Our Team

A Resident-Centered Approach

Serving residents for over 50 years, Columbia Basin Care is the only community-owned, not-for-profit, long-term care facility in the region. We operate with highly skilled and dedicated staff, a volunteer Board of Directors, and a management company providing oversight and support. While Wasco County owns the building and grounds, Columbia Basin is an independent company with local control and decision-making. With a resident-centered approach, we emphasize personal attention and continuity of care, and serve a wide range of individuals, from intensive, long-term medical needs to those with short-term rehabilitation care. We feature an on-site geriatric nurse practitioner, and a team of physical, occupational and speech therapists.

Dr. Stephen McLennon, MD

Dr. Stephen McLennon, MD

Medical Director

For over 25 years, Dr. Stephen McLennon has worked as a physician in The Dalles, with a focus on family medicine, occupational medicine and urgent care.

In addition to his work at Columbia Basin Care, he serves as Medical Director for the Deschutes Rim Clinic in Maupin, Hearts of Hospice in Hood River, and is attending physician at Oregon Veterans’ Home.

McLennon is a drummer with two local bands, and has facilitated hundreds of drum circles for fun and stress reduction. He and his wife, Heidi, enjoy hiking, gardening and cooking.

Aubree Olmstead

Aubree Olmstead

Executive Director

Aubree blends heart and mind to successfully lead a facility of over 60 residents and more than 80 employees.

An Oregon native, she is a graduate of Oregon State University where she earned a degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Management and Policy, and a minor in Business. “I have a passion for geriatrics,” she says. “Long-term care is a critical part of the health system. How we treat our elderly is a direct reflection of who we are, and what we value.”

At Columbia Basin Care, she says, “I get to spend one-on-one time in building relationships with residents, their families, and staff. We get to know each other, and create meaningful connections and experiences.”

Born and raised in Hood River, Aubree lives in The Dalles. “My roots are here,” she says. “I wanted to return home to make a difference in the community I cherish.”

When not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors, fishing, hiking, riding horses, and playing with her two pups, Theo and Brody.

Joe Fischer

Food Service Director

Joe Fischer was named Food Service Director in 2017, after serving nearly three years as a cook at Columbia Basin Care.

Joe has worked throughout the Columbia Gorge region, including 15 years as a CNA/CMA, and eight years with Heart of Hospice. In addition, he is a certified administrator for Assisted Living Facilities/Resident Care facilities.

With his background, Joe is naturally drawn to improving the lives of others. “I’ll always be an advocate for the Resident,” he says, “and will work to find the nutrition and diet best suited to each person.”

Janet Sullivan

Janet Sullivan

Medical Records Director

Dedicated and loyal, Janet has worked at Columbia Basin Care for nearly 30 years, and has served in many capacities, including nurse aide, human resources, and activities director.

She enjoys camping, fishing, hunting and likes to dabble in photography. Janet is the proud mother of two daughters and is grandmother to three youngsters.
Delena Graves

Delena Graves

Social Services Director, LPN

Delena joined Columbia Basin in 2011 as a Charge Nurse and was named Social Services Director in 2012.

She is a Licensed Practical Nurse and has worked in long-term care for 14 years. She graduated from Pioneer Pacific Community College in 2008 with an associates degree in Nursing. “My work here is rewarding,” she says. “I enjoy the daily interaction with the residents.”
Drew Myron

Drew Myron

Marketing Director

For over a decade, Drew has headed marketing communications for organizations focused on hunger, homelessness, literacy, and health.

Born in Portland, she is a former newspaper reporter and editor who served as editor of newspapers in both Goldendale and The Dalles, and covered news, arts, entertainment and travel for America Online, Northwest Best Places, and other publications.

Julie Rockowski

Resident Care Manager, RN

A graduate of Columbia Gorge Community College, Julie has worked in long-term care for nearly a decade.

She joined Columbia Basin Care in 2017, and was previously employed at Hood River Care Center and Oregon Veterans’ Home.
As a “military child” her family moved frequently, until settling in the Columbia Gorge. She attended Lyle High School and now lives in The Dalles with her husband, Matt (who is also a nurse). When not working, Julie enjoys painting, and spending time with her pets: five dogs and two cats.

Priscilla Heimsoth


Priscilla has over 25 years of nursing experience. She worked several years as a traveling nurse and enjoyed spending time among new faces and places.

After crisscrossing the country — living in Florida, California, Missouri and more — she chose to make her home in The Dalles.Prior to joining Columbia Basin Care she worked 10 years as a charge nurse at Oregon Veterans’ Home. Now, as RCM Assistant she integrates her hands-on nursing knowledge with medical management skills. “This role provides a broader view,” she says, “allowing me to see the correlation between jobs and how we can all work together to provide the best care.”Priscilla has two teenage sons and a beloved dog, Chia. While she’s happy to relax at home watching movies and reading true-crime novels, she’s got an eye on her next travel adventure: Italy!

Valerie Hiveley-Blatz

Valerie Hiveley-Blatz

Assistant Medical Director
Geriatric Nurse Practitioner

Columbia Basin is the only nursing home in the region with an on-site Geriatric Nurse Practitioner.

Val oversees resident care and operates her own private practice, providing comprehensive care, comfort and attention — all within Columbia Basin. Val graduated University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Nursing, and holds master’s degrees in Geriatric Nursing and Psychiatric Nursing. In addition, she specializes in wound care. She’s lived in The Dalles for nearly 30 years, and enjoys biking, swimming and gardening.
Leana Tennison

Leana Tennison

Director of Nursing, RN

A long-time resident of The Dalles, Leana provides leadership to our team of caregivers and oversees the clinical needs of over 60 residents.

She earned a nursing degree from Columbia Gorge Community College and has a unique depth of health care experience, working her way from certified nursing assistant to medical records, to staffing coordinator, to resident care manager, to assistant director of nursing, to director of nursing.

Leana is married to Jasen Tennison, who also works at Columbia Basin Care. You can spot the couple cruising around town in their bright yellow 1963 Austin Healey Roadster.

Gregg Lee

Gregg Lee

Environmental Services Director

Gregg joined Columbia Basin Care in 2007, overseeing facility operations and maintenance.

Gregg’s always been a hard worker. At 12 years old he was pumping gas and working in the family swimming pool and spa business. A man of many skills, he’s worked as a carpenter, heavy equipment operator, office equipment salesman, and insurance agent. He served as a Wasco County Search & Rescue volunteer for 10 years and a Wasco County Reserve Deputy for five years.

In addition, Gregg is an avid photographer (and took these great staff photos!) and enjoys hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, clamming and exploring backroads.

Kim Snyder

Kim Snyder

Business Office Manager

Kim has kept books balanced and business running smoothly for over 30 years.

With a heart for the elderly, she has worked in the long-term care industry for over a decade. She enjoys gardening, reading, and spending time with her family and grandchildren.
Alesia O'Brien

Alesia O’Brien

Activity Director

Alesia was born and raised in The Dalles, and has worked as Activity Director since 2013.

Creating fun and engaging activities and events comes naturally to Alesia. “It’s a joy to come to work everyday,” she says. She and her husband, Mike, raised three sons. The couple enjoy camping, snowmobiling and spending time at their family ranch in Heppner and Granite, Oregon.
Erin Bartz

Erin Bartz

Infection Control, LPN

Erin grew up in Klickitat, and has lived throughout central and eastern Washington and Oregon.

Prior to nursing, she worked as a corrections officer, and a licensed day care provider. A graduate of Columbia Gorge Community College, she’s known as focused, friendly and firm. Erin has empathy for the elderly. “It’s an honor to be a part of their lives,” she says. “You can learn so much from their experiences.”

Erin and her husband live in The Dalles. Her two adult daughters are pursuing careers in law enforcement.

Mario Cardenas

Resident Care Manager, RN

Mario has worked as Charge Nurse since 2015 and a Resident Care Manager since 2017. He is a graduate of Columbia Gorge Community College and is advancing his nursing education with coursework at Linfield College in Portland.

“I enjoy getting to know the people I take care of,” he says. “You form bonds and friendships, and that makes my work meaningful.” Born in Los Angeles, California, he was raised in The Dalles. In his free time, Mario enjoys hiking, painting, astronomy, and spending time with his daughter.

Alea Paulus

Resident Care Manager, BSN

Alea joined Columbia Basin Care in 2017, and previously spent over a decade as a psychiatric nurse with an emphasis on geriatrics, working in acute care settings.

She grew up in Virginia and holds a nursing degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. The daughter of a military father, Alea was born in Germany and has lived “everywhere.” In 2017, she moved to The Dalles to be near family.

Nursing runs in her family. “My mother was a nurse, my sister was a nurse,” Alea says. “I believe in care, compassion, and hugs.”

Alea is mother to a teenage daughter and enjoys spending time outdoors, exploring her new community.