Staff & Board Members

STAFF

Mary Steele

Clinic Manager
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Mary has more than 20 years experience in nonprofit and volunteer management.  Prior to coming to the Free Clinic of Pierce and St. Croix Counties in early 2007, Mary worked for the American Red Cross in St. Paul, where she spent nine years as volunteer resources director and seven years as youth programs manager.  When the St. Paul and Minneapolis chapters merged, Mary’s job moved to Minneapolis – and Mary decided she was done commuting.  Mary is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and lives in River Falls with her husband and their two daughters.  She has served on several boards, including Jacob’s Ladder, and has volunteered in numerous capacities with the schools and her church.

Jena Most

Nursing Supervisor
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Jena is a graduate of the College of St. Catherine and has worked as an RN for nearly 20 years. She came to the Free Clinic after nine years with the Pierce County Public Health Department, primarily in reproductive health. Jena was born and raised in River Falls and lives here with her husband, Josh Cudd, and their four children – Cole, Sawyer and twins Hannah and Maggie. In her free time, Jena enjoys gardening, reading, kayaking and spending time at her family’s cabin on Lake Wapogasset.

Lauren Johnson

Community Outreach Coordinator
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Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin River-Falls. In some capacity she has been engaged in event planning and community outreach for over 5 years. She uses her gifts of empathy, charisma and optimism to cultivate partnerships and community engagement to benefit underserved and underrepresented populations. She enjoys working in the non-profit sector where she feels she is able to create the most impact on others. In her free-time Lauren and her husband Kevin enjoy mountain biking, hiking and spending time with their beloved dogs Daisy and Peach.

Clinic Directors

Robert Johnson, MD

Medical Director (volunteer)
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Dr. Johnson graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School and has been board certified for over 30 years. He completed his residency at Bethesda Lutheran Hospital and is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and Western Wisconsin Medical Association. He practiced at the Vibrant Health River Falls Medical Clinic (previously the River Falls Medical Clinic) in addition to the countless volunteer hours donated to the Free Clinic of Pierce & St. Croix Counties as the Medical Director and a practitioner providing care to patients of the Free Clinic on a regular weekly basis.

Leah Gavin, RPh

Pharmaceutical Director (volunteer)
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Leah Gavin is the owner of Freeman Drug, where she grew up working with her dad. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and has been a pharmacist for more than 40 years.  Leah and her husband, Ron, have two sons, Ben and Tim. Three grandchildren Davis, Eloise and Sylvia. Busy with Covid shots. Working 3/4 time, on my way slowly to retirement.

Board Members

Sharlene Lopez

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Sharlene (Shar) is the behavioral health Administrator at St. Croix County Health and Human Services. She has a Master of Science in Education and is a licensed Professional Counselor. Her professional background includes county level social work, community mental health, school based mental health, higher edducation, and correctional mental health programming. Shar has a blended family with six children and two grandchildren and currently lives in Amery. Her passion is travel and lives by the family motto, “The Journey is the Destination”.  

Leo Beskar

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Leo is an attorney and partner at Rodli, Beskar, Neuhaus, Murray & Pletcher.  He has lived in the River Falls area all of his life, graduating from UWRF in 1973 and Hamline University School of Law in 1978. He and his wife Donna enjoy spending time at the cabin and being with their 3 adult children and their families, which now include 4 grandchildren.

Mary Conroy-Johnson (Board Chair)

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Mary and her husband Dr. Bob Johnson are the backbone of the Free Clinic. It was their passion for helping others, a commitment to the healthcare profession, and a deep desire to strengthening our community that prompted them to step forward as leaders in starting the Free Clinic. Mary’s extensive nursing background, patient advocacy skills and community connections were instrumental in making a dream of providing access to health care for uninsured, low income individuals a reality. She continues to stay actively involved in the Free Clinic and has dedicated an amazing amount of her time, talent and energy. Since moving to River Falls in 1978, Mary has served in various community activities and enjoys quilting, gardening and spending time with her family, including her two sons, daughter-in-law, grandson with another one on his way!

Julie Ducklow

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Julie is recently retired from MHealth Fairview – River Falls Clinic as the Clinic Manager. Julie previously worked for Vibrant Health Family Clinics of River Falls and the River Falls Area Hospital Clinic as the laboratory supervisor. Julie is a native of the Spring Valley area where she currently makes her home. She and her husband Dave combined have four adult sons and 2 grandchildren. Julie enjoys gardening, bicycling, and golf. 

Julie Freeborn

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Julie retired from Bremer Bank in 2021 where she served as the Wisconsin Senior Business Banking Manager.  Prior to Bremer Bank, Julie was the CFO for Preco, Inc. and a CPA at Simma Flottemesch & Orenstein, Ltd. Julie and her husband, Mark, live in River Falls and have four children and eight grandchildren. Julie enjoys spending time at the lake cabin and with family. 

Miranda Thorson

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Miranda and her husband, Mark live in Hudson. They are a blended family with six children and one grandson. Miranda is the Executive Assistant and Volunteer Program Coordinator at River Falls Area Hospital. She has found great joy in volunteering since a teenager and strives to provide more time and energy to volunteering as their children are moving into adulthood. She and her husband enjoy the outdoors and spend many hours fishing, golfing, and riding their motorcycle. 

Father Gerald Harris

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Father Harris is pastor of St. Bridget Catholic Church in River Falls and a native of River Falls. Father Harris began his career as a registered nurse.  Following his ordination, Father Harris served many parishes in northern Wisconsin, including four years as Director of Pastoral Care in hospitals in Rhinelander and Tomahawk. During that time, he served on the board of the Catholic Hospital Association of Wisconsin. Father Harris is currently an active member of the River Falls Ministerial Association, which meets regularly to address problems facing the working poor, including access to food, shelter and health care. 

Victoria Losinski

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Victoria is a pharmacist and health plan administrator overseeing quality at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.  Victoria has lived in River Falls for the last 10 years with her husband, Adam.  She is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, and University of St. Thomas’s Opus College of Business.  She enjoysreading,cooking, running and cross country skiing. 

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