Chief Executive Officer
Julie Petersen came to KVH in June of 2016 as the Interim CEO. She happily accepted the permanent position in April of the following year.
Julie grew up in north Seattle and made her way to Ellensburg the first time to attend Central Washington University. Julie graduated with a degree in accounting in 1983 and shortly thereafter began her thirty year career in not for profit healthcare. Julie served as the Controller at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in the Tri Cities Washington for fifteen years. During her time at Kadlec Julie earned her CPA, started a family and built a home on twelve acres thirty miles up the Yakima Valley in Prosser, Washington.
In 2001 Ms. Petersen accepted the Chief Financial Officer position closer to home at Prosser Memorial Hospital. In 2009 she transitioned from CFO to Chief Executive Officer.
Julie will be the first to tell you that living and working in a rural town sparked her passion for community healthcare. Advocating for sustainable access to high quality healthcare in rural communities is a passion for Ms. Petersen. While living in Prosser Julie served on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and as Chair of the Prosser Economic Development Association. She also served on numerous committees, as a board member and Chair of both the Washington State Hospital Association and the Association Of Washington Public Hospital Districts. Julie has represented community and rural healthcare on state committees and boards as well as at the national level for the American Hospital Association.
Long before she accepted the position at KVH, Julie was familiar with our hospital’s reputation as a rural healthcare leader, a champion for quality and visionary leadership. “The energy at KVH is amazing,” says Petersen. “From my first day on the job I knew that I was surrounded by people willing to challenge me and one another to protect and grow the expectation for excellence.” Julie loves living in the heart of Ellensburg and, rain or shine, enjoys being able to walk to work and around town. “It really is a privilege,” says Petersen, “to go to work each day knowing that you are serving your friends, neighbors and family.”
Julie can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chief Financial Officer
Jason Adler, MBA
Jason came to KVH in July of 2014 as a Senior Financial Analyst. Since then, he has held multiple roles, including Director of Contracts and Reimbursement and, most recently, Senior Director of Financial Operations. Jason accepted the position of Chief Financial Officer in September of 2023.
Jason grew up in nearby Selah and attended college at Central Washington University. Throughout college, he worked in concrete finishing, plumbing, and masonry trades. Jason graduated from CWU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Actuarial Science. After graduation, Jason moved to the Seattle area and worked as an Actuary at Premera Blue Cross.
Jason met his now wife Vanessa while on the west side. With a passion for the outdoors, hunting, and fishing, the two returned to Ellensburg, where they could raise a family and embed themselves in a smaller community.
Chief Ancillary Officer
Rhonda Holden, MSN, RN
Rhonda Holden, MSN, RN, joined Kittitas Valley Healthcare in December 2009 and serves as Chief Ancillary Officer. In this role, Rhonda is responsible for many of the outpatient services of the hospital, including laboratory, diagnostic imaging, cardiopulmonary services, pharmacy, home health, hospice, and therapy services.
Rhonda received her Registered Nurse diploma from Burge School of Nursing and her Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing from Drury University, both in Springfield, Missouri. She completed her Master of Science degree in nursing at Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP), a certification obtained from the American Organization of Nurse Executives.
Rhonda represents the residents of Kittitas County and rural Critical Access Hospitals on the Washington State Emergency Cardiac and Stroke Technical Advisory Committee and the Washington State Stroke Council. Rhonda is also an active member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, Northwest Association of Nurse Executives and the American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Hospice Friends.
Rhonda lives in Roslyn and enjoys representing Upper Kittitas County on strategic initiatives. Her passion is ensuring that Kittitas County has safe, reliable, and necessary healthcare services.
Chief Nursing Officer
Dede Utley, MSN, RN, CEN
Dede began her healthcare career in 1995 as a Licensed Practical Nurse and soon obtained her Associate Degree in Nursing. She continued her education and obtained her Master of Science in Nursing with a focus on leadership and management. She joined the KVH family in 2015 as the Nursing Director of Emergency Services. In April 2023, Dede became the Chief Nursing Officer for Kittitas Valley Healthcare.
With decades of experience, Dede is responsible for the administrative management of all Patient Care Service departments of the hospital. These departments include the emergency department, surgical services, medical-surgical unit, intensive care unit, family birthing place, food and nutrition, staff development, and utilization review/social services.
Dede comes from a military family and considers Idaho as where she grew up. After living in many states she was happy to find Kittitas County and return to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her professional affiliations include the Northwest Organization of Nurse Leaders, the Washington State Public Health Association, and the Emergency Nurses Association. Dede is active in our community as a member of the Kittitas County Board of Health and the Kittitas County Court Appointed Special Advocates Board.
Dede spends her free time enjoying outdoor activities, exploring the area, reading, and working on her house. In addition, her significant other keeps her busy with his farming adventures and agriculture lifestyle.
Chief Medical Officer
Kevin Martin, MD
Dr. Kevin Martin joined the KVH team in January 2016 as a family medicine physician at KVH Family Medicine – Ellensburg and medical director for our community-based care services, including our geriatric nurse practitioners, as well as KVH Home Health and KVH Hospice. Throughout his career, Dr. Martin has focused on family medicine and long-term care options. Immediately before moving to Ellensburg, Dr. Martin acted as the Washington Regional Team Coordinator for Life Care Physician Services. He has previously acted as the medical director for Enumclaw Health and Rehabilitation Center and North Auburn Health and Rehabilitation Center. He has practiced in family medicine including hospital and maternity care in Washington since 1998. In April of 2018, Dr. Martin became the third Chief Medical Officer in the history of Kittitas Valley Healthcare.
Dr. Martin grew up in California and graduated from the University of California Davis with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He lived in San Luis Obispo for several years before moving to Cleveland, Ohio, to attend medical school at Case Western Reserve University. He stayed in Ohio for his residency in what is now the CWRU/University Hospitals Family Medicine Residency.
Dr. Martin has 2 children and 3 stepchildren, 2 of whom have graduated from Central Washington University. “It says something about the welcoming nature of Ellensburg that I had more friends before I moved here than I did after living in one spot for 15 years in Puget Sound.”
Chief Information Officer
Jeff Yamada joined KVH as the Chief Information Officer in November 2018. He oversees all technology for the organization and is responsible for improving technical processes. His focus is on a high quality end user experience, which ultimately translates to improved patient care.
Jeff grew up on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, known as the “Garden Island”. He earned a BS degree in Chemistry and Biology from the College of Idaho. After graduating, he attended the Central Washington University School for Medical Technology and interned at both hospitals in Yakima. Jeff worked as a Medical Technologist at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital for over 20 years before becoming the Director of IT. He was subsequently promoted to Vice President and Chief Information Officer. During his 36+ year career he guided the organization through many significant technical implementations that let to integrated systems, improved patient care, and the streamlining of the revenue cycle process.
Jeff enjoys the smaller community vibe, just like the islands where he grew up. When he is not working you can find him spending time with his wife Leslie and grandkids, caring for his many pets, golfing or out running. Jeff recently completed his 100th marathon and loves to help others interested in running, fitness and nutrition.
Chief Quality Officer
Mandee Olsen, RN, BSN, CPHQ
Mandee Olsen, RN, BSN, CPHQ, joined KVH in 2008 as a charge nurse on the Medical Surgical Unit. She stepped into her current role as the Director of Quality in 2012. Mandee is responsible for the areas of quality, risk management, infection control, employee health, medical staff services, and process improvement at KVH. She is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) and an Institute for Healthcare Improvement Patient Safety Executive Officer. Mandee currently represents KVH on the Washington State Hospital Association’s Rural Quality Patient Safety Committee and with the Greater Columbia Accountable Community of Health.
Mandee was raised in the lower Yakima Valley and moved to Kittitas County in 2008. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Washington. Although it was difficult for Mandee to leave bedside nursing, she enjoys her work in quality and process improvement to “cure” systems that have the ability to affect the health and safety of a far greater number of patients than her previous one-on-one interactions.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Manda Scott, SPHR
Manda Scott, SPHR, joined KVH in December 2019 as the Chief Human Resources Officer. With a background in healthcare and nonprofit, Manda’s focus at KVH includes communication, culture, and talent development. She oversees all HR functions for KVH staff, including recruiting and employment, benefits, wellness, labor negotiations, and staff development.
During her free time, Manda loves traveling, golfing, snowshoeing, and camping. Committed to giving back to her community, she has served on the Boards of the Junior League of Yakima, Dispute Resolution Center for Yakima and Kittitas Counties, and Washington State Healthcare Human Resources Association.
Chief Public Relations Officer
Michele Wurl joined the Kittitas Valley Healthcare team 2014 and has been the Chief Public Relations Officer since December 2017. In this role she oversees a team responsible for public communications, community outreach and media relations.
Michele grew up in central Illinois and attended the University of Kansas. She moved to Washington in 1995 to fulfill her dream of living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Michele began her career at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle where she spent eleven years as a Project Manager in the Human Immunogenetics Program. In 2006, Michele and her husband decided it was time to return to the quieter life they were accustomed to and moved to central Washington, where her husband was born and raised.
Away from work, Michele and her family enjoy taking in all the sites around our magnificent state. “After being blessed to be able to see 46 of our 50 states and travelling to different areas of the world, I still pinch myself at how fortunate I am to live where I do and experience all this area has to offer,” states Michele.
Chief of Facilities
Ron Urlacher joined KVH in April of 2018 as Chief of Facilities. Ron is responsible for all repair and maintenance of the structure, finishes, and associated physical systems at all houses, clinics, offices, and the hospital. Additionally, Ron is the project manager for all remodels, expansions, new construction, and physical system upgrades. Environmental Services report to Ron. Ron’s focus is on high reliability and efficient operations.
Ron grew up in Yakima, Washington. He graduated from JM Perry and took up a career in refrigeration and HVAC. His career led him to work for Ther-Mac and an apprenticeship at Picatti Bros. Next, he owned and operated Control-Aire Inc, which he sold to T&M Heating. Finally, he left the contracting industry and became the supervisor in the engineering department at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. After nine years, Ron was promoted to Director of Facilities. After becoming director, Ron earned his certification as a Healthcare Facility Manager.
Outside work, Ron enjoys biking, hiking, nature photography, building/creating, gardening, and spending time with kids and grandkids.
Chief of Clinic Operations
Stacy started her healthcare career as a Medical Technologist and quickly discovered her passion for taking on more leadership roles. She was with Banner Health for 10 years before heading to the PNW to join Island Hospital to lead their Laboratory, Sleep Center, and Aesthetic Surgery Center. She was then recruited to join The Joint Commission where she worked up to become the Executive Director for the Laboratory Accreditation Program. Stacy then joined KVH in November of 2016 as the Director of our Lab and by April of 2017 she added the Imaging Department.