Mat-Su Health Foundation Welcomes Three New Board Members and Announces Officers for the Coming Year
Wasilla, Alaska – Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) has welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors: David Eller, Ross Newcombe and Hilary Stark. The Board of Directors also announced officers to serve from June 2023 through June 2024. Lisa Wade will move from vice-chair to chair, and Lisa Smayda was named vice chair. Teri Namtvedt continues as secretary/treasurer.
David Eller has been a financial advisor since 2008 and holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. David served as a School Resource Officer during his three years as a Wasilla police officer and he was a 911 dispatcher with the Palmer Police Department. He also has a background in firefighting and paramedicine, serving with the Central Mat-Su Fire Department and the former Wasilla Ambulance Service, respectively. Presently, David serves as a volunteer Chaplain for these agencies, and he serves on the Board of Supervisors for the Central Mat-Su Fire Department. In addition, David has served on the Elder Board at Wasilla Bible Church. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Paramedicine in 1998 and an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Service Administration from Mat-Su College in 1997.
Ross Newcombe serves as the CEO of North Star Behavioral Health System. Prior to that, he was the CFO and COO for Providence Alaska Medical Center. Ross is a 20-year veteran of the United States Army who served in multiple command and staff positions. After initially serving in leadership roles as an aeromedical evacuation pilot, he graduated from the Army Medical Department Comptroller Internship Program, located at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and served as CFO/COO for various commands for which he has received numerous accolades and decorations. Ross is a graduate of the Army’s Command General Staff College and has been awarded the Senior Aviator badge, Air Assault badge, and Expert Field Medical badge. He and his wife Marsha have lived in Alaska for more than 30 years; the last 12 of which have been in Wasilla.
Hilary Stark was born and raised in the Mat-Su Borough and has a background in both healthcare and public safety. Hilary has spent the last decade serving the State of Alaska working for the Department of Corrections in various roles including finance, budget management, and as an administrative officer overseeing various departments within Mat-Su Pretrial. Prior to her state service, Hilary was employed in the private sector, working in hospitals and nursing homes as a certified nursing assistant. She previously has volunteered with several agencies and nonprofits around Alaska, including Palmer Pioneer Home and Hope Community Resources. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from the University of Alaska with a focus on public health programs and psychology. While in school, she was a recipient of Mat-Su Health Foundation scholarships.
In addition to adding three new board members, the Foundation thanked two board members whose service ended. Richard Porter termed off after three service terms, and Philip Licht elected to step away after one term.
The recruitment process for the Mat-Su Health Foundation Board of Directors starts with mapping the current board members on a matrix that identifies the current strengths of the board as well as gaps that need to be filled. The matrix looks at geography, gender, age, race, lived experience and professional experience to ensure that the Foundation has a well-rounded board that represents all of the people who call Mat-Su home. Openings on the board of directors are advertised via social media, radio, and newspaper. The board’s governance committee reviews expressions of interest, invites the most qualified to full application, and then interviews and selects candidates who are put to the whole board for voting.
Service on the MSHF Board is on a volunteer basis. Board members serve an initial three-year term, and each term may be renewed for two additional three-year terms. More information is available at healthymatsu.org/about/board-of-directors.
About Mat-Su Health Foundation: Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) is the official business name of Valley Hospital Association, Inc., which shares ownership in Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. In this capacity, MSHF board members and representatives actively participate in the governance of Mat-Su’s community hospital to protect the community’s interest in this important healthcare institution. The MSHF mission is to improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in the Mat-Su and the tools it uses include grantmaking, convening of local partners, and policy change. The foundation’s work has resulted in significant improvements in systems that support the health of Mat-Su residents in areas such as behavioral health, child welfare, crisis response, community connections, workforce development, transportation, housing, and senior services. More information is available at healthymatsu.org.