Four Business and Community Leaders Elected to the Board of Trustees of Mid-Columbia Medical Center

Janet Hamada, Bill Ketchum, Michele Spatz and Robb Van Cleave Elected for Their Passion, Unique Skills and Deep Personal Ties to the Gorge

(THE DALLES, Ore. – February 3, 2020) — Four local business and community leaders have been elected to the board of trustees of Mid-Columbia Medical Center. Janet Hamada, Bill Ketchum, Michele Spatz and Robb Van Cleave joined the governing board of the nationally recognized hospital, which provides a wide array of healthcare services to residents of The Dalles and its surrounding communities throughout the Columbia River Gorge.

“Each of our new board members have a deep tie to the local community and a personal commitment to enriching the health and well-being of everyone who lives here,” said hospital President and CEO Dennis Knox. “We know that their passion and skills will make a wonderful addition to our board as the hospital continues to evolve and set the standard for what 21st century healthcare in the Gorge should look like.”

Hamada was born and raised in Chicago, but spent her childhood summers visiting her grandparents in the Gorge. She has a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Wesleyan University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington. Since 2007 Hamada has been the executive director of The Next Door Inc., the largest human services organization in the Gorge, which serves thousands of people annually in a seven-county region.

Ketchum was raised in The Dalles, graduating from Wahtonka High School and Oregon State University. He currently serves as operations manager for Crestline Construction, a local heavy civil construction company. Ketchum’s involvement in both construction and managing large complex projects and business brings significant knowledge to his board position.

Spatz is community engagement coordinator with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) “All of Us” initiative. Prior to joining NNLM, Spatz led an interdisciplinary approach to health literacy at Pacific University; consulted for Planetree, the international healthcare organization advocating patient-centered care of which MCMC is a member; and was founding director of MCMC’s Planetree Health Resource Center, a consumer health library, which she led for almost 20 years. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Van Cleave has served in various roles in the local community including mayor, city councilor, port commissioner and president of The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce. A graduate from Oregon State University, Van Cleave has held a wide variety of executive positions with Wasco County, Columbia Gorge Community College, Oregon’s Local Government Personnel Institute and the Association of Oregon Counties. He also served as a gubernatorial appointment to the SAIF Corporation board of directors, Wounded Warrior Project national board of directors and the Society for Human Resource Management international board of directors.

Founded in 1901 and located in The Dalles, Mid-Columbia Medical Center is a nationally recognized hospital dedicated to serving residents of The Dalles and its surrounding communities. In 1992 MCMC became the first hospital in the nation to integrate the Planetree philosophy of patient care, which emphasizes the need to address a person’s intellectual, environmental, emotional and spiritual concerns in addition to their physical needs. As a Planetree hospital, MCMC works to provide a caring, nurturing and educational environment; puts great efforts into humanizing and demystifying the medical experience; and strives to empower people to become active partners in their own healthcare. For more information visit