Ron Telles

Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer

WhidbeyHealth welcomed Ron Telles in June 2015 as its Chief Financial Officer. On April 16, 2019 he was appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer after Geryl Forbes resigned in July 2019. He is now officially CEO and CFO as of August 2019.

Telles came to WhidbeyHealth after seven years with Oregon’s largest behavioral healthcare firm. Over the past 18 years, Telles has held various positions in the healthcare field, including Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO). He has managed budgets from those in excess of $400 million to those for small, rural Critical Access Hospitals with physicians groups, dental practices and ambulance services.

After receiving his degree from San Jose State University, he entered the healthcare field at Watsonville General Hospital in California and then moved to Northern Nevada, where he became the CFO and COO for Carson-Tahoe Hospital for almost 10 years.


Linda Gipson, PhD, RN, MSN, MBA

Chief Quality and Transformation Officer

Dr. Linda Gipson joined WhidbeyHealth in December 2011, bringing with her deep experience as a healthcare executive, advanced practice nurse, educator, consultant, Army officer and public health professional. 

Gipson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in nursing from Duke University, an MBA from Cleveland State University and a PhD in Public Health with a focus in Health Policy and Management and Heath Services Research.

She is board certified in healthcare legal consulting and healthcare executive practice, and is board eligible in healthcare risk management and quality.

Gipson has received recognition for her work in improving quality and outcomes in healthcare, is a frequently invited national speaker, serves as an expert reviewer for the American Public Health Association and holds faculty appointments in the Department of Homeland Security and the University of South Florida.


Lisa Sanford, RN, MSN, NEA-BC

Chief Nursing Officer

WhidbeyHealth welcomed Lisa Sanford, RN, MSN,NEA-BC to the team in July 2017 as its new Chief Nursing Officer. Sanford comes to us with 38 years of varied nursing and leadership experience. Most recently, she was the Chief Nursing Officer at St. Luke’s Elmore in Mountain Home, Idaho, a 25-bed critical access hospital.

“The exciting part of being a CNO for me is that you can impact the lives of patients, staff and even providers for the good. I find that very rewarding. I’m all about the patient having a safe and satisfied experience with great clinical outcomes. I’m very excited to be here and was immediately impressed by the care and compassion that I notice among all the staff.”

Sanford holds a Master of Science in Nursing Leadership with a Family Nurse Practitioner certificate and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Seattle Pacific University. She is also a diploma graduate of Tacoma General Hospital School of Nursing.

Sanford received the “Making Difference Award” from Holy Rosary Healthcare of Miles City, MT in 2013, where she was a senior executive for five years. She was also honored with the Custom Learning Solutions Pinnacle Award for “Inspiring Administrator” in 2012, among a list of other notable achievements.


Colleen Clark

Chief Operations Officer

Bio coming.



Tim Waldner

Executive Director of Facilities and Plant Engineering

Bio coming.



Terrance Ellison

Chief Human Resources Officer

Bio coming.




James (Jamey) Pennington

Client Chief Information Officer

Jamey Pennington joined the WhidbeyHealth administration team in October 2015.  

Pennington has more than 20 years of experience working with information technology in healthcare environments, ranging from supporting provider technology to implementing systems for large teaching hospitals.

He has been employed by the Allscripts Corporation for five years as Client Chief Information Officer in four of their customer locations. Pennington was also vice president and chief information officer for a large county hospital system in Fort Worth, Texas, where he implemented a $150 million electronic medical records system. 

Pennington holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from the University of Arkansas.