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McKenzie Wellness gets an OK

Department of Justice asks for new policy

BLUE RIVER: The McKenzie Valley Wellness (MVW) non-profit got some good news last week from the Oregon Dept. of Justice. In their determination, the DOJ said they’d received “sufficient information and otherwise addressed our questions outlined in the Order. We do not intend to take any further action at this time.”

According to MVW president Val Rapp, “the DOJ requested only that McKenzie Valley Wellness send them confirmation when MVW members vote on a proposed new board composition policy, drafted by MVW’s attorneys in response to the DOJ’s concerns.”

In order to avoid conflicts of interest, the policy would require that directors elected (or appointed) to the MVW board be independent of the for-profit Orchid Health, which provides medical care to the local area.

The policy would specify board members can’t be Orchid employees, hold a non-employee director position with Orchid, aren’t current consultants or independent contractors of Orchid, nor are related to people who are.

In addition, the proposed policy won’t apply to two current directors - Steve Severin and Jane Wilson - including their possible re-election in future years.

Severin was elected to the board as a write-in candidate. The night of the MVW annual meeting, it appeared that a run-off election would be needed. However, a validation of a provisional ballot and a vote recount a week after the August 30th meeting confirmed he’d been elected.

Wilson, Val Rapp, and Kelly Shaw were also voted back into their board seats. Two other members, Galen Phipps and Robin Roberts weren’t up for election this year. However, Shaw resigned shortly after winning re-election.

Also at the August meeting, members approved creating a seventh board seat. Currently, MVW has five filled board positions and two vacant seats.

Rapp says the organization will hold a special membership meeting this winter, at a date to be determined, to vote on a policy that will define the composition of the board. Also up for a vote, she said, will be an election to fill those two empty board seats.


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