Who Is TAO?

The Telehealth Alliance of Oregon (TAO) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to advancing telehealth in Oregon.  TAO welcomes anyone interested to join in supporting its mission and goals.


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Our Mission

To advance telehealth knowledge, practice and policy in Oregon

Our Vision

Access to affordable quality healthcare for all Oregonians

TAO's History

TAO began in 2001 as a formal committee of the Oregon Telecommunications Coordinating Council. The Council was created by the legislature and served as advisors to the Governor and the legislature regarding telecommunications in Oregon. At the time there was intense interest in telemedicine and healthcare workforce education in the state. The committee soon realized that there were enormous challenges to be dealt with if telehealth was to grow beyond the handful of grant-funded programs scattered throughout the state. The committee believed that they would be better able to accomplish the tasks before them if they formed a separate organization. TAO was incorporated in 2005 and was recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS in 2007. TAO was instrumental in the passage of:
  • Oregon SB 622 in 1999 that created six large interconnected fiber rings throughout the state;
  • Oregon SB 24 in 2009 that required private payers to reimburse for telemedicine; and
  • Oregon SB 144 in 2015 that required service parity for private providers and eliminated the originating site requirement.

In 2009 TAO submitted a successful application to the FCC and received $221 million for the development of the Oregon Health Network.

TAO has held an annual conference from 2005 to 2019. In 2020 TAO partnered with Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center for a conference in Portland, but due to COVID-19 ended up offering the conference virtually. In 2021 TAO will again partner with the NRTRC to present a virtual conference. TAO continues to develop and expand its partnership with NRTRC.

TAO also partners with the Oregon Office of Rural Health to help advance telehealth in rural areas.

TAO continues to provide telehealth information to anyone that requests it both by providing information directly and by sharing resources that can provide the needed information.

TAO is governed by a volunteer board and currently has no paid staff.

TAO’s Goals

Improve access to high quality health care and healthcare workforce education for all.
Advocate for ubiquitous access to broadband telecommunication for high quality health care and healthcare workforce education
Promote collaborations that advance the use of telehealth to deliver affordable high quality health care;
Disseminate information about telehealth best practices, policies, training, and funding opportunities
Technical Assistance
Provide access to technical assistance regarding telehealth and virtual care

Board of Directors & Staff

TAO Board of Directors is made up of volunteers elected by the membership at the Annual Meeting and Summit. The Board must consist of no fewer than five (5) and no more than fifteen (15) members. To be a Board member a candidate or his organization must be member of TAO for a least a year. Board members serve 3 year terms, and can run for re-election at the end of their terms. TAO’s Board is served by two volunteer staff members –Catherine Britain, Executive Director, and Jo Bell, Finance Officer.

Jeff Caulley

Jeff Caulley, TAO Chairperson

Jeff Caulley is the Director of Strategy and Planning for Asante Health System located in Medford, Oregon. He has worked for Asante for the past 21 years in various operational roles with the last 12 years in his current division. He sees telemedicine as the next frontier of healthcare in rural areas of Oregon. Jeff is a native Oregonian and earned his bachelors and master’s degree from Southern Oregon University.
Mark Lovgren

Mark Lovgren, TAO Vice-Chairperson

Mark Lovgren is the Interim VP for Digital Health at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and has worked in the telehealth space since 2011. He is tasked with developing telehealth strategies, new service offerings, as well as understanding telemedicine billing, regulatory, and compliance issues. The OHSU digital health programs encompass a full spectrum of services from direct to patient, outreach telemedicine clinics, as well as community hospital coverage for stroke, neonatal, pediatrics and ICU. Mark leads the OHSU Digital Health team striving to implement new programs leading to improved clinical outcomes, improved patient and provider experience, and seamless integration into clinical operations. He has over 30 years of healthcare management experience including 13 years working as a hospital administrator in New York City.
Robin Lawson

Robin Lawson, TAO Secretary/Treasurer

Robin Lawson is the owner and President of Passport To Languages, Inc. PTL provides on-site interpretation, video interpretation, telephone interpretation, and written translations and transcriptions in over 200 languages and dialects.She has been a board member of TAO for many years and enjoys helping to bring our world closer together.

Frank Krause

Frank Krause

Frank Krause currently serves as the Regional Director of the Providence Oregon Stroke Network consisting of 22 Oregon Hospitals throughout the state. Previous experience includes Imaging Director for a large cardiology group with 14 imaging sites across northwest Oregon for 17 years before joining Providence in 2010. Frank served in the United States Navy earning the equivalent of a BS in Avionics during his service and holds a BS in Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound from Seattle University. Previous board experience includes serving as the Chair of the Oregon Board of Medical Imaging for over 2 terms working as an advocate for patients by expecting only the highest standards for professional ethics and training from all imaging and imaging related providers. During his time Mr. Krause co-authored the bill for imaging licensure.

Rose Locklear

Thanh Nguyen

Thanh Nguyen is a family nurse practitioner.She has over 25 years of experience in primary care, immediate care, and virtual care.Thanh has dedicated the last 10 years of her career to develop the Providence ExpressCare virtual program to open access to care for all consumers.She is the champion for telemedicine.Currently, she serves as the chief clinical officer for ExpressCare and ExpressCare virtual service with Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH).

Bob Power

Bob Power retired this year from Samaritan Health Services asChief Information Officer after 11years with over 41 years in Healthcare Information Technology. At SHS, in a combined effort with the CMIO, and other Samaritan Executive Leadership, Bob helped guide an aggressive effort to replace aging IT clinical and business infrastructure to ensure that Samaritan remains a competitive force in healthcare delivery, providing quality clinical healthcare and business operations for an optimal patient experience. During theinitial Covid-19 outbreak, Bob and his team began an aggressive telemedicine effort to ensure thatpatients continued to receive quality healthcare in a virtual setting. After joining SHS, Bob also joined the Board of the Oregon Health Network (OHN), a state-wide initiative to bring affordable healthcare-based broadband connectivity to rural Oregon.He also served on the state-sponsored Provider Directory Committee.Bob is a member of the Healthcare Information Management Society (HIMSS), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), and the Tele-health Alliance of Oregon (TAO).
Chris Tamarin

Chris Tamarin

Christopher Tamarin serves as a senior advisor to TAO. He is the retired Telecommunications Strategist for the Oregon Business Development Department, “Business Oregon,”staffing the Oregon Broadband Office and assisting communities with broadband telecommunications infrastructure, applications and public policy. He serves as the Chairperson for the annual Oregon Connections Telecommunications Conference. He has seventeenyears of experience in marketing voice and data telecommunications services and equipment used in small and large communities by multi-location companies, electric utilities, healthcare providers, schools, and government agencies. He has five years teaching experience at Eastern Oregon University and nineteen years in state government. He has a BS in Business Administration from Elizabethtown College (Pennsylvania), an MBA from the University of Nevada-Reno, and an MS in Telecommunications from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Lori Wakashige

Lori Wakashige

Lori Wakashige, MPA:HA, LCSW is the Program Director for Telehealth and Regional Outreach at Legacy Health, a six hospital system, based in Portland, Oregon. Lori has worked for Legacy for the past 16 years, developing inpatient and outpatient telehealth programs and services as well as specialty outreach and education services for surrounding communities.Lori’s previous experience as a licensed clinical social worker, working with the mental health and geriatric populations, provided insight into barriers related to accessing specialty services and care coordination.In her current role, Lori is focused on integrating telehealth into clinical practice to improve access to specialty care and support efficient service delivery.
Jenni Word

Jenni Word

Jenni Word, RN, began her nursing career in Neonatal Intensive Care, transitioned to Rural Nursing at Wallowa Memorial Hospital in Enterprise, OR in 1999.She has been serving as the Chief Nursing Officer/Associate Administrator since 2012.Jenni is very passionate about providing premiere Health Care to the community of Wallowa County.She loves living in Rural Eastern Oregon despite the challenges and limited resources available.Outside of work and many volunteer activities Jenni enjoys archery hunting, hiking, paddle boarding and spending time with family.

Catherine Britain, Executive Director

Catherine owns CSBritain Consulting. She provides planning and implementation support to organizations and communities who want to build or expand telehealth programs. Additionally she offers telehealth policy support and development to providers and associations. Catherine serves on the board for the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center, an organization that provides technical assistance and support to new and existing telehealth programs in seven states. Previously she was the program director for RODEO Net, a telemental health program based in La Grande, Oregon, one of the first in the nation. Catherine has been active in the Association of Telehealth Service Providers, the American Telemedicine Association, the Board of the National Association for Rural Mental Health, and the Oregon Telecommunications Coordinating Council. She is a co-founder and a past president of the TAO.

Jo Bell, Finance Director

Jo Bell is the owner of mJB Consulting, LLC. She currently contracts for Government Relations Services for Capitol Dental Care, a Dental Care Organization which provides oral health services to Oregon Health Plan members. Jo has over 30 years of experience in Oregon providing government relations services to several other health care organizations. Jo is s founding member of TAO and has previously served on the Board of Directors and the positions of Secretary and Treasurer.
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