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 in April 2016 to direct the health center’s Pain and Addiction Medicine Clinic, which focuses on providing safe prescribing practices, motivating individuals for change, relieving suffering and improving health.
She also will oversee 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 University of California, Davis School of Medicine graduate who is theMedical Director for Community Recovery Resources. Dr. Lasich has been in private practice focusing on pain management in Grass Valley since 2001.
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.
Tom MorrisseyChief Financial Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Tom oversees financial management of the Western Sierra Medical Clinic’s sites. He previously served for 19 years as CFO at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and more recently three and a half years as CFO at Medical Benefits Administration. Tom has more than 30 years of health care financial management experience and is very active in Nevada County nonprofits, ranging from Gold Country Kiwanis to Sierra Nevada Community Health Plan to Hospitality House.
Tom has three children. The oldest, Jonathan and Kristen, are employed in Sacramento and Danielle is away at college in Long Beach.
Tom received his MBA in Health Services Management from Golden State University in Sacramento and BBA in Accounting and Finance from the University of Notre Dame. He enjoys the fabulous weather and outdoor activity options in Western Nevada County. You can see him running on the weekends, and he ran his first marathon in 2010.
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
Phil NowakCo-Chief Financial Officer
Co-Chief Financial Officer
Phil works with the Chief Financial Officer in oversight of General Accounting and Payroll, and has direct responsibility for Patient Accounting.
Phil brings more than 20 years of health care financial 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.
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 BarkerMedical Administrative Assistant
Medical Administrative Assistant
Brenda BlackDownieville Office Manager
Downieville Office Manager
Amanda StraubHR Generalist