Western Sierra’s executive team, headed by CEO Scott McFarland, manages the day-to-day operations.
Each executive plays a critical role in the clinic’s success, from ensuring high-quality health care for patients to expanding the awareness of services in the region.
Our community-focused executive team directs a 130-employee staff, from call-center and front-desk employees to health care professionals. Every employee at the clinic is committed to your health.
Scott McFarlandChief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer
Western Sierra Medical Clinic
Mr. McFarland has been the CEO of Western Sierra Medical Clinic since 2007, after serving as Executive Director of Peach Tree Clinic in Yuba County. He holds a Master’s degree in in Clinical Psychology and a Master of Business Administration.
Mr. McFarland has overseen expansion of the Western Sierra health center during this time, with extensive growth in 2016, including at sites in Grass Valley, Auburn, Downieville and at Community Recovery Resources. A new Penn Valley health center opened in February 2017 and in Kings Beach-Tahoe in July.
Mr. McFarland is the Chair of the Board of the California Primary Care Association and the Executive Committee. He is past-Chair of CPCA’s Workforce Development Committee and past-Chair of its Rural Health Committee.
Mr. McFarland also serves on the Public Policy Committee of California Health & Wellness and is a current member of the Rotary Club of Grass Valley.
In the past, he has served as Chair of the Nevada County Health Collaborative, Board President at the Health Alliance of Northern California, Board Member of the Rotary Club of Grass Valley, and Board Member of the Yuba City Kiwanis Club.
Christina Lasich, MDChief Medical Officer
Christina Lasich, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Pain and Addiction Medicine Specialist
Dr. Lasich joined Western Sierra Medical Clinic in 2016. She has been in private practice in Nevada County since 2001. Dr. Lasich is active in the community and is a frequent guest speaker at forums hosted by Stanford University, UCLA and elsewhere.She is a University of California, Davis School of Medicine graduate.
In addition to her responsibilities as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Lasich oversees the health center’s expanded substance abuse treatment services, especially for residents addicted to opioids such as prescription pain medications and heroin – a growing concern in the region and nationally.
Dr. Lasich is a former Medical Director for Community Recovery Resources.
She grew up in Nevada County and graduated from Nevada Union H.S. When Dr. Lasich is not treating patients, she enjoys pheasant hunting, fly fishing in Northern California and Montana, cross country skiing, kayaking and camping. She also spends time gardening, cooking and relaxing with loved ones. Dr. Lasich is also the California Coordinator for the Pointer Rescue Organization.
Phil NowakCFO/Chief Operating Officer
CFO/Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Phil manages all aspects of finance operations, including general accounting, fiscal analysis, and financial planning and reporting. His responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer span non-clinical functions of the health centers, including management of reception and the call center.
Phil brings more than 20 years of health care financial and administrative management experience to Western Sierra, most currently as CEO/CFO at Northeastern Rural Health Clinic, an FQHC in Susanville, CA.
Prior to that, Phil worked in various financial roles with Molina Healthcare, Accenture and the State of Nevada in their Public Employees Benefit Program, Division of Health Care Financing & Policy, and Department of Corrections.
Phil is married and has three children. He enjoys backpacking, cycling and fishing.
Juan Alberto Chavez, DDSDental Director
Juan Alberto Chavez, DDS
Dr. J. Alberto Chavez graduated from dental school at the National University of Mexico. He took the dental boards at Loma Linda University, California in 1996. Prior to relocating to Grass Valley, he practiced general dentistry in the Los Angeles area for 17 years.
He grew up in Texas and Mexico City, and speaks fluent Spanish.
Being very health conscious, Dr. Chavez likes to help patients in their quest to keep good oral habits in order to maintain healthy gums and teeth. He has participated in Harbor Care LA as a volunteer dentist and enjoys taking part in health and medical/dental missions with his church.
In his spare time, Dr. Chavez likes reading, working on home projects, and spending time with his family and dogs in the great outdoors with activities such as hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing and snow skiing.
Dr. Chavez also is an avid photographer who captures the gorgeous sunsets in the area.
Francine NovakChief Planning & Development Officer
Chief Planning & Development Officer
Francine is responsible for grants management and compliance. She previously served as Chief Operations Officer and is a member of the Quality Improvement Committee, which helps ensure that Western Sierra achieves its mission to provide affordable, quality care in the communities it serves.
Francine has more than 15 years of leadership experience in community health care and adult day health care. She received her degree in accounting from Heald Business College, and has received ongoing education through the Blue Shield Clinic Leadership Institute.
Francine’s passion goes beyond community health. She is an avid sports fan, who doesn’t miss a San Francisco Giants or 49ers game. She also is a voracious reader and loves music. Francine says there is no greater expression of harmony than when you attend a concert or sporting event and everyone has the same primary focus – to enjoy the team, the band and each other.
Andrew HarrisChief Administrative Officer
Chief Administrative Officer
Andy was hired as Chief Administrative Officer in January 2016, after serving as Western Sierra Medical Clinic’s outside counsel for four years.
Andy primarily serves as Western Sierra Medical Clinic’s Compliance Officer, keeping abreast of and implementing compliance programs under the complex and ever-changing laws, rules, and regulations in the health care industry. Andy advises the Executive Management team and Board of Directors on matters of compliance and provides training to all staff.
Andy, who has been practicing law since 2001, has extensive experience in corporate compliance, business development, contracts, mergers and acquisitions, and litigation.
He practiced law with Aronowitz & Skidmore Inc. in Auburn and the Law Offices of P. Scott Browne in Grass Valley before opening his own practice in 2012.
Andy – a former professional musician, teacher, counselor, business owner and paralegal – attended night school at Lincoln Law School in Sacramento. He was the valedictorian of his class.
Andy and his wife, Michelle, have two grown children and live in Grass Valley. Away from work, Andy enjoys playing and writing music, boating and golfing.
Cheryl RubinChief Communications Officer
Chief Communications Officer
Cheryl builds awareness for Western Sierra, directing community engagement, marketing, fund development and other activities.
Prior to this, she served as a Senior Analyst with Nevada County’s Health & Human Services Agency, ran her own public relations firm and was Vice President, Communications for the California Forest Products Commission and The Forest Foundation.
Cheryl began her PR career with a Madison Avenue firm. She is a recipient of the Silver Anvil Award, the Public Relations Society of America’s highest honor. In Washington, DC, Cheryl served as United Way of America’s PR Director. Before PR, she worked for ABC TV’s “Good Morning America.”
Cheryl is active in the community. She served as a judge for the 2016 Community Partner Awards sponsored by Nevada County’s Health & Human Services Agency Community, and on the Board of Directors for the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Nevada County Digital Media Center/NCTV.
She is a recipient of the Outstanding College Athletes of America award and still plays basketball and tennis. Cheryl also is a professional tennis who is excited to see students of all ages excel, exercise and have fun.
She earned her Bachelor’s degree in journalism, minor in political science, with honors from the University of Georgia.
Dan HappsChief Information Officer
Chief Information Officer
As Controller, Brian works with the Chief Financial Officer in oversight of General Accounting and Payroll, and has direct responsibility for Patient Accounting.
Brian is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 20 years of experience in accounting, including nine years as a controller.
Brian comes to Western Sierra from the California Employers Association, where he served as controller.
His experience includes serving as a CPA at Kuppinger and Phillips, CPAs, in Auburn, and as a Senior Medicare Auditor for Mutual of Omaha.
Brian received his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Pacific in Stockton.
Brian enjoys hiking, biking and doing other outdoor activities with his family, and playing music on his guitar.
Amanda StraubHR Manager
Jessica FraserExecutive Administrative Assistant
Executive Administrative Assistant
Jessica brings more than nine years of experience as an executive assistant to Western Sierra, which she joined in 2012. She is involved in many facets of our operations, from meeting scheduling and management to Board communications.
Jessica received her Bachelor’s degree in studio art from UC Davis. She continues her passion for the arts in her free time through drawing, painting, printmaking, jewelry making, embroidery and creating a variety of knitted and textile arts.
Jessica also enjoys rock collecting, identification of flora and fauns, and foraging. One of her goals is to learn more about leatherworking, crochet, wild animal rescue and homesteading.
Jeremy BarkerAdministrative Assistant