SAO Staff Members

We Are Here To Help, No matter how stroke affects your life it is a difficult thing to work through. Our mission is fulfilled through partnerships with volunteers, donors, businesses, and the medical community. If you would like to get involved or volunteer please send us an e-mail admin@strokeawarenessoregon.org or call 541-323-5641

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Toni Metherall – Executive Director

Toni Metherall joined Stroke Awareness Oregon in February of 2022 as Executive Director. She brings prior experience as an Cardiology Clinical Nurse Specialist and Chief Administrative Officer for a Hospital- based medical Group for over 21 years. She joined National Healthcare Consulting Group and did on -site reviews of medical practices throughout the U.S. for a number of years before moving to Bend in 2011.

She worked for the local hospital and then as COO of BMC. On the side she taught in the Allied Health Programs at Central Oregon Community College teaching Pathophysiology, Medical Terminology, and Medical Documentation. In conjunction with her experience, Toni strives to bring a high standard of ethics within each organization she works with to emphasize compassion, trust, and a devotion to the mission.

“Joining SAO has shown me the dignity and support provided to stroke survivors through education, prevention and rehabilitation. It’s education. SAO’s support groups hold a very important role in the recovery for stroke patients and give individuals the hope and feeling that they’re not alone. I look forward to collaboration with businesses, board members, the community, and all willing to support our mission.”

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Rick HansenChief Financial Officer 

The lessons I learn from my struggles and failures with fitness and the outdoors carryover and help me with the professional satisfaction I get from helping people and businesses push through difficult times and tasks 

Rick helps business owners by providing financial services and useful advice. Those services include bookkeeping, accounting, sales, HR, legal, and virtual CFO expertise. In our ever-evolving business atmosphere, the path through those challenges is rarely clear, and certainly not easy. It requires creativity, persistence, and some useful knowledge and experience on your side.
He loves the outdoors…whether he is mountain biking, hiking, climbing mountains, skiing, snowshoeing, hunting, zip lining, or getting lost in the woods…the many challenges and outright beauty that the outdoors gives us is what puts me in a happy and healthy state of mind. I also enjoy staying fit and participating and developing intense workouts (often pushing myself to the extreme point of near failure). The personal growth that comes from pushing yourself to uncomfortable extremes is unmatched. It expands your boundaries as you constantly test your limits. It brings me joy to push myself in this manner, even though the suffering. It’s a journey worthy of pursuit.
The lessons I learn from my struggles and failures with fitness and the outdoors carryover and help me with the professional satisfaction I get from helping people and businesses push through difficult times and tasks. 

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Ben Ritt – Chief Development Officer (CDO)

In the Coast Guard, he was duel-rated in intelligence and operational search and rescue and was stationed in New Jersey, Texas, and Oregon. Ben has been with Stroke Awareness Oregon since June of 2021 and serves as Special Projects and Outreach Manager. 

In the Coast Guard, he was duel-rated in intelligence and operational search and rescue and was stationed in New Jersey, Texas, and Oregon. Ben has been with Stroke Awareness Oregon since June of 2021 and serves as Special Projects and Outreach Manager. 

Ben Ritt is a United States Coast Guard veteran with two degrees from the University of Oregon in Business and Sociology.  Growing up in Portland, Ben has moved around the United States pursuing his passion to serve the community.  In the Coast Guard, he was duel-rated in intelligence and operational search and rescue while being stationed in New Jersey, Texas, and Oregon. Ben has been with Stroke Awareness Oregon since June of 2021 and serves within the Special Projects department and Outreach Manager.  Ben’s spare time is spent outdoors hiking, surfing, skiing and snowboarding. He is passionate about coaching youth sports in baseball and football. “Working with Stroke Awareness Oregon has opened my eyes to an entire new world that we live in. I believe in the organization’s pursuit to make a difference in the world and open the public’s eyes to just how critical stroke is. It’s truly motivating to see how people who’ve had strokes never give up, and the consistent dedication to continually work through therapy, work-life, and family warms my heart. That along with the consistent support of what family can do, and just how strong love can be. It’s hard to put words to, but SAO has created a new passion of mine and enhanced my personal life for the better after being in touch with so many stroke survivors and their families.” 

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Dr. Steve GoinsCo-Founder, Chief Medical Advisor, and Board Member Emeritus  

Dr, Goins originally conceived of and cofounded Stroke Awareness Oregon in 2017. Currently, Dr. Goins is now working part-time at Summit Health Clinic and plans to build a new neurology program. 

Dr. Steven Goins practiced pediatric neurology and neuromuscular disease in Eugene for 30 years before he felt a call to rededicate his career to stroke care. He and his wife Catherine, moved to Bend in 2015. By 2016, he was serving as the medical director for the St. Charles stroke program and had overseen its transition from a barely existent program to the exceptional regional stroke program that it is now. He also created the unique regional stroke triage program that is one of the most advanced programs in the nation and allows rapid transport of stroke victims directly to the appropriate hospital where lifesaving interventional care can be offered. Dr, Goins originally conceived of and cofounded Stroke Awareness Oregon in 2017. Currently, Dr. Goins is now working part-time at Summit Health Clinic and plans to build a new neurology program. He sees as an opportunity to extend specially care into rural areas of Central Oregon. But most of his free time is devoted to stroke education and supporting the mission of Stroke Awareness Oregon. 

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Jim Patterson – Director of Philanthropy

Jim Patterson is a stroke survivor with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Portland State University and was most recently the Executive Vice President and Chief Communications and Experience Officer for Oregon State Credit Union in Corvallis. In that role He led Marketing, Public Relations and organizational philanthropy and legislative advocacy while making sure the credit Union’s 130,000 members enjoyed great experiences when engaging with the Credit Union. Prior to his work in the financial services industry. Jim served as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for fundraising at Oregon State University. Jim played a key role in raising 42 million dollars for the Valley Football Center renovation and expansion. He served as City Manager in Corvallis and Sherwood Oregon Jim is a powerful force in the workplace relying on servant leadership and his positive attitude and his love for people to encourage others to work hard and succeed to overcome challenges. He is inspired daily by his faith, family and friends top of the list is wife Valorie and three grown children. and his 3 grandchildren. In his free time Jim plays golf and continues his rehabilitation and recovery from stroke He has given himself a doctorate in living life after stroke from the. School of real life. His life’s purpose now he believes is to help others find ways to live a life of high quality and hope for the future while recovering from stroke.