lion’s Club vision program and Knights Templar.

 Gary Kohlwes, Ed.D
Gary Kohlwes, Ed.D
 
Appointed Community Trustee 

Dr. Kohlwes is a retired public school employee and was Superintendent of Schools in Renton from 1974-1997.

A former Valley Medical Center Commissioner (1995-2007), Dr. Kohlwes currently manages a commercial salmon fishing business in Bristol Bay, Alaska. He also serves as a Director of First Savings Bank Northwest and Washington Pacific Insurance SPC and as Trustee and Executive Director of First Financial Northwest Foundation.

Dr. Kohlwes is a founding board member and was the initial President of the Renton Community Foundation. Previous Board memberships include the Renton Chamber of Commerce, Renton Rotary and Seattle Country Day School.

Dr. Kohlwes received a Bachelor of Education and Masters in School Psychology from Western Washington University, and a Doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Washington.

 Mike Miller
Mike Miller
 
Appointed Community Trustee 

Mr. Miller is Senior Vice President/Senior Relationship Manager at HomeStreet Bank in Kent, WA.

Over the course of his career Mr. Miller has held a variety of financial management positions, including overseeing the health industries market of major medical clinics, physicians and dentists in Western and Central Washington.

Mr. Miller is a former Valley Medical Center Commissioner (1996 – 2009), past president of the Kent Downtown partnership, past president of the Kent Chamber of Commerce, and past president of the Kent School Board. Currently he is chairman of the Kent Events Center Public Facilities District and is a member of Rotary Club of Kent.

Mr. Miller received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Washington State University, and is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School.

 Carolyn Parnell
Carolyn Parnell
 
Elected Commissioner Trustee 

Ms. Parnell is a current member of VMCs Board of Commissioners, elected in 1997 to represent sub-district number 2.

A former paraeducator in the Title 1/LAP Program Ms. Parnell has been an active civic and community leader for more than 30 years. She has served on the West Hill Community Council, Renton Area Youth and Family Services, Citizens Advisory Committee, Renton School–linked Health Clinic, Renton School District's Citizens Advisory Committee for Instruction, and parent advisor for West Hill Family Enrichment Service Center.

Ms. Parnell holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from DeVry University and a Master’s Degrees in Business Administration and Human Resource Management from Keller Graduate School of Management. Ms. Parnell is a published author and has lived in Renton for 33 years. She is married and has five children and six grandchildren.

 Julia Patterson
Julia Patterson
 
Appointed Community Trustee 

Ms. Patterson is currently a member of the Metropolitan King County Council. Over the past 22 years Ms. Patterson has served the public at three distinct levels of government - city, county, and state and has emerged as an independent regional leader in transportation, election reform, and law and justice issues in her time on the King County Council.

Ms. Patterson is a member of the King County Board of Health and serves in leadership positions on a number of boards in the region including Sound Transit, the South County Area Transportation Board, and the Highline YMCA Board.

Raised on a small farm in south King County, Ms. Patterson attended Washington State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Society & Justice, and the University of Washington, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Today she lives in SeaTac with her husband of 25 years. She has three adult children and two grandchildren.

Donna Russell MHA
Donna Russell, MHA
 
Appointed Community Trustee 

Ms. Russell is Principal of Donna Russell Consulting, LLC, a global health consulting firm that specializes in strategic and technical support to facilitate research, development, and implementation of new interventions to improve health globally. Her clients include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Oxford University, and the World Health Organization (WHO). She is currently working with WHO to establish in-country bio-banks through the standardized and harmonized collection of biological samples and associated clinical data from pregnant women in Africa and SE Asia to facilitate research on preterm birth, stillbirth, preeclampsia, and other conditions that result in maternal and newborn mortality.


Prior to starting her own consulting company, she co-founded the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS), where she served as Director of Research Development.  While there, she led the development and successful launch of the GAPPS Repository and provided strategic leadership to advance basic and translational research globally to improve maternal and newborn health.


Before co-founding GAPPS in 2007, she served as a senior policy advisor to the Washington State Board of Health and as a health services consultant to the Washington State Department of Health. She also served as a consultant to other organizations such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Seattle hospitals, and local tribes.  Her experience covers health advocacy, policy development and analysis, implementation, research harmonization, health systems strengthening, public health financing, health workforce shortages, tribal health, health disparities, and maternal health.


 Ms. Russell is a member of the PRE-EMPT Technical Advisory Group; the Preeclampsia Registry and Biobank, Scientific Advisory Board, Executive Committee; and the Group B Strep International Advisory Board. She has a Bachelor of Science, Nutrition and Food Science from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Natural Resources, and a Master of Health Administration from the University Of Washington School of Public Health & Community Medicine.

 Photo_Coming_Soon
Tamara Sleeter, MD

Elected Commissioner Trustee

Dr. Sleeter's bio is coming soon.

 

 

Johnese Spisso, RN, MPA
Johnese Spisso, RN, MPA

Designated Trustee

Ms. Spisso is the Chief Health System Officer for UW Medicine Health System, the Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Washington, and clinical faculty in Biobehavioral Sciences and Management at the University Of Washington School Of Nursing.

Ms. Spisso has over 25 years experience in health care leadership positions. She has worked at UW Medicine for the past 16 years. During her 15 years at Harborview Medical Center she was promoted from Chief Nursing Officer to Chief Operating Officer, and served as the interim Executive Director prior to being promoted to her current position in 2007. Previously Ms. Spisso worked for the University of California Davis Medical Center (12 years) and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (2 years).

Ms. Spisso currently serves on the Governing board of the University HealthCare Consortium, the National Association of Public Hospitals, the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board, the American Heart Association, Villa Academy, First Choice Health Plan Board, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. She also serves as Chair of the King County Health Care Coalition.

Ms. Spisso has a Bachelors Degree in Health Sciences from Chapman College and a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration from the University of San Francisco.